Cleaning Titanium Jewelry
You can clean your titanium jewelry in three simple steps:
1. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water, and add some mild dishwashing liquid.
2. Soak your titanium ring or other jewelry in the solution for about 5 minutes, and then gently rub the dirt off the pieces with a soft cloth.
3. After your jewelry is clean, rinse it with water and dry it with a clean towel (leaving titanium pieces to air dry may cause them to spot).
Titanium can also be cleaned using ammonia (you can use Windex, which contains ammonia) or jewelry cleaning solutions sold at the store.
You can also clean your titanium jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, keep in mind that it is not recommended for your metal pieces to be in contact with the hard surface of the ultrasonic device during the cleaning.
One solution is to hang your titanium rings and other items on a rubber-covered cup hook screwed into a wine cork; then, float the suspended jewelry in the cleaning liquid so that the piece doesn’t touch the bottom of the container.
Warning: If your rings or other jewelry pieces are made of colored (anodized) titanium, you should only use soap, water and ammonia (or Windex) on them; harsher cleaning solutions can discolor anodized titanium.
Cleaning Colored Titanium
When cleaning titanium jewelry that has been anodized to change its color, you should be especially careful: Rubbing anodized titanium hard or scrubbing it may damage the piece’s colored layer.
To clean colored titanium rings or other jewelry, follow these steps:
1. First, soak the jewelry in a solution of warm water and mild soap for several minutes to remove dirt. However, do not scrub the pieces or you may damage their colored layer. Rinse the jewelry with water.
2. Next, soak the items for a couple of minutes in ammonia or Windex. Clean them by patting gently with a clean towel while applying very light pressure, as if you were cleaning your glasses. Do not scrub the jewelry as hard rubbing may damage its oxide layer, which gives the piece its color.
3. Rinse the jewelry with water, and pat the items dry with a clean, soft towel. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow your pieces dry. Do not leave titanium to air dry if you don’t want your jewelry to look spotted afterwards.
If you notice any discoloration in your anodized titanium jewelry, you can have it anodized again: Jewelers who work with titanium often offer such a service for a fee.
Cleaning Titanium Rings with Gemstones
You should be careful when cleaning titanium jewelry containing gemstones: Many gems can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners or some jewelry cleaning solutions, so these options are not recommended unless you are certain that they are safe for your stones.
Choose a cleaning method that is appropriate for the particular gemstones you have and will not damage them. Diamonds are quite durable, but softer gems should be handled with care. For example, pearls and opals are especially vulnerable.
If you are not sure how your stones should be cleaned, err on the side of caution: Do not soak your gemstone jewelry in water, and only use a soft, damp cloth to wipe dirt off your stones.
Wearing Titanium Jewelry
As you wear your titanium jewelry, it will inevitably scratch over time. Although this metal is very durable and hard to damage, it is not completely scratch resistant.
This is why you should remove your titanium rings and other jewelry when engaging in activities that can expose your items to the risk of bumps, hits and damage.
If your titanium ring contains other metals such as gold or platinum, avoid wearing it when you are in the shower or in the swimming pool. The chlorine found in the water can damage the other metals in your titanium jewelry.
Polishing Titanium Rings and Other Jewelry
If your titanium jewelry is not very dirty, you can just polish it using a polishing cloth, which you can buy at any jewelry store.
To remove small scratches from your titanium rings or other jewelry, you can polish your pieces using cream metal polish: Rub the cream onto the piece using a soft cloth, and then rinse the polish with water and mild soap.
Alternatively, you can take your titanium pieces to a jewelry store and have them polished by a professional.
Credit: Special thanks to Bill Seeley, President of Reactive Metals Studio, who provided expert advice for this article.