Why Does My Diamond Ring Smell? | Get Rid of This Nuisance by Following Our Tips!

If you are reading this, it is most likely because your engagement (or wedding) ring smells unpleasant. It is common for some older diamond rings to develop an odor.

So why does my diamond ring start to smell? Possible causes for a smelly ring include a buildup of skin oils, dead skin cells, lotions, sweat, dirt, food particles, and rust on the ring.

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Key Takeaways

  •     If you wear your diamond ring regularly, it can become contaminated with various substances such as skin oils, lotions, sweat, dirt, and even rust.
  • These substances can build up on the ring over time and cause it to emit an unpleasant odor.
  • To keep your engagement ring smelling fresh, it is important to clean it regularly. Simply washing it with soap and water can help remove the buildup of these substances.
  • It is best to avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning a ring, as they can damage the ring.
  • If you are unable to clean your diamond ring effectively at home, you can take it to a professional jeweler for deep cleaning. This will ensure that your ring stays sparkly and odor-free.

Key Reasons Your Diamond Ring Smells

If you wear your engagement ring every day, you may have noticed that it has started to emit an unpleasant odor. This is due to the buildup of various substances on the surface of the ring, such as skin oils, lotions, sweat, dirt, and rust if it was made of cheap metal.


This buildup can also cause the metal of the ring to deteriorate, which can lead to rusting and other forms of corrosion. The resulting rust can add to the odor, making it even more noticeable.

Skin Oils, Lotions, and Sweat

Skin oils, lotions, and sweat can cause a buildup on the surface of the ring over time, which can lead to an unpleasant odor. The accumulation of these substances can also cause the ring to become discolored or dull and can make it difficult to clean.

closeup of the fingers holding the rings

Dirt Can Get Trapped in the Crevices of the Ring

Additionally, dirt and debris can become trapped in the crevices of the diamond ring, making it difficult to remove.

This buildup can also harbor bacteria and other microorganisms, leading to a foul smell.

Clean the Wedding Ring

To prevent a build-up of these substances on your diamond ring, it is important to clean it regularly with a chemical-free solution such as soapy water.

You can use a jewelry cleaner specifically designed for diamonds, or simply use a simple solution such as warm water and soap. Soaking the ring in the solution for a few minutes, then gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush, can help to remove dirt, oils, and other substances.

a person cleaning the diamond ring

How Do You Clean A Smelly Wedding Ring?

Pour Warm Water into a Shallow Bowl

To clean your ring at home, fill a small bowl with warm water. Add a drop or two of mild dishwashing soap to the bowl.  Put your ring in the water.

Soak the Ring for 20 to 40 Minutes

Allow it to soak for a few minutes to loosen any dirt or grime.  Soaking the ring allows the solution to penetrate and break down any dirt or grime on the engagement ring.

Gently Scrub with a Soft Toothbrush Gently

During the soaking period, gently scrub the diamond ring with a soft-bristled brush. It removes any remaining debris.

This step is crucial as it helps to remove any dirt or grime that may have accumulated in the nooks and crannies of the ring.

Ensure you use a soft brush and avoid applying too much pressure. Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse the ring thoroughly with clean water.

Air Dry or Pat Using a Soft Cloth

After rinsing your ring in clean cold water, lay your diamond ring on a soft cloth and let it air dry. Alternatively, you can pat it with a clean cloth to dry it.

a person drying a diamond ring with a cloth

Take your Engagement Ring to a Jewelry to have it Professionally Cleaned

If you are concerned about the smell or appearance of your diamond ring, it may be time to consider having your diamond jewelry professionally cleaned.

Have Knowledge and Equipment to Clean your Ring

Professional jewelry cleaners have the expertise and equipment to effectively clean your diamond ring and bring back its sparkle.

They use specialized solutions and ultrasonic machines to remove dirt, grime, and other buildups from the engagement ring. This not only restores the ring’s appearance but also helps prolong its life by removing potential sources of corrosion and damage.

They Handle Engagement Rings with Care

Additionally, taking your engagement ring to a professional jeweler ensures that it will be handled with care. Diamonds are delicate and can be scratched or damaged if not handled properly.

A professional cleaner will handle your ring with the proper techniques and tools like the ultrasonic cleaner to avoid any damage.

