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Do Diamonds Absorb Oil?

Do Diamonds Absorb Oil?

Diamond is the hardest matter on Earth. Because of that incredible, hard-to-beat hardness, they are used to cut into rocks and metals. Believe it or not, only diamonds can cut other diamonds!

To burn a diamond, the temperature of the fire must be over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. 

And from all that, we can conclude that diamonds are a special kind of gem.

It isn’t easy to damage a diamond, but it can be done. While we are at it – do diamonds absorb oil? Can a diamond be damaged when in contact with oil or fat? 

To find out the answer to this – and more – continue reading our article!

Can Diamonds Lose Their Shine?

Unfortunately, yes – diamonds can lose their shine and sparkle over time. Just like everything else, diamonds can lose their luster with the regular wear-and-tear.

Despite their hardness, diamonds can chip and even fall out of jewelry if they aren’t taken care of properly. Then again, if you take care of your jewelry, it can retain that brand-new look for decades. 

Diamonds are a common part of engagement rings, something that women wear every day. So, the diamond jewelry worn every day is more likely to lose its shine completely. 

That is why it’s imperative to take good care of your jewelry, or you will have to face expensive repairs of said jewelry. 

With that said, to maintain that luster and the envy of everyone around you – continue reading!

Do Diamonds Absorb Oil?

If you were wondering what oil has to do with diamonds losing their shine, the following section might help clarify things a bit. 

Many things can affect your diamond’s sparkle. Is oil one of them? Should you be careful when doing anything with your hands while wearing your engagement ring?


Diamonds can absorb oil – well, not absorb it per se. But they’re prone to oil build-up. For the purposes of this post, though, we’ll consider this to be the same thing. 

Therefore, your diamonds can appear cloudy and dirty if they come into direct contact with oils and fats. 

As we already said, diamonds don’t truly absorb oils – but oils make a film over the surface of the diamond. That film can be difficult to remove, and will usually require professional help to restore that original sparkle.

For example, many hand creams and soaps have essential oils, which can make your jewelry appear muddy and matte. If you must use a soap or a hand cream, we advise you to remove your rings for this and put them back on once your hands are dry. 

High-quality engagement rings require special care, especially around oils and fats – and without that special care, those rings won’t look very good. It’s that simple.

Later on, we will discuss how to take the best care of your diamond jewelry.

Can You Touch Your Diamonds?

When an engagement ring is still fresh, a new piece of jewelry worn on someone’s hand, everyone wants to look at the ring – and even touch it. 

The question is – is that something advised against, or is it totally fine?

Well, the truth is, you should try to touch your diamond rings as little as possible. To maintain the diamond’s sparkle, you should avoid it touching them altogether.

The reason for that is because our hands almost always have some oils, fats, or dirt on them. Whenever you (or someone else) touches your diamond jewelry, those oils are transferred to the diamond and the precious metal around it. 

The film on top of the stone is created due to those oils, leaving the diamonds looking musty. 

So, if you want your diamond to look its best all the time – it’s probably for the best to leave it alone and stop touching it all the time. 

Also, the diamonds should not come into contact with various lotions, creams, and hairspray. The chemicals inside these personal care products can make your diamonds lose their sparkle for a while – until the next cleaning session. 

However, diamonds repel water; cut or uncut, the stone will repel water very well. On the other hand, these gems are oil magnets. Grease will stick onto the gem pretty easily. 

So, be careful about putting hand lotion when wearing your engagement or wedding ring. It’s also important to note how gentle you should be when handling your diamonds rings. 

Diamonds are the hardest substance out there, and therefore, it’s not that easy to break a diamond into pieces. The issue is that you could break the prongs on the ring that holds the diamond in place. 

Because of those prongs, you should try to be as gentle as possible when handling the rings and cleaning them. Don’t use a rough toothbrush to clean the rings; opt for the softest toothbrush and try to scrub gently – no vigorous movements. 

Another thing that could happen is that your diamond ring can get stuck in your clothes. If that happens to you, don’t pull on the ring to get it out; try to detangle the ring from the piece of clothing to prevent your diamond from popping out. 

Nobody wants to kneel and search through a rug for a tiny – but oh-so-expensive – rock!

How To Clean Your Diamonds Rings?

Diamonds are shiny because of the way they are cut and how the light passes through them. On the other hand, debris, dirt, and grease can create a film over the diamond’s surface and block the light from passing through the diamond. 

So, even with the best care, at some point, your diamonds will look musty, and that is precisely the time to clean those stones. 

Luckily, the diamonds are pretty easy to clean – but many people are still doing it wrong. All you need is some warm (but not hot) water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush. 

Soak the diamond jewelry in warm water with some soap and leave them in the water for a few minutes. Then, take them out and use the soft toothbrush to clean the piece of jewelry. 

First, clean the face of the diamond, and then turn it around to clean the back – because the grease can get stuck in there, too. 

