Photo by Lauren Richmond on Unsplash

Your wedding band is with you for life, but the dirt it collects doesn’t have to be.

Cleaning your wedding band may seem like a no-brainer, but most of us—including Men’s Health Executive Fashion and Grooming Director Brian Boye – never think to do it or keep pushing it off.

“It’s really easy to do it yourself,” Boye says. “In just a few minutes, your band can go from dull to brilliant. If only solving relationship issues were so easy.”

You should aim to clean your ring at least once a month to keep it looking new and to protect the band from gunk build-up. That said, there’s no need to invest in a jewelry polish—or even leave your kitchen.

Here are four easy ways to sneak in a cleaning while you’re doing something else.


1. Clean your wedding band while doing the dishes 

Band type: Any, with or without gemstones

When you’re scrubbing plates, set a clean cup aside and fill it with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Drop in your band and let it soak until you’re finished cleaning. (For the best results, let soak for about 20 to 40 minutes).

The mild detergents in common dish soaps use a mixture of surfactants, which break down and loosen away gunk from the surface of your band—just like food particles left on your dishes.

If your band has any gemstones, use an old, soft toothbrush to gently scrub away any extra dirt that may be trapped in their settings.


2. Clean your wedding band while knocking back a cold beer 

Band type: Gold (any kind) or gold-plated, without gemstones

For solid gold bands, turn to a light gold brew. (Dark ones can leave stains.)

The hops used in beer brewing contain alpha acids that work to polish off dirt and grime from gold. Since light beers contain less hops, they have just the right acidity to polish and protect your gold.

Just pour a little beer onto a washcloth and then rub the cloth all over your band. Dry with a second, clean towel.

See also: A guide to wedding and engagement ring settings.


3. Clean your wedding band while having lunch

Band type: Silver (any kind), without gemstones

Ketchup can also polish silver. Use it with an old toothbrush (it’ll help get into cracks and crevices) to scrub your solid silver band.

The combination of vinegar (found in most common ketchups) and the naturally occurring acids in tomatoes react strongly with the chemical makeup of silver to break down gunk.

And we don’t say “strong” lightly—leaving ketchup on for too long can cause your metal to begin breaking down, so make sure to rinse as soon as possible.

See also: How much would a 1-carat diamond ring cost.


4. Clean your wedding band while curing a headache 

Band type: Any, with or without gemstones

The next time you’re waiting for your Alka-Seltzer to dissolve, drop two extra tablets in a cup filled with warm water.

Place your band in, soak for 20 minutes, remove, and dry. The fizz that forms from a chemical reaction between sodium bicarbonate and anhydrous citric acid will help to loosen away caked-on crud.

See also: Which metal is best for your wedding rings.

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