Here's How Often You Really Should Clean Your Jewelry

Frequently cleaning your jewels may seem like an activity only your grandmother would partake in. However, even if it's old-fashioned, cleaning your rings and necklaces on a regular basis can help increase their longevity and their shine. Even if your gems are made with high-quality metals and materials, it's important to cleanse them of bacteria, dead skin cells, and build-up from daily wear and tear. Indeed, Andrew Brown, CEO of WP Diamonds, tells Martha Stewart that jewelry that hasn't been washed "becomes dirty, which, in turn, means that the jewelry becomes darker, less colorful, loses its luster and sparkle — and ultimately it's less hygienic."

Martha Stewart explains that the frequency at which you should clean your items depends on how often you wear each piece. Furthermore, different items come into contact with bacteria and germs more frequently, like your earrings and rings. The outlet explains that necklaces require fewer cleanings because they generally have less interaction with outside surfaces, but still need some TLC from time to time, too. 

A general rule to follow is starting by taking off your jewels when you apply makeup, take a shower and use various skin products to avoid adding more bacteria to the times. But, when it comes to earrings, Martha Stewart recommends cleaning them at least once a week to ensure their longevity and cleanliness. 

Unclean gems can harbor bacteria that may irritate your skin

As for fine jewelry such as engagement rings, cleaning can be a delicate business. The Spruce reports that over washing, intense scrubbing, and strong chemicals can damage your rock instead of clean it, so it's vital to find a solution that fits the bill. Since diamonds are harder stones than many others, they can handle a little more washing than other gems. As such, the outlet suggests cleaning your ring every two weeks or so with a gentle solution rinse and wipe with a diamond-specific cloth.

Jewelry cleaning solutions may help with this process as well alongside a jewelry-specific brush, Martha Stewart adds. However, harsh scrubbing of your fine jewelry is always a no-no. Keeping up with this schedule, you can get your engagement ring professionally washed every six months to ensure its shine and cleanliness. 

As for your necklaces, dirt and grime can dull their shine — grab your cleaning solution and rinse them off. Jewelry Notes recommends filling a bowl with warm water and a little dish cleaning solution and letting your strands sit in the mixture for a moment. Gently rub the sides of your necklace with your fingers and make sure to fully rinse off any lingering soap to reveal a glittery piece. Doing this once a month will protect your skin and your gems!