The First Cleaning

I never thought I would care so much about the cleaning and polishing of an item until I had my most precious possession placed on my left ring finger. Now I have become a maniac about it! After the beach vacation where we got engaged, my super-sparkly ring was in sad shape. It had endured sun, sand, and a ton of sunscreen–oops! never spraying near the ring again!–Joshy was not pleased, and I didn’t blame him.

Of course, once the plane touched down I had to scramble to arrange the ring viewings. There were my mom, one of my bridesmaids with whom I had a pre-planned drinks date, my old colleagues on Fifth Avenue, and the entire group at our mini-engagement party, just to name a few. So, within 24 hours of landing, I headed straight to the guy who designed my sparkler and had it steam cleaned and polished to the tune of ten bucks (plus tip).

Now, I’m fine shelling out the cash from time to time, but what about those in-between days when you know you could use a shine but you really shouldn’t just keep paying to polish bi-weekly? Here are some tips I’ve figured out on my own, and some that have been handed down by friends and family. Enjoy, and happy sparkling!

1. Keep a Tiffany polishing cloth on hand at all times. I know they’re technically intended for silver, but these work great. And the color is cute, too. I keep one in my bag and buff the top of my stone somewhat compulsively. It really works! 2. Baking soda goes a long way, just be careful. Yes, baking soda is a great option, just be careful with it near the metal of your band. Best to combine baking soda and warm water (equal parts) in a small bowl, then dip an extra toothbrush in and use it to clean the top of the stone. Rinse. Gorgeous! 3. Hydrogen peroxide is NOT just for boo-boos; it’s for bling. Pour a little in the bottle’s cap and drop your ring in it for five to ten minutes. See those bubbles? Means it’s working. Once they’ve subsided, remove the ring, rinse under warm water and dry with an eyeglass cleaning cloth. Other things to keep in mind: Sunscreen (especially the spray kind) is your ring’s worst enemy. Avoid your left hand, or apply before leaving the house, when your ring is safely resting on your opposite hand for a moment. Creams and lotions should be applied carefully to avoid the ring; it’s just unnecessary grease you’ll have to clean off later.

Most important rule for caring for your ring: Do not take it off. This is one of the largest financial decisions your fiance has ever made. It is also the symbol of the biggest commitment you will ever make. It’s not just a piece of jewelry, it’s a reflection of the most important relationship in your life. Keep it on that damn finger at all times.

Give dirt and oil the one-two punch with daily upkeep and occasional steam cleanings!