Furthermore, a professional diamond cleaning can also help identify any issues with your ring. A professional will be able to spot any loose or broken prongs or any other signs of damage. They can then recommend diamond ring repairs or provide a professional opinion on the overall health of your ring.

a jeweler working on a diamond ring

Change the Metal of your Diamond Ring

If your ring is made of cheap metal and is starting to rust, it may be time to consider upgrading to a higher-quality metal such as white gold or platinum, which are less likely to rust and emit an unpleasant odor.

How to Take Care of Diamond Wedding Rings

Thick Creams and Lotions will accumulate on Rings

It is important to be mindful of the products you use on your skin, such as lotions, perfumes, and soaps.

These products can contain chemicals that can damage the metal of the ring, leading to rusting and corrosion. It is best to apply these products before putting on your ring and to remove the ring before showering or swimming.

Store Your Ring in a Secure Place

Store your ring in a secure place, such as a jewelry box, when not in use. A jewelry box with a soft lining is a great option to store your jewelry, as it will protect your rings from scratches and damage.

Avoid storing your ring in damp or humid areas, as this can cause the metal to tarnish or the diamond to become cloudy.

a diamond ring in the jewelry box

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Have Regular Inspection Appointments

It is a good idea to have your ring professionally cleaned and inspected every six to twelve months to ensure that it’s in good condition.

This will also give you the opportunity to have any damage or wear and tear repaired, ensuring that your ring stays beautiful for many years to come.

Do Not Use Chemicals and Abrasives When Cleaning Your Jewelry

Avoid using chemicals and abrasives when cleaning your ring. Harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia can cause damage to the metal and the stone, so it’s best to stick with a mild soap and water solution for cleaning.

A soft toothbrush should be used to gently scrub the ring to remove any dirt or grime. Abrasive materials like scouring pads should be avoided as they can scratch the metal and the stone.

a diamond ring in the box

FAQs – Ring Smells Bad

Why Does My Ring Smell Like Mildew?

If you’re someone who wears your ring constantly, like me, you might notice a mildew smell. This can occur due to various factors, including the accumulation of skin oils, dead skin cells, lotions, sweat, dirt, and even food particles.

Why Do My Wedding Ring Smell Bad?

Similarly, many people wear their wedding rings all the time, which can lead to moisture being trapped on and under the skin beneath the ring, which can make your wedding ring smells bad. This moisture can gather food particles and dead skin cells, creating an unpleasant odor. The moisture between your finger and the ring, as well as within the ring itself, can contribute to this issue.

Why Does My Ring Smell Like Cheese?

Rings, like other pieces of jewelry, are in constant contact with your skin and as a result, they can accumulate a mixture of body oils, sweat, and bacteria. When this mixture stays on the ring for an extended period of time, it can start to emit a cheese-like odor. To avoid this, it is important to regularly clean your ring.

How Do You Get Rid Of The Metallic Smell?

To get rid of a metallic smell, you can use a solution of white vinegar mixed with water. This is an effective solution because it will help to neutralize the metallic odor. To make the solution, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the affected area and let it sit for several minutes. Then, rinse the area thoroughly with water.

How Often Should You Clean Your Diamond Engagement Ring?

It’s recommended to clean your diamond engagement ring after every few months to keep it sparkling clean. You can clean it at home using warm water and mild detergent or take it to a professional jeweler for a more thorough cleaning.

Why Does My Finger Smell Under My Ring?

The unpleasant odor from the skin under the ring is primarily due to trapped moisture on or dead skin cells and within your skin while wearing the ring. Every day, sweat and moisture can accumulate, especially in the enclosed space between your finger and the ring. This creates an environment where bacteria can thrive, and cause the skin under ring smells terrible. Regular cleaning and removal of your ring can help prevent this issue and keep your finger smelling fresh.

a ring on the person's hand

Conclusion on Why Do My Rings Smell Bad

A diamond ring smells like mildew may be because of various reasons. This is due to sweat bacteria or mold, dead skin cells, exposure to chemicals, or the buildup of oils and lotions on the diamond ring. It’s crucial to clean it regularly. Also, maintain your ring to prevent any bad smell from developing.

If you notice a persistent bad smell, it may be a sign of a deeper issue. It’s best to have the ring inspected by a professional jeweler. Maintaining your ring will keep it looking beautiful and prolong its lifespan.

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