Ultrasonic cleaners are really good at cleaning your jewelry, but did you know that they can also make it easier to lose the gemstones set in your rings? Let’s see why these devices may pose additional risks to your jewelry and what you can do to avoid them.
How Ultrasonic Cleaners Clean Your Jewelry
Ultrasonic cleaners remove dirt from jewelry by using ultrasound: The pieces are put in a cleaning liquid, and after the machine is turned on, it emits ultrasonic waves that create vibrations through the liquid, knocking dirt particles off the jewelry.
This cleaning process is pretty neat and efficient, but it is also the reason why your jewelry might come out of the cleaner with loosened stones.
Why Ultrasonic Cleaners Can Loosen Your Gemstones
Since ultrasonic cleaning works through sound waves, they can cause a stone to vibrate in its mounting.
One cleaning session can be long enough to expose your jewelry to vibrations that could loosen its settings.
Sometimes, you may notice that some of the stones have come off while in the cleaner. Very often, you may not find out that your setting is loose until later, when your stone falls off.
When Are Your Stones More Likely to Loosen?
Usually, stones in settings that are old and worn are easier to loosen. If your prongs are worn thin or are bent, their grip is more likely to be weakened further by the cleaner.
Pay special attention to jewelry that is very dirty as sometimes dirt particles hide damaged mountings and help weak settings keep the gemstones in place.
When the dirt is cleaned off by the ultrasound, however, you may find that your stones are no longer held tight.
What You Should Do After Ultrasonic Cleaning
To make sure your gemstones are safe after they have been cleaned with ultrasound, you should always check your jewelry after it is taken out of the cleaner.
If you’ve had your pieces cleaned by a jeweler at the shop, always ask the staff to inspect the pieces AFTER they are cleaned. Often, your rings and other jewelry won’t be checked thoroughly unless you request that explicitly.
If any of the pieces have become loose, it’s best to have them fixed and tightened while at the store.
If you are doing the cleaning at home, check all settings yourself. Look for stones that move in the mounting, even if only slightly; you never know when a gemstone may come off.
Check if any of the prongs are weakened or bent, and pay special attention to the ones that look thin and worn. Even if the setting doesn’t have prongs, it can still be loosened by the ultrasound.
If you spot any problems, you should have them corrected as soon as possible. Have any loose mountings fixed immediately, especially if you see worn or broken parts. You don’t want to risk losing your expensive gemstones.