When done, use a soft cloth to wipe the jewelry dry.

We advise you to use a plastic bowl to soak the jewelry rather than washing it in the sink. No matter how well you block the drain, the risk for your jewelry going down the drain still exists. 

And lastly: Your diamonds should be cleaned like this once every two weeks if worn daily. If not, you should clean the diamonds once every few wears. 

Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean the rings because those can damage the metal prongs – and even ruin them completely.

Related Read:

Common Mistakes When Cleaning Diamonds

As we’ve covered in the previous section, diamonds are pretty easy to clean. Yet, many people are doing it wrong and potentially damaging their valuable jewelry pieces without even knowing it.

If you have a new engagement ring and want to keep it looking new, pay special attention to this section. Here, we’ll cover all the common mistakes people make when cleaning their diamonds – so, listen up to avoid doing it wrong!

Cleaning With Boiling Water

There is a particular belief that boiling water cleans diamonds very well – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The idea originates from the ultrasonic cleaners jewelry stores use, but boiling water is not even remotely the same.

The temperature of the water in an ultrasonic cleaner is strictly regulated and will never reach boiling temperatures. Instead, ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency waves of sound and heat to remove debris from the nooks and crannies of the jewelry. 

That being said, boiling water can damage your stones and affect the metal holding the stone. Boiling water has a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit or more – and that heat can expand the precious metal, making the stone fall out from the prongs. 

That’s not it: Some gemstones can get a thermal shock when taken out of the boiling water and rinsed with cold water. That can add inclusions or tiny fractures in the gem – making the stone more prone to shattering. 

Those gems are opal, tanzanite, garnet, emerald, peridot, and tourmaline. 

Read Also: Is Opal Worth More Than Diamond?

Cleaning With Toothpaste

Toothpaste used for cleaning is featured in many “life-hacks” all over the internet. Toothpaste is, allegedly, a great way to clean car headlights, white sneakers – and jewelry. 

However, is that true? Well, toothpaste may work for headlights, but it certainly won’t work for diamonds. 

Diamonds, gold, and various gems can be damaged with toothpaste because toothpaste is abrasive, and it can scratch the surface of gold. 

That is especially true for emeralds and tanzanite since they can get surface scratches from toothpaste. What’s worse, opal and pearls can be destroyed by toothpaste, losing the sparkle and the color.

So, avoid using toothpaste for anything other than teeth and household objects. That is if you don’t want to ruin your expensive jewelry – and our guess is, you don’t.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a great thing to use to clean or sanitize something. However, for diamonds – it could be the death sentence. There are many tips online that if you soak your jewelry or rinse it with rubbing alcohol, it will remove the buildup of oils and dirt.

That is not true: Rubbing alcohol can leave a coat on your precious stones, making them lose their luster and their color. 

Worse yet, opal and emerald are water-based, and alcohol on these gemstones can make them absorb the oils, dry out and crack completely. 


Chlorine is a fantastic fluid to clean swimming pools and floors – but it’s not the best option for diamond rings. The thing is, cleaning jewelry with chlorine can cause irreparable damage to gold jewelry. 

Chlorine can break the golden alloy and lead to pitting, causing the gold alloy to become brittle and potentially break down in pieces. Also, chlorine can change the color of silver and make it lose its shine. 

So, if you want to clean using chlorine or swim in a pool, it might be best to leave your precious jewelry in a safe place.

When To Wear Diamonds?

Engagement rings usually have a diamond centerpiece rather than any other type of stone. To be honest, diamond jewelry isn’t something that should be worn every day because diamonds, despite their hardness, are still prone to damage.

So, if you want to protect your rings while still wearing them every day, remember to take them off in certain situations. For example, when you clean around the house, go to the gym, take a shower, or go to sleep – it’s better to take the rings off. And, of course, let’s not forget to add “handling anything oily or oil-based” to this list. 

All these things can damage your rings, so it’s best to leave them in a safe place. That said, avoid removing your rings at the gym or the nail salon because of the risk of misplacing said rings. 

While we’re at it, not wearing your engagement ring when showering might be a good idea. Shower gels often have oils in their ingredients that can leave a film on diamonds and make them look dull.

Also, plenty of soap on your hands can make your rings easily slide off and fall down the drain. Even if you call a plumber immediately, there is no sure way to know that the plumber will be able to get the diamond out. 

Bottom Line

To conclude, yes, diamonds can absorb oil and lose their sparkle because of that. Since oil is always present on our hands, diamonds can become a bit dull over time.

Cleaning the diamonds is rather simple, yet people opt for dangerous things like rubbing alcohol or boiling water. Stick to lukewarm water, a soft brush, and mild soap – and with a bit of gentle brushing, your diamonds will go back to their original luster!

Of course, the best way to clean diamonds is to give them to a professional jeweler. Ultrasonic cleaners are highly efficient – and they will clean your diamonds safely and quickly.