Caring for Your Bling

Today’s post is inspired by the fact that I had to bring my engagement ring to the jeweler for its first annual cleaning yesterday. I dropped it off at the jeweler who sold FH my ring (and who of course was trying to upsell me on the male and female wedding bands!—but apparently she gave FH a great deal on my ring so we’ll definitely consider her for the bands), which got me thinking about how I’ve been taking care of my ring, so just wanted to share that with you guys.

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Mark Schneider Engagement Rings / Image via WeddingWire.com

Remove the ring before showering, washing dishes, or any activity that involves long exposure to water.

The last thing I want is for this bad boy to fall down the drain. It’s not even worth the risk, so I pretty much always take it off before doing these activities. I am guilty of wearing it sometimes while swimming (like when I’m on vacation and I don’t feel comfortable leaving it in the hotel safe), but for the most part you should definitely avoid exposing the ring to chlorine—it can cause damage.

Buy a ring holder so you always store it in the same place.

FH bought me this adorable little elephant ring holder, so I always put the ring there whenever I remove it for a prolonged period of time. A jewelry dish also works really well. If you have a large house you may want to have more than one of these, but keep the jewelry holder/stand/dish in the same place so you always know where to find your ring.

cute-ri

Elephant Ring Holder from Urban Outfitters

Clean the ring as often as needed. (There are a number of ways to do this.)

My friend Alyssa introduced me to the art of cleaning your ring with a toothbrush and toothpaste (yup, you read that correctly). She apparently does this every day and her ring always looks impeccable. Just give it a nice light brushing (dilute with a splash of water, and you may not want to use an abrasive toothpaste as that may scratch up the gold) for 15–30 seconds to really get into all the nooks and crannies, rinse, pat dry with a towel, and voila—a sparkly ring that smells vaguely minty fresh! It may sound crazy, but it works. Just make sure you PLUG THE DRAIN BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve heard you can also use clear alcohol like vodka to clean the ring (and it kills germs too!). Also heard that dish soap, liquid detergent, or just plain old jewelry cleaning solution work too. Oh, and ALWAYS PLUG THE DRAIN BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY CLEANING.

Take your ring for an annual “checkup.”

As I mentioned above, you should take your ring once a year to the jewelers for a professional cleaning but, most importantly, to make sure that the prongs holding your diamond in place have not become loose. It’s worth it—my jeweler only charged me $25. Just make sure it’s a jeweler you can trust since they may need to keep your ring overnight. (The last thing you need is someone switching out your diamond.)

Got any more ring-care tips, bees?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Mongoose

Location:
New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013

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  1. Member
    Miss Leopard 1992 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:58 am

    I never take my ring off except once a year or so when I am making bread. My mother and grandmother wore theirs 24/7 without any issues, and I plan on doing the same. I have always heard that the most surefire way to lose your ring is to take it off often. Aren’t you worried? I’m worried for you!!!

  2. Member
    mkelove 666 posts, Busy bee @ 9:01 am

    I as well take mine off. I generally take off my jewlery once I get home from work because I have a tendancy to hit it against something. I also don’t want it getting dirty/sticky or have a prong come loose etc. during a simple activity.

  3. Member
    ddavila2001 611 posts, Busy bee @ 9:03 am

    Yeah, I also take my jewelry off when I get home- I always put it in the same spot. I just can’t cook or sleep OR workout for that matter, with jewelry on.

  4. Member
    LissaBeans 340 posts, Helper bee @ 9:15 am

    Totally agree with the ring holder advice. Before I got engaged, I had a terrible habit of taking off my rings and leaving them all over the place. There were a significant number of freakouts as to where my rings were. Then, my girlfriends bought me a ring holder as a little gift right after we got engaged, and it has been a lifesaver. It’s like autopilot – I always put it there and I don’t have to worry about it!

  5. Member
    lovelove1028 1108 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:15 am

    I take mine off to sleep (I sleep with my hands under my cheek, and the ring hurts!), as well as to do dishes or any messy cooking that requires my hands (like cookies or bread!).. I also make sure I take it off when I shower, when I do dishes, and before I swim (especially in the ocean! My best friend got married at a beach, and the day after their wedding, her hubby lost his ring in the ocean.. yikes!). I teach children with autism, and early on I was worried about possibly hurting them with it.. but no one else at my job takes theirs off (except with sensory activities like play doh, shaving cream, lotion, oobleck, etc) so neither do I now.

  6. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 9:23 am

    I take my ring often to. In fact, yesterday I forgot to put it on and off all days to not slip in on when just making a quick trip to target, I run into an old friend who of course wants to see the bling! Oh well. I usually put it on after my morning shower and I am ready for the day, its like the last part of my getting ready routine and wear it throughout the entire day unless I am doing something that involves water like you said. I take it off at night before bed because I can’t stand sleeping in jewelry and the last time I accidentally fell asleep in it I woke up with huge marks on my face from the ring (I to sleep with my hands under my face). I have also lost about 15 pounds since my FI had my ring sized 2 years ago and its to big. I need to take it in and get one of those clasps to make it smaller. I don’t want to resize it because I am actually smaller than I want to be but stress etc. has made me loose weight! But for now, it makes me afraid to wear it sometimes.

