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Dull rings and necklaces? These jewelry cleaners have my diamonds sparkling like new again

After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
Courtesy Emily Orofino

Getting an engagement ring isn’t really the important part of making a serious commitment to your significant other — but it’s still very exciting. And if you have one, you know how much fun it is to look at it. (Like Marilyn Monroe said, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”)

Those with diamonds in their jewelry collection know that a newly-set diamond is full of fire and sparkle, but it can dull over time. According to Brad Reh, third-generation jeweler and co-owner of Brad and Vandy Reh Fine & Estate Jewelry in New Canaan, CT, that’s because diamonds tend to get dirtier than any other kind of gem. Diamonds naturally attract your body oils, which then act as a magnet to draw in dirt. “Perfume, hair spray, body lotion and hand lotion are prime culprits for making jewelry dirty,” he says. “The lotion gets stuck in the crevices of the jewelry, preventing the beauty of the stones from illuminating.” 

After I got engaged, I became heavily invested in keeping my ring clean. I had considered an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, but Veh recommends steering clear of those. “The vibration can loosen the stones,” he warns. So, I started looking for formulas that would be convenient, safe for my jewelry, and, if possible, stylish (I know, a tall order). 

The good news is I found three options that fit the bill! They’re incredibly gentle yet effective, can be used in a variety of different settings to suit a range of needs, and are compatible with all types of diamond jewelry. Here, I test and review all three, priming my jewelry with body lotion before cleansing them with each formula for an accurate assessment.

At the sink: Shinery Radiance Wash

Though I’d never heard of Shinery before trying it, the brand has exploded in popularity recently (it’s a winner of Oprah’s Favorite Things!) and I loved the concept. It’s a hand wash that does double duty to keep jewelry clean. The bottle is sleek with an easy-to-use pump, and the formula inside is totally unscented. Still, I’ll admit that I was skeptical about Shinery’s efficacy. How well can hand soap get into the tight crevices of diamond jewelry? Spoiler: very well.

Because this is a hand wash, it makes the most sense to pair it with rings, but I tried it on both my ring and earrings, too. I used it just as I would a normal hand soap, pumping it into the palm of my hand before adding water and sudsing up. I took extra care to fully work it into the hoop earrings’ nooks and crannies, as well as those of my engagement ring.

As an everyday maintenance product, Shinery is absolutely genius. It exceeded my expectations as a sinkside diamond cleaner — it even has glycerin to moisturize your hands! I will note that taking my ring off while washing always makes me a little nervous (depending on the drain setup), which you’ll want to keep in mind as you clean your jewelry. However, my ring has a fairly low setting and three stones. If you have a solitaire with a high setting, you likely won’t need to take your ring off at all to see some sparkle from Shinery.

As a bonus, this pick is currently discounted 25% off with the code TODAY25 until February 19.

On the go: Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik

My mom actually sent me the Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik after I got engaged; she has a few lying around the house and loves them. As a seasoned beauty writer, I found that the product packaging was pretty straightforward — you just twist the pen until the formula oozes out of the brush tip. If you’ve used anything packaged like this in the past, you know it’ll take a few twists (sometimes way more than you’d think you’d need) to get the fluid flowing. 

With the Diamond Dazzle Stik, expect to twist it a bunch before you see the formula come out of the tube. It looks somewhat like blue toothpaste, with a similar consistency. To use it, I wet the brush tip, then massage the paste into my jewelry, which creates a subtle foaming effect. The bristles were fine enough that I could get them into the tight settings of both my hoop earrings and my engagement ring to give the backs of the stones a nice scrub. 

After rinsing my jewelry, the diamonds sparkled like new. I love this product because keeping it with you is as easy as tossing a lip gloss into your purse, and it only takes a few seconds for it to shine up your jewelry. I don’t travel without it.

Overnight: Diamond Drunk Non-Toxic Fine Jewelry Cleaner

This brand was founded by Jerrod Blandino, the co-founder of Too Faced Cosmetics and a serious diamond aficionado. Having met him in person and knowing his passion for product development (and very nice jewelry), I knew that his product had to be great, and I was right! Diamond Drunk was nice enough to send me one of the cleaning sets when the brand launched shortly after my engagement and I love using it. Diamond Drunk’s products are admittedly pricier than the others, but I think their sophistication is worth the splurge.

Courtesy Emily Orofino

In the set, you’ll find a vessel (in one of four colors) that contains a basket featuring earring and ring hooks, making it easy to keep your jewelry organized and tangle-free, as well as a small brush. You’ll also get a crystalline dish to rest the vessel on, and the secret sauce — the cleansing concentrate. Just pour the entirety of the concentrate into the vessel and add water up to the fill line, then you’re ready to go!

Once you’ve soaked your jewelry overnight, you can take it out of the vessel, give your pieces a little scrub with the petite brush, and rinse them off. The vessel doesn’t have a large footprint, so it won’t take up a lot of room on your bathroom counter, but it will add a bit of flair to it. 

The bottom line

No matter your preferred method, it's super important to clean your diamonds regularly. “Staying ahead of the dirt, oil, and grime are important,” Reh explains. “If too much time goes by between cleaning, it’s likely that the piece will need to be polished by a professional.” While he notes that all jewelry can benefit from an annual pro polish, you can often avoid having to bring your jewelry into the shop by maintaining it at home with one of these top picks. He recommends lightly cleaning your diamond jewelry as often as possible to keep it sparkling, but at least once weekly. The results? Diamonds that'll look like they're straight from the jeweler — sans visit to a pro.