9 Ways You’re Ruining Your Engagement Ring

A woman ruining her engagement ring as she's wearnig it while she's washing her hair.

When it comes to protecting your engagement ring, what should you know? It’s a piece of rock attached to a piece of metal—how hard could protecting it be? Answer: it’s harder than you may think! Don’t panic yet, but there may be a few ways you could be treating your ring better if you want to get full longevity out of your gleaming bauble. Here’s nine ways you may be ruining your engagement ring right now, and how you can prevent future damage.

1. You Don’t Take it off When You Shower

You may think that leaving your wedding or engagement ring on while you shower kills two birds with one stone but, unfortunately, you’re wrong. (If only things were that easy!) Actually, the chemical compounds in your shampoos and soaps can deposit cloudy patches onto your diamond or gemstone. It’s best to leave the ring outside the shower. While you’re at it, be extra careful with your exfoliating face washes too, as a lot of these can cause micro scratches on gemstones and some metal bands.

2. You Set it and Forget It

Sometimes leaving your ring off can be your downfall, too. A lot of proud engagement ring owners take their rings off before any risky activities that could cause damage—but then leave their precious ring in a dangerous locale. You might think the side of the kitchen sink or the shelf in the bathroom are totally fine for ring-stashing, but think of the unfortunate possibilities. On the shelf, your ring can easily be knocked onto a tile or stone floor while the side of the sink tends to get soaked with filmy water. If you’re already taking your ring off to save it, you’re halfway there. Just make sure to store it in a safer place.

3. You Leave it on While You’re Cooking

A woman cooking in the kitchen without her engagement ring to protect it.

Different types of food can actually damage your ring. You might’ve already known this, but it’s probably not a good idea to make your own homemade pasta while wearing your band. It’s probably not a great idea to do any type of dough kneading, marinating, or meat tenderizing, either. The food particles can not only get caught in the tiny gaps of your ring, but they can also leave a gross film on your gem. Just remember to take the ring off before you start work in the kitchen.

4. You’re Using the Wrong Type of Cleaner on the Ring

You might think you’re saving money and time by cleaning your rings yourself intead of taking it to a jeweler—and you are! But did you know that not all cleaners are created equal? Especially when you consider all the new and unique combinations of gemstones and precious metals in modern engagement rings, not all cleansers will work for your piece of jewelry. For instance, while ammonia and cold water work great for diamonds, the combo isn’t great for a lot of other gems. And a good soaking of water and dish soap works well for most gems—except for opals, which should never be submerged in water. Research the best cleaners for your particular gemstones and stick to that.

5. You’re Not Giving it any Maintenance

With the cleaning comes a little thing we like to call ring maintenance. If you notice your settings are starting to loosen or you have a few scratches, it’s important to take your ring in to get these things repaired. When you bring in your engagement ring for upkeep, you seriously extend its lifespan.

6. You’re not Getting it Cleaned Regularly

Someone cleaning a diamond engagement ring with a brush and soapy bubbles.

Just like with anything else, regular cleanings can help maintain the beauty of your engagement ring. Think about all the little particles of grime getting caught in your ring daily. If you clean those out every now and then, there’s less of a chance your ring will be permanently affected by this daily grime. You can clean your ring yourself or take it back to the jewelers to get that extra shine. Some jewelers even provide this service for free!

7. You Wear it While Cleaning the House

The conventional products we use to clean our homes have tons of bad stuff in them, including solvents and chemicals that can damage the stones on our wedding rings. Even if you’re doing a light clean-up, you want to avoid getting your ring grimy. The best call is that if you’re going to clean, take it off.

8. You’re not Storing it Safely

Each stone has a toughness and hardness level that may supersede others in your jewelry box. For instance, if you throw your opal ring in with diamond jewelry, your opal could be damaged. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone, so if your ring includes other stones, keep that in mind.

9. You Wear the Ring to the Gym

Some women hanging upside down in aeiral wraps at a gym.

If you’re doing some hardcore workouts and you’re leaving your engagement ring on, you might want to reconsider. There are a lot of things that could go wrong here including just plain losing your ring. Not to mention, you could damage the stone, settings, and band. This is especially true of intense workouts like boxing that threaten the structure of your ring. When in doubt, leave your ring out of the ring.

Now you’re an expert at keeping your ring absolutely perfect! Just as a recap, keep your ring clean and fixed up. Take it off at the appropriate times and when you do, store it the right way. If you take care of it, just like your marriage it will last forever and bring you joy!

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