  7. Member
    mswallaby 2066 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:37 am

    I looove your ring holder! So cute! I have a simple Lenox glass ring holder that was a gift from our engagement party, but now I’m having some envy haha. I take my rings off for showering, working out, and swimming, but that’s about it. I’ve found the toothbrush cleaning method works wonders!

  8. Member
    jbarker09 382 posts, Helper bee @ 9:39 am

    i take my ring off all the time (I’m not wearing it right now) I never wear it at home because I’m usually do something (cleaning, showering) and I never wear it to the gym. I always keep it in a ring dish and that’s the ONLY time I take it off so i’m not worried at all about losing it. I’d be more worried losing it or damaging it keeping it on all the time

  9. Member
    cowpoke06 127 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:48 am

    Someone I know who takes jewelry to different events said that they use liquid tide to wash their jewelry and that the fancy cleaner is pointless. who knew!

    I bout a cool tree ring holder in my bathroom…but there’s 3 other rooms in which I take my ring off so I should get a few more. Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. Member
    buffalo 178 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:02 am

    You JUST reminded me I need to clean my ring! HAHA I’m such a slacker! But Mr. B also bought me a cute ring holder so mine would never get misplaced at home!

  11. Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 10:05 am

    @Miss Leopard: I’m not worried! Since I always keep it in the same place when I take it off, I never worry about where it is. I just worry too much about damaging it (I am very clumsy and am always bumping my hands into things). Plus I also cook alot and the last thing I want is for flecks of raw chicken or beef to end up in the little nooks of the ring lol.

  12. Member
    debeachgirl 742 posts, Busy bee @ 10:41 am

    My MOH got me a beautiful Belleek ring holder with shamrocks for an engagement present. It happily sits on my kitchen counter for when I am doing dishes. I used to keep the ring box on my bedroom dresser for showering and to take it off to sleep, then a lovely friend bought be a Waterford ring holder for my bridal shower. Now my ring is always in one of those two places. It was even there after an evening when I may have imbibed a bit much and didn’t recall taking my ring off. See that habit paid off, no fear when I woke up that morning.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Nila, Guest @ 11:12 am

    I always take mine off too, and I have one of those little black velvet stands like you see in a jeweler’s display case that I got on eBay for like, $3. Since I work with a lot of things like paint creating items for my shop on a daily basis I feel better knowing I am not going to get anything like E6000 glue on my rings so they spend a lot of time on that little stand. I keep it on my desk and that way I know my rings are safe. I put them there before showering on going to bed as well. I put them on before I leave the house for anything (even my daily post office run!) and I clean them with jewelry cleaner about twice a week and they sparkle like crazy.

  14. Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 3:31 pm

    sometimes i’ll put windex + water and heat it in the microwave for like 10 seconds ( no more, it’ll burn) then put my ring in that. super shiny!

  15. Member
    riverbride13 678 posts, Busy bee @ 8:10 pm

    This is *NOT* a sales pitch, just something I genuinely find cool. I recently found a website with ring holding necklaces. They have different shapes and you can slip your ring onto the pendant without having to remove it from the chain. I want one so bad for working out, manicures, cleaning, etc. It’s emilyc.com

  16. Member
    TDotDeltaDiva 14 posts, Newbee @ 10:15 pm

    I love, love, LOVE that ring holder…but I’m too scared to take my ring off. I know I’ll loose it.

  17. Member
    mrshollinger 1013 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:39 am

    I am planning on making this to hold my ring.

    http://saucypants.com/blog/2011/08/15/fab-display-for-an-engagement-ring-or-other-trinket/

    I am terrible and almost never take off my ring. I have been trying to remember to take it off to shower, and I really shouldn’t wear it at work.

  18. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 12:02 pm

    Your ring holder is adorable! I take my rings off while sleeping and working out, you can damage the prongs on sheets or blankets, plus they just get uncomfortable to wear all the time.

  19. Member
    nokiirat 54 posts, Worker bee @ 6:43 pm

    I never took off my ring
    !!!

  20. Member
    mariewest 304 posts, Helper bee @ 8:28 pm

    I work at a jewelry store and I inspect women’s rings daily. Girls, please take off your rings! The world won’t end and I swear you won’t loose it. I agree that having a place to put it, like in it’s box (or on a cute elephant) is a good idea. I put mine in it’s box every night when I sleep, when I do dishes, when I shower, and when I work out or do anything messy with my hands. You would be surprised how dirty rings can get and the wear the prongs can go through. It is easy diamonds can become loose and fall out if the prongs are not taken care of. Some stores will inspect and clean your ring for free, take advantage of that the next time you are at the mall.

