If you’ve recently gotten engaged, you’ve probably spent way more time than you’d like to admit just staring at the gorgeous ring your S.O. picked out, and the last thing you want to do is take off the new addition to your left hand. However, this is a piece of fine jewelry we’re talking about—meaning that it requires proper maintenance and care if you want it to last a lifetime.
And what’s one of the most important parts of the preservation process for your engagement ring? Knowing when to take it off. This is especially true since the “nature of engagement ring design means it’s exposed to many potential dangers that wedding bands aren’t,” according to the experts at Estate Diamond Jewelry.
There are a number of different scenarios in which you simply shouldn’t wear your engagement ring, and we’ve gathered some of the most important ones. So if you’ve ever wondered whether or not you can hop in the shower while wearing your ring, or if you just want to learn more about protecting your S.O.’s investment and the piece of jewelry you’ll be rocking for the rest of your life, keep reading!
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Working Out or at the Gym
This one sort of depends on what exactly you’ll be doing. Cardio? You’re probably fine. Lifting weights? You’ll want to leave the ring at home. Free weights can and will scratch or loosen the stones in your ring. If you want to be on the safe side, you should avoid wearing your engagement ring any time you’re exercising. Sweat, dirt, and oils will just build up over time. Sports are also a no-no!
In the Shower
There’s a good chance you’ve Googled, “Can I shower with my engagement ring on?” before. While some say doing so is harmless, there are still a number of associated risks, like the ring going down the drain or becoming dull and damaged from the different types of soap. At the end of the day, why take the risk?
This one is also a divisive one, but think about it—do you want to risk snagging your ring on your clothes or hair? No. There’s also the risk of the prongs coming loose and the diamond falling out, along with the fact that some sleeping positions can put pressure on your ring and slowly reshape the setting over time.
Washing Your Hands
Again, this one could go either way. In public restrooms, the answer to taking your ring off is probably “no.” You don’t want to even take the chance of leaving it behind. At home, as long as the soap you’re using isn’t overly scented or exfoliating, you should be fine.
While Getting Ready or During Your Skincare Routine
Unlike gentle hand soaps, most beauty and skincare products will have a negative effect on your engagement ring. “
“One of the biggest culprits of diamond ring dullness is build-up caused by lotions, moisturizers, sunscreen, oils and other emollient beauty products,” the team at Blue Nile wrote. “Make it part of your beauty routine to safely store your ring when applying moisturizing and other beauty products. Don’t put it back on until after you’re done doing your hair. Otherwise it can easily snag, which besides simply not feeling good, can work to loosen the setting.”
You don’t want crumbs from food or ingredients like flour getting stuck in your ring, let alone bacteria from meat or fish. Heat can also signal danger for your ring, so it’s best that you avoid wearing it while cooking.
At the Beach or Pool
Swimming in your engagement ring is never a good idea, but especially when it comes to chlorine pools. They’ll not only discolor your band and stone, but according to those at Blue Nile, your ring could become even more damaged if it contains certain materials and metal alloys: “For example, with white gold wedding rings, the rhodium will degrade in chlorine and turn it yellow.”
As for the beach or other places where you can take a dip, you still shouldn’t wear your ring. Cool/cold water shrinks your fingers, meaning your ring is more likely to fall off and therefore disappear forever.
The chemicals found in many cleaning products can damage your engagement ring. This is particularly true with bleach, which could completely discolor the metal or other parts of your ring. Just don’t risk it! Even gloves can’t necessarily protect from any potential snags.
No matter when you decided to take your engagement ring off, one of the most important things you’ll want to do as soon as you get it is getting jewelry insurance so you’re covered no matter what.