Diamond Rings and Chemicals: Products that Can Dull the Shine

You lean in to wash your hands, glance at your diamond ring shimmering under the stream of water, and think, “That looks so pretty, but will all this soap and water damage the ring? Will these chemicals ruin its luster?”

These are questions we frequently receive from new brides. The concern is even more relevant now that the CDC is encouraging frequent handwashing in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

With that in mind, we thought this would be the perfect time to answer the following questions about diamond rings and the use of various chemicals.

Q & A: Diamond Rings and Chemicals

1. Will frequent handwashing damage my diamond ring?

Handwashing with a gentle cleanser won’t really damage your ring, but the soaps can build up and dull the shine.

2. Is hand sanitizer harsh on jewelry?

Hand sanitizer can make the finish on some types of jewelry wear away faster. Over time, the chemicals can diminish the brilliance of jewelry, in some cases permanently. Using the hand sanitizer can help protect you from germs, but remove your rings before applying it.

3. I like to wash my dishes by hand. Should I remove my ring before I do so?

You should remove your ring before washing dishes for two reasons. The cold water may cause your fingers to shrink, so the ring could slide off. You definitely don’t want to lose your ring in the garbage disposal, so err on the side of caution by removing it beforehand.

Additionally, you could get food residue stuck in the ring, and small particles can be hard to remove out of the tiny grooves.

(Side note: Intentionally soaking your ring in gentle dishwashing liquid and warm water and then gently brushing it with a soft toothbrush can help clean off any dirt, dust, and grime and restore the shine.)

4. I work in the janitorial industry, where I regularly have to use harsh chemicals like bleach. Will bleach and other cleaning products damage my ring?

You should definitely remove your ring before handling bleach or other chemicals. Chemicals can damage the metals used to alloy gold for diamond settings, and abrasive cleaning products or cleaning brushes can scratch the gold.

Diamond rings and chemicals such as bleach, as well as shampoo and moisturizers, can be a bad combination.

Diamond rings and chemicals such as bleach, as well as shampoo and moisturizers, can be a bad combination.


5. Should I take my ring off before I wash my hair? Will the shampoo and conditioner create a film or residue on the diamond?

You should avoid getting moisturizers, specifically, on your ring. Moisturizing soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions will leave a film on the ring, reducing its shine.

You should also avoid getting makeup on the ring, as it can dirty the ring and leave residue behind.

6. Does swimming pool chlorine damage jewelry?

Chlorine can cause the greatest damage to jewelry, so you should remove your wedding ring and any other jewelry before swimming in a pool or lake.

Chlorine eats away at metals that are alloyed with gold, and that may lead to tiny bubbles inside your jewelry, making them weaker and more brittle.

In relation to your diamond ring, the greatest risk is that the prongs can wear away, causing your diamond to fall out.

Additionally, as noted above, cold water can shrink your fingers, causing your ring to slide off. It’s bad enough in the garbage disposal; you most certainly don’t want it at the bottom of the ocean.

7. My job entails working in high heat. Do diamonds melt?

Yes, diamonds can melt – at 700 degrees Celsius. Unless you’re an astronaut headed to the sun or an arc welder, most people will never be near that kind of heat, so don’t worry too much about melting the diamond.

According to the Welding Mania website, the welding arc temperature ranges between 6,000 and 8,000 degrees Celsius, which is 10,000 to 15,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So yes, you can obliterate a diamond with a welding torch if you really wanted to buy a new ring.

As for gold, you need more than 1,000 degrees Celsius to melt it.

Of course, warm jewelry can burn your skin, so you don’t want to have it near heat in any event.

Get Your Ring Cleaned at Diamond Castle Jewelers

Having your ring professionally cleaned at least once a year should help remove dirt and residue, as well as restore that sparkle.

When you buy jewelry from Diamond Castle Jewelers, you receive complimentary annual ring cleaning.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, we must minimize the number of people in our store, but you are still welcome to make an appointment to come in for a ring cleaning. Call us now to let us know when you’re coming!


Call Diamond Castle Jewelers or visit our jewelry store on Grand River Avenue in Novi, Michigan.

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