Cleaning zirconia rings can be accomplished in a number of ways. Learn which methods are best for your own pieces.
About Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia (CZ), is one of the most popular and affordable of all diamond simulants. These beautiful man-made crystals are created by combining zirconia powder and yttrium oxide in a 5000 degree Fahrenheit crucible. As the product cools, it creates beautiful crystals that often rival diamonds in their beauty.
One of the most amazing properties of CZ is its hardness and durability. On a Mohr Scale rating of one to ten for hardness, CZ comes in at a highly respectable 8.5. What does this mean to consumers? CZ rings are usually far more resistant to wear and damage than softer gems like emeralds and opals.
Cleaning Zirconia Rings and Settings
The best method for cleaning zirconia rings is largely determined by the type of setting the CZ has been mounted in, and any other gemstones that have been included in the piece. Soft metals are easily scratched, and gemstones of lesser density can be permanently scarred unless they are treated properly.
CZ itself can be cleaned using any method that would be acceptable when caring for diamonds. Even a jewelry brush will not damage the crystals. With this understanding, you should always choose the cleaning method that is suitable for the most delicate material used in the ring.
Using polishing cloths made from soft cotton fabric is one of the least damaging ways of cleaning zirconia rings. Simply rub the ring and setting lightly to remove dirt and oils and restore brilliant sparkle and shine.This method works well with almost any other material, but it's especially good for sterling silver settings, turquois and delicate pearls.
Warm Water and Liquid Soap
Warm water and liquid soap will do wonders for restoring a crisp clean look to CZ rings. You can lather the piece with your fingers or a soft cloth. Just be sure to rinse the ring thoroughly to remove all traces of detergent or you might wind up with a filmy residue that will dull the brilliance of your gem.
Commercial Cleaning Solutions
Commercial jewelry cleaning solutions work about as well as the soap and water method, but you should read the labels carefully to determine if they are suitable for other gems and metals used in your rings. Using this type of cleaner on coral and pearls may ruin the finish on these materials altogether.
Steam cleaning has become hugely popular in recent years, and is used on everything from household appliances to jewelry.
Although a good stream of steam will liquify most gunk and contaminants hiding in the nooks and crannies of a CZ ring, the steam heat can damage softer gemstones, so use it with caution.
Ultrasonic cleaners are the jewelry cleaner of choice for most jewelers. These machines contain a water reservoir that holds the jewelry while it is bombarded with thousands of ultrasonic waves that loosen debris trapped within the setting.While this method is fine for standard CZ rings, ultrasonic cleansing may still damage softer gems and metal, so it's important to understand the qualities of each material used in your ring.
Cleaning cubic zirconia rings is an important part of preserving the quality of each piece. For the crystals themselves, the frequency of the cleaning is actually more important than how those cleanings are carried out. However, since many CZ rings incorporate other gems into their designs, it's always a good idea to seek professional cleaning advice from your local jeweler in order to avoid damaging your pieces.
With regular care, your rings will retain their beauty and be ready to pass on to generations to come.