Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cleaning Your Engagement Ring At Home…With Toothpaste?

how to clean wedding ring with toothpaste
how to clean wedding ring with toothpasteWhen I got engaged, I was shocked. It was October 31st, 2009, and yes, that is Halloween, but it also happened to be a Saturday night, on the terrace at our favorite restaurant in Boston, overlooking the water, and there were absolutely no costumes involved. The ring was perfect, a gorgeous round brilliant diamond with round sidestones and a platinum pave band. My dream ring, from the man of my dreams who was just the right amount of nervous and looking up at me from one bended knee. I was speechless, except for my repeated stutterings of "oh my god."

how to clean wedding ring with toothpasteDiamond Dilemmas
He and I were both a little taken back by inability to form words, especially since I had helped pick out the ring. Like many modern brides-to-be, I emailed pictures of ring styles and even accompanied him to the jeweler to help pick out the bling. Yet the exact timing of the proposal was a surprise. And I have to admit, for all my research and ring-trying, I was still a little clueless about how to care for the sparkler that now adorned my finger.

I stared at it all night, in awe that it was actually sitting on my finger after years of white wedding dreams. But as I got ready for bed that night and removed the rest of my jewelry, I hesitated. Did I sleep in this ring while resting my others in a jewelry box?

I kept flashing back to a friend who got engaged in college and said her jeweler has cautioned against wearing her ring to bed, for fear it would snag the sheets or scratch her in her sleep. I showed it off at work and a married friend admonished me to never, ever take it off. Never one to dress up for they gym, I wore it on the eliptical and thought how weird it felt to work out with a ring on my finger. I couldn't understand how the tiny prongs kept the stone so secure and for weeks expected all the diamonds to fall out.

Average cost of a wedding ring

how to clean wedding ring with toothpasteVodka, Dish soap or Toothpaste?
Then came the day that I noticed the diamond had lost some of its sparkle. I was just as much in love as before, but the ring didn't glitter as it once had. Dan, my fiance, told me I should have it cleaned. Which led to a whole host of other clueless questions. Someone, somewhere, had sworn that vodka was the best cleaning agent. My mother prefers gentle dishwashing soap to keep her diamonds looking new.

Needless to say, I was at a loss. Despite being one of the hardest materials around, I still thought I might scratch my ring if I cleaned it wrong. So I just sort of polished it on my shirt and figured it was fine. But as days dragged on, I realized the ring had definitely lost its luster. So I turned to Twitter and BrideTide for help in finding the best way to clean my ring.

Turns out, toothpaste is the preferred at-home remedy. But beware, it needs to be a gel or really smooth paste; no grit! Really, you want the most basic of tooth cleaners without all the whitening and extra breath-freshening bursts bells and whistles. I used Colgate Cavity Protection in "regular" flavor--just your average, run-of-the-mill white toothpaste. I also bought a plain toothbrush with soft bristles to keep the scrubbing as gentle as possible.

Quick-Cleaning Your Engagement Ring At Home
I think the bathroom is the easiest place to clean your ring at home. But make sure to close the drain before you begin! Crucial first step, as you need to take it off your finger to really get clean, and don’t want to risk it slipping down the sink.

Wet the toothbrush and apply toothpaste as if you are going to brush your teeth. Start by brushing in little circles around the center stone, then out to the sidestones and band. Rinse the ring in warm water, and reapply toothpaste if necessary. Then carefully brush through the prongs and setting that hold the diamond in places to get at any dirt trapped underneath the stone--these particles will be reflected through the diamond and make it appear dull no matter how much you scrub the top. Be gentle, but make sure to get some of the bristles all the way under the base. Rinse to remove any remaining toothpaste, then dry with a lint-free cloth (some websites recommend a hairdryer, but this sounds like kind of a pain to me and will heat the metal).

how to clean wedding ring with toothpaste
That's it! Your ring is squeaky clean in less than 5 minutes. I was skeptical when I first heard about using toothpaste to clean an engagement ring, but it really worked. Most jewelry experts suggest bringing your ring in for a professional cleaning once a year, but this is a great way to shine it up at home. The toothpaste and toothbrush were only 99 cents each, and will last for a long time. A bling bargain for any bride-to-be!

how to clean wedding ring with toothpastehow to clean wedding ring with toothpasteAlison Driscoll is an interactive copywriter and social media strategist who lives in Boston. She pens a blog about internet marketing at and is busy planning a November wedding in Las Vegas.


  1. Love your ring! I once tried to use (under suggestion from my MIL) olive oil and a nail brush. Didn't work too well. Left a slight sheen on the surface no matter how hard I tried to buff it out. Took it to the jeweler to get it clean and she suggested toothpaste as a home option.

  2. I like to use a little hand soap and give it a good scrub with an eyebrow brush at least once a week.I dry is with the soft cloth that usually comes with jewelry cleaners. Everyone always compliments me on how sparkly my ring is.

  3. I'm trying this out tonight. I've heard other people mention that this worked pretty well.

  4. I've been doing this ever since, my mom taught me this trick. Vinegar mixed with water can also be a good soak for jewelries.

  5. Great! These tricks really makes ones Engagement Ring ceremony memorable forever. First I am gonna tell about this to my friend who is going to engage next week. Excellent Article, Thanks for Sharing!:-)

  6. hmm. i was told by my jeweler not to use toothpaste but that gentle soap and a toothbrush were sufficient.

  7. Haha. good idea. Instead of buying those expensive silver cleaners.

  8. Cool wife's engagement ring need's a bit of a cleaning. I'll pass it on.


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