Unlike opals, peridots and amethysts, rubies are a very hard gemstone that can withstand a simple cleaning at home. In fact, cleaning ruby rings and jewelry is simple if proper protection is used on the metal setting. Use of retail jewelry cleaning solvents are simple to use and are effective on many types of gems, though there are a few home cleaning techniques that can save you some money.
Cleaning - Simple Cleaning
Take off the ring and set it in a small cup filled with warm, soapy water. Soak for 10 minutes to loosen any grime around the ruby and within the setting.
Take the ring out of the water and scrub the setting and stone gently with a soft brush or toothbrush. Be careful to avoid scratching the metal setting with the brush.
Rinse the soap from the ring by running it under warm water.
Dry the gently ring using a soft, lint-free towel. Use the towel to polish the stone and buff the metal setting.
Cleaning - Grease
Place the ring in a small container such as a cup or storage container that can be covered.
Cover the ring in rubbing alcohol or vodka. Allow the ring to sit for 30 minutes, or for an excessively dirty ring, allow it to sit overnight.
Take the ring out of the vodka. Scrub the setting and gemstone gently with a soft brush.
Rinse the ring in clear, warm water. Add a drop of dish soap to the rinse water if the ring still has dirt around the setting and scrub again with a soft brush.
Dry the ring thoroughly with a soft towel.
Cleaning - Commercial Jewelry Cleaner
Submerge the ring in the cup provided with the jewelry cleaner. Follow the manufacturer's directions for soaking time, and set a timer to go off to remind you to retrieve the ring.
Use the brush supplied with the cleaner, or a soft household brush, to gently scrub the surface of the ruby and the metal setting.
Rinse the ring with warm water to remove any residue from the cleaner. Dry the ring using the towel provided with the ring cleaner, or a soft, lint-free towel.
Cleaning - Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners
Place the ring in the cleaning tray. Fill the cleaner's tank with warm water and a drop of dish soap.
Place the tray inside the cleaning appliance. Close the lid of the jewelry cleaner and turn the unit on to clean the jewelry.
Allow the ring to sit in the cleaner for a few minutes after the cycle to allow dirt and grime to settle to the bottom of the cleaning tank.
Dry the ring with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Be sure to clean rings over plugged sinks and away from places where stones can be lost if they fall out of the setting.
Use extreme care when cleaning ruby rings to prevent snagging the setting prongs or scratching the surface of the metal setting.
When using commercial cleaning solutions and appliances, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for rubies and precious metals.