Anyone who wears an engagement or wedding ring all the time, knows that they can sometimes suffer as a result of conditions. You might be wondering what can damage gold, silver or platinum, depending on what your ring is made of. Salt and chlorine, in particular, can damage expensive jewellery. When you swim in the sea or a pool, you are advised to take your rings off.

What does chlorine do to gold, silver, diamonds and gemstones?

Pure gold is not easily damaged by chlorine because it is a precious metal that does not react to other chemical substances.
An experienced jeweller can professionally clean and polish your jewellery
Other metals, such as silver, nickel or copper, are sensitive to aggressive chemicals such as chlorine. Your gold ring with diamonds or gemstones can end up severely discoloured.

How much damage does salt water cause to your jewellery?

It's not just chlorine that can damage your gold jewellery and diamonds; saltwater can damage them too. Salt causes erosion of soldered gold, silver or platinum elements. As a result, the precious metal may weaken meaning your jewellery could potentially break.

The diamonds can also get blemished by salt. The facets can get stained, which gives your diamond a dull appearance. Make sure you rinse your diamond jewellery properly after exposure to saltwater.
Clean your jewellery in soapy water - Rinse your jewellery in soapy water, using mild soap.

How can you clean jewellery that has been exposed to chlorine?

Have you worn your gold or diamond rings in the sea or exposed them to chlorine? Here are a few steps to take:

  • Rinse them off as quickly as possible with clean, fresh water.

  • Do not use any aggressive cleaning agents as they may cause more damage to your jewellery.

  • Add a few drops of gentle washing-up liquid to lukewarm water.

  • Leave your jewellery to soak in the water for 15-20 minutes and rinse under the tap.

  • Finally, dry with a non-fibrous cloth.

Read more about caring for your diamond jewellery here

If your gold jewellery has become dull or discoloured, you can have it restored. An experienced jeweller can professionally clean and polish your jewellery to restore your gold ring's lustre and shine. You can also have your jewellery checked a few times each year by an expert. Your jeweller will spot any damage that is not visible to the naked eye and can also tighten the prongs.
Gold jewellery, especially engagement and other rings, that have already been restored, are very susceptible to chlorine damage. The locations where the gold has been restored are weaker and therefore more sensitive to the effect of chlorine.
Clean your jewellery - Clean your jewellery with a soft toothbrush and mild, soapy water.

Caring for your engagement ring & other jewellery

As mentioned previously, you are better off removing your jewellery when you go swimming. But chlorine is also found in various cleaning products, which is why you should also remove your rings when cleaning or wear protective gloves.

Store your jewellery in its original box or a soft, fabric bag. Make sure that your various diamond rings do not touch one another. Diamond is the hardest gemstone in the world but can be damaged if it comes into contact with another diamond.

Diamonds can be easily cleaned by regular polishing using a microfiber cloth, a soft toothbrush or make-up brush to remove dirt and dust. Try not to rub too hard with the microfibre cloths as they could catch on the prongs and leave threads or deform them. Never scrub too hard with the brush.

Read how to clean your diamond ring here

The oils in soap, shampoo, lotions and conditioner can dull the shine of your jewellery. These products can also build up under the stone or in the clasps. If your ring looks a little greasy due to using lotions or creams, you can use a little ammonia to clean it.

This cleaning process is best left to a professional so we advise you to leave it to one of our experts. They will clean your expensive jewellery with professional equipment and the utmost care.

Read more about jewellery collections

It is really important to clean your expensive jewellery to ensure that it lasts for many years. Keep your jewellery away from chlorine, saltwater and chemicals or cleaning products. Read the following articles about your jewellery collection.

Frequently asked Questions

How to clean white gold

White gold is rhodium-plated for added protection, and to achieve that distinctive white sheen. That layer of rhodium is vulnerable, so you have to take care with rough surfaces, alcohol and other corrosive cleaning agents. To clean white gold, soak the jewellery in warm water with mild dishwashing liquid without ammonia and phosphates. Scrub gently with a soft toothbrush, and rinse in clean warm water. Dry your jewellery with a soft towel. If your white gold jewellery is set with diamonds or gemstones, take special care with the brush so as not to damage the stone.

What is the best way to store my bracelet?

It is best to store your bracelets safely in a locked box. That way they won't get lost or damaged. A separate compartment for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and watches also ensures that they do not get mixed up or tangled up. There are also various hanging systems that are particularly handy for necklaces and bracelets. The ones with feet can be placed on a dressing table or sideboard as a decorative item. Hanging systems are also a good solution for bracelets. With these tips, you can take extra care of your bracelets:

  • Do not keep link or charm bracelets together so they do not get tangled.
  • Store valuable jewellery such as heirlooms separately in a sealed cloth bag and then in a lockable box.
  • Make sure that your precious jewellery is free of dust and grease before storing it.
  • Take your bracelet off during sports, when working with your hands and when sunbathing. This way, they will not be damaged.

How do I clean my necklace?

It is a good idea to clean your necklace regularly to keep it looking bright and beautiful. Do not use harsh detergents. Simply mix a little spirit vinegar with lukewarm water in a bowl. Dip the chain in the vinegar mix and remove the tarnish with a soft toothbrush or soft cloth. Remove the jewellery from the bowl. Place it on a dry hand towel (or tea towel) and pat it dry.

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