When it comes to your engagement ring, it’s tempting to wear it every day, all day. But contrary to popular belief, there are certain instances where it’s a really good idea to go without your ring. Especially when you consider that there are actually some very common everyday activities that could damage your ring. You’ll want to be wearing your engagement ring for the rest of your life, so let’s review the instances when taking off your ring can help you do just that.
When to Take Off Your Engagement Ring
The Why & Where: Why It’s Important to Take Off Your Ring and Where to Put It
Before we get into the specific circumstances and activities for which you should remove your ring, it’s important to make it clear that it is indeed important to take off your ring. That may be hard to hear because of course you’d love to wear our engagement ring all the time! But knowing when to take off your ring is vital for keeping it in pristine condition and safe for many years to come.
High quality jewelry is quite durable, but it’s not indestructible. Each activity we list below can inflict its own damage, some much more substantial than others. And while rings can be cleaned and repaired, doing the proper care and taking precautions will minimize that need and extend the life of the ring.
Make it easier on yourself to remove your ring and not be concerned about losing it by having a designated place – or a few places – to put your ring for safekeeping. Keep a small jewelry dish in the kitchen, your ring box in your bedroom, and get a small cotton drawstring pouch for on the go. When you’re prepared, you’re far more likely to take off your ring when you should and know exactly where to find it again when you’re ready to put it back on.
We do it every single day, and before you tuck yourself in for the night, your ring should be coming off. Not only does it carry the threat of snagging on pajamas, hair, sheets, or even scratching your partner, but your body goes through changes at night that can adversely affect your ring.
As we’re sleeping, our extremities like hands and feet can swell because of our prone position in bed. Swollen fingers can lead to warped bands, making the ring difficult to remove and possibly leading to stones falling out. Also, if you sleep on your hands or end up in positions that put lots of pressure on your hands, this added weight can also cause these issues for your ring.
Wearing your ring while cooking exposes it to a wide range of materials that cling to your jewelry and are impossible to remove without a professional cleaning. Almost everything you might touch when preparing a meal will make our hands smelly, oily, sticky, or any number of undesirable things. Aside from all the materials that can get stuck and dry on your ring, when you’re working with anything raw, you risk germs and bacteria getting lodged into your setting and continuing to grow and fester.
You also run the risk of your ring slipping off when rinsing anything in the sink. For many, many reasons, taking off your ring when working in the kitchen is one of the best habits you can form for the safety of your ring.
The shower is a potentially dangerous place to wear your engagement ring for a couple of reasons. First, a ring can easily slip off your finger when you lather up your hands with soap. This is especially true for slippery hair conditioners. The last thing you want to happen to your ring is to have it falling down a shower drain.
Second, even if you feel like you’re rinsing your ring well, residue from any soap, shampoo, conditioner, scrub, or oil remains on the ring somewhere. A lot of times it’s obvious since oily soaps will leave a dull finish to your diamond and exfoliating scrubs can scratch the metal. But most often it’s in the nooks and crannies of your setting. Doing this often will lead to build up that attracts other dirt and grime. Not only can this build up cause accelerated physical deterioration of your ring, but it can also lead to loosening of stones due to increased pressure from beneath as it gets packed in tighter.
Moisturizing is great for our skin but terrible for your engagement ring. All of the oils and butters in lotion leave a terrible residue on your ring making the stone appear dull and lifeless. Over time, this build up can cause the same problems as if you wear your ring when showering. Lotion not only attracts more dirt and grime, but as more of it accumulates, it can increase the pressure on stone settings causing them to loosen.
To protect your engagement ring and ensure that a cloudy layer of film doesn’t form on the diamond, wait until your hands have completely dried before putting your ring back on. Applying lotion when you’re out and about is the perfect reason to keep a tiny satchel in your bag so that you have a safe place to put your ring until the lotion dries. This also ensures you won’t be accidentally leaving your ring behind anywhere.
Doing Makeup and Hair
When doing your makeup and hair, you’re working with a whole range of materials that are potentially bad for your engagement ring. All of the hairsprays, mousses, gels, and creams that go into hair are terrible for your ring if you want to keep it shiny and sparkly. Do it often enough and the buildup from these products can have lasting damage.
Your makeup presents even more issues. Fine powders that create eyeshadow, blush, face powder, and bronzer can very easily make their way into the small nooks and crannies of your ring’s setting. Since they’re so fine, they can really get to places that you simply can’t reach by cleaning at home and can do a lot of harm to the security of the stones if they’re allowed to build up.
Taking off your ring while working out is an absolute must! First of all, working out is a very “hand heavy” activity meaning that the chances of the ring being hit and bumped repeatedly is very high. Although most engagement rings are made to be durable, there is simply no way they can hold up to that kind of recurrent impact. But also, anything involving weightlifting or bodyweight movements put pressure on metals used for settings. This continued pressure can change the shape of the ring, risking bent prongs and stones falling out.
Secondly, our salty sweat can do a lot of damage, especially to the metal of the engagement ring. Aside from sweat, our bodies also secrete oil when we work out. This will quite easily bond to the ring and cause build up that can be difficult to clean when it’s given time to accumulate.
At the Beach or Pool
There are lots of reasons to never wear your engagement ring at the beach, in the ocean, or while swimming in a pool. For one, cold water causes your fingers to “shrink” or contract, making it so easy for a looser fitting engagement ring to just slip off and disappear in the ocean or down a pool drain.
The sandy beach is also a perfect recipe for miniscule grains of sand to get wedged into the setting of your engagement ring, causing prongs to loosen and adding pressure underneath stones. And since you’ll be applying and reapplying sunscreen, you run the same risk of grimy residue from the sunscreen ruining the shine and luster of your ring.
For the pool, chlorine can seriously affect the metal of your engagement ring, especially if it’s a treated metal like white gold. Chlorine and other harsh pool chemicals will strip the rhodium plating right off of white gold, turning the ring yellow much faster. If the ring is not very well cleaned after, they will continue to eat away at the metal.
Cleaning is another one of those “hand heavy” activities. And banging your ring while dusting a bookshelf or knocking it against the side of the bathtub as you rinse it is a great way to loosen stones and scratch or dent the metal of the band. If you’re considering bigger projects like painting a room, cleaning out the garage or organizing kitchen cabinets, you definitely don’t want your engagement ring in the mix.
On top of the physical risk to your ring, cleaning products can contain some very harsh chemicals. Household cleaners can commonly contain ingredients like bleach and ammonia, two chemicals that can permanently damage both the metal and the stone. Even if you’re wearing gloves, it’s just not a safe activity for your ring to be present.
It’s totally natural to want to wear your engagement ring all of the time. But when you factor in the big picture and that you want to wear and enjoy your ring for many years to come, taking your ring off for a few minutes or hours while you do these activities is going to help ensure that you can do exactly that!