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Your diamonds may not really be your best friends -- or, hey, maybe they are! -- but you still want to make sure that your sparklers stay sparkling. Hard water can make that tricky. Calcium and magnesium in the water isn't bad for you, but it does leave mineral deposits on your jewelry. Try to limit the amount of water that runs over your diamonds, but since a little might be unavoidable, try these tricks to keep your bling looking fantastic.
Jewelry polishing cloths are a simple, low-maintenance way to keep your jewelry looking great all the time. The cloths have a light abrasive side and a smoother side that you use together to keep your diamonds looking bright. Rub the stone each time you wear it with the rough side, then the smooth side of the cloth. You'll start to remove any mineral build up as it occurs, so that you don't have to deal with seriousness dullness down the road.
Ammonia is used to clean diamonds even when they aren't exposed to hard water. The formula works when calcium or magnesium deposits are a problem, too. Mix 1/4 cup of ammonia with 1 cup of warm water. Let your diamond soak in the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes. The deposits and any other dirt or grease will loosen from your rocks. Rinse them off in more warm water and dry them with a lint-free cloth. Just make sure you open a window if you're in a tight spot -- the smell of ammonia can be toxic.
Vinegar works really well on hard-water residue. Since just regular white vinegar has such a high acid content, you can use a pretty small amount of it to remove any mineral deposits from your jewelry. You can use vinegar on your diamonds without any worry about the metal settings, either. Just douse your pieces in vinegar and let them soak for up to 15 minutes. When you're done, rinse and dry them with a lint-free cloth.
Brushing your jewelry is a great way to remove hard-water residue manually. Start by soaking your diamonds in either the vinegar or ammonia solutions above and then take a small jewelry brush to the stones. (You can buy one of these brushes online or at a jewelry store.) Fit the brush into the setting and clean underneath the stone, too, to make sure you get all of the facets for the ultimate shine. When you're done, rinse and dry like you would for any other cleaning.