  21. Member
    clairebear000 309 posts, Helper bee @ 6:24 am

    I leave my ring on as much as possible, really I think if I take it off I am going to lose it! Only when I have a bath or when I go play volleyball do I take it off (mostly so I don’t scratch the rest of my team!)
    I chose my E-ring to be really practical anyway so I can wear it everywhere, and I find that after doing the washing up my diamonds sparkle like crazy!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Margot, Guest @ 11:09 am

    I actually use the steam wand on my espresso maker to clean my rings about once a month. As its just strong jetting steam, it does wonders to get oils and hand cream and soap and things out of tiny crooks and holes without worrying about scratching it or using soaps or chemicals. I’d definitely recommend it – we just use tongs to hold the ring in place so we don’t burn our hands!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristy, Guest @ 11:11 am

    @Miss Leopard: I’m with you! I never take mine off unless I’m putting my hands in something gross or gooey (dough or making meatloaf). I even lift weights with it on! It fits snugly, meaning it’s not going to slip off while I’m doing dishes or washing my hair. I do have a ring holder though (bunny ears!) for the times I do take it off to knead dough.

  24. Member
    Rubies 887 posts, Busy bee @ 11:13 am

    Mine is actually off more than its on. I put my hands through a lot in a day, and I’d rather not have it damaged. I am switching to a plain band after we are married since it fits in better with my lifestyle.

    There are some interesting stories out there of women who never took their rings off, then had to go in for surgery and because their finger had grown larger, they had to have them cut off with like a saw! Another woman had her skin actually growing into the ring!

    So, while I am all for leaving it on a lot, maybe at least a once a month take it off, give it a little polish and give the skin beneath the ring some air.

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Sydney, Guest @ 11:32 am

    Good advice about the ring holder!! Although my jeweler just mentioned to me not to use toothpaste since it will do some damage. I’m exactly sure if its just because mine is white gold?? Just wanted to share tht little bit of info.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Mackenzie, Guest @ 11:53 am

    @Sydney: I’ve heard this too. Toothpaste is gritty. It’s meant to scrape plaque off your teeth and will over time scratch softer metals like white gold, silver and platinum.
    Someone else mentioned soaking rings in a solution of hot Windex/ammonia and hot water, I do this all the time and it works like a charm!

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Citrus Press Co, Guest @ 12:00 pm

    I take mine off through the day and it only goes back on when I go out. When I started to have kids I noticed the diamond/prongs scratched my babies or when I was trying to nurse or get them dressed or bathed, putting cream on them etc. I felt AWFUL when I scratched my first one across his face with it. It all healed fine, but being a first time mum this really made me think twice about wearing it. After that it was off unless I went to work or out – didn’t want to raise any eyebrows. I’m back to that again now that we’re on baby #2. Also, having baby-brain doesn’t help, so I have 3 spots around the house that I put – and it’s out of reach of small hands as well.

  28. Member
    Serendipity 10356 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 12:54 pm

    @mariewest: Since you work at a jewelry store, what’s your recommended way for cleaning at home?

    I personally clean with hot water and vinegar, it seems to work well for me.

    @Miss Mongoose: I would actually be careful about using toothpaste, my jeweler said it’s not a good idea. It can actually damage the stone and sometimes also sticks to it.

  29. Member
    Serendipity 10356 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 12:56 pm

    @Miss Gray Wolf: I’ve done something similar, it works well!

  30. Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 1:23 pm

    @Rubies: Whoaa that’s very disturbing about the skin growing into the ring. Gross!!

    @Margot: That’s GENIUS–I’ll have to try that :)

    @Sydney: @Mackenzie: Yea for sure, that’s why I make sure to use a regular toothpaste, not the gritty/abrasive kind. It’s been working like a charm for me so far but I know I have to be careful in choice of toothpaste.

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Amy, Guest @ 3:49 pm

    I use an ultrasonic cleaner for all my jewelry…they are AMAZING!! U can get a good one at Brookstone, I’ll tell you they will make your jewelry look and sparkle like brand new!!!

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Brandie, Guest @ 4:39 pm

    I’ve worked in jewelry for my entire adult life and told countless women to take their jewelry off. However, I hardly ever take mine off! I take care of it and I clean it professionally every day at work. Water is not going to damage a gold and diamond ring, the only danger there would be it falling down the drain.
    And $25 just to clean and inspect is a bit of a rip off! Especially if you got your ring there the cleaning should be free as many times as you want to take it by for that service. But it is very important to get your ring inspected or you’ll never know if you’re in danger of losing a diamond. All of the above mentioned cleaning methods are great but if you can, taking it to your local jeweler is the BEST clean you can get. I can clean mine at home and go to work and clean it again and it looks brighter and shinier all over.

  33. Member
    Future.McGuffee 293 posts, Helper bee @ 8:05 pm

    I use baking soda and warm water. Doesn’t harm my ring at all, and causes a gorgeous sparkle.

  34. Member
    Miss Party Cat 109 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:48 pm

    I use a baby toothbrush, hot water, and Windex. I’ve been collecting ring holders on our vacations.

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    bridalbridle, Guest @ 2:22 pm

    I’m genuinely surprised how many of you take your ring off regularly. I only ever take mine off to knead bread or put on hand cream, as it has small gaps in the sides where gooey stuff could get stuck. I know it will probably get scratched etc. but since I’m planning to wear it for my whole life, I figure it’ll get worn sometime…

  36. Member
    yuletide 58 posts, Worker bee @ 9:33 am

    I looove your ring holder! So cute!

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