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When to Take Off Your Engagement Ring

Written by Anna Currell
August 29, 2022

An engagement ring is likely to be one of your most valuable and most often worn pieces of jewelry. To keep it in tip top shape for the long haul, it’s important to take good care of it! While having your engagement ring cleaned and polished regularly is a solid start, there are even more preventative steps you can take to ensure the safety of your ring day in and day out. So, when should you take off your engagement ring? Here are a few suggestions: 

Before You Shower, Swim, or Wash the Dishes

While most engagement rings are designed to be durable, regular submersion in water can still lead to some deterioration or dulling. Keep your ring untarnished and intact by taking it off before doing activities that involve drenching your hand in water for long periods of time like showering, swimming, or washing the dishes. Another reason to keep your ring out of the shower is the soaps and products you may use while washing. Some of these products, like shampoo, soaps, and natural oils, could create build-up of film, which could lessen the shine of your gemstone. The rule of thumb: you should take off your engagement ring whenever there's a chance of water submersion. 

At The Beach

Over time, all gemstones and metal can get damaged when exposed to rough substances. The trick to keeping your ring pristine is to avoid instances where the metal can be scratched as well. Did you know that the main component of sand is quartz? Quartz is a pretty hard material, which means that sand can be rough and damaging to your ring. Not to mention that those tiny particles of sand can get anywhere — including the tiny crevices between gemstones and their settings, for example. If your ring contains a diamond, the chances of gem damage are slim, but not impossible. Extensive exposure to a rough substance like sand can increase the likelihood of scratching the gem. Diamonds are high on the Mohs scale (a scale which categorizes the hardness of a mineral), but there are plenty of other popular engagement ring gems that are softer and easier to damage. 


A cubic zirconia ring before and after replacement.

Aside from the sand, the beach poses a lot of dangers to your ring. The salt water can be tarnishing to your ring as it can dull the gem. Sunscreen is another substance that can create a layer of film on your ring and create a residue buildup. And worst of all, you wouldn’t want to lose your ring to the ocean! Be sure to take off your engagement ring before hitting the beach.

Playing (Most) Sports

Some jewelry is made for sports! Tennis bracelets are a fun way to accessorize while on the court, and many golfers are bedazzled in earrings and necklaces while on the green. Golf and tennis are relatively low impact, meaning that any jewelry worn while playing is unlikely to be put under too much stress (if you’re playing the right way, that is). 

However, we’d recommend leaving your ring at home while playing many other high impact sports, like volleyball, kickboxing, cycling, sailing, lacrosse, hockey, and swimming, just to name a few. The main rule of thumb is to avoid any sport where your ring will be doused in sweat (since its salt content can be damaging) or could come in contact with any object that could dent, bend, scratch, or snag your ring; you wouldn’t want your ring caught on a net or whacked by a hockey stick. Similarly, lifting weights with a ring on can cause your ring to bend and become misshapen over time, and could also give your hands blisters, so it’s probably best to take your engagement ring off before hitting the gym. 

While Using Any Chemicals

To avoid more serious damage, we recommend taking your engagement ring off before using any household chemicals. Bleaching the bathtub or chlorinating the pool, for example, are great activities to do without your ring. The worst case scenario when a ring comes into contact with these kinds of

 chemicals is the metal actually dissolving beyond repair! These results, while extreme, can occur through extended or frequent exposure, so it’s a good idea to remove your ring before touching any kind of chemical. Most of us come into contact with more everyday chemicals than we realize, including laundry detergent, bleach, and deep cleaning solvents around the house. 

There are plenty of other circumstances and activities that could damage your ring, so use your best judgment. Even if you do everything you can to avoid damaging your engagement ring, accidents happen. If you find that your engagement ring’s metal gets bent, its prongs become damaged, or it needs to be polished, contact our expert, certified jewelers for help.

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