When to Take Off an Engagement Ring: 8 Times When You Shouldn't Wear a Ring
The engagement ring is one of the most widely accepted and beloved symbols of commitment and eternity. It’s customary to wear an engagement ring around the clock, rarely removing it even to sleep or bathe. At the same time, this cherished keepsake is one of the most precious and expensive things in the jewelry box, and losing it or damaging it would be downright devastating.
Yet many of the basic things we do each day are not good for our expensive, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Here are some examples of times you should leave the silver, gold, platinum and diamonds in the safe and rock a silicone ring instead!
1. When you’re washing dishes and cleaning. At all costs, keep your abrasive cleaning supplies away from your expensive metal jewelry! Even the most basic household cleaners — including detergent, bleach and chlorine — can cause your jewelry to stain or tarnish. Water damage is a concern too because it can cause components to rust, loosen or discolor. And we’ve all heard horror stories of heirloom rings slipping down the drain! Some good rubber gloves or a ring tray in the kitchen can help safeguard your ring.
2. When you’re working with chemicals, paint or dye. Keep your jewelry away from anything that could alter its color or finish. Harsh chemicals can abrade the surface and cause discoloration. Naturally, paints and dyes are a no-no because they can permanently stain or color your ring.
3. When you’re working out. You shouldn’t wear your engagement ring while working out because you’re putting yourself at risk of injury while also exposing your jewelry to situations that could cause tarnishing, scratching, snapping or warping. For example, strongly gripping a heavy metal dumbbell could put tons of pressure on a softer gold ring, causing it to snap or scratch. Sweat isn’t the best for your shiny jewelry either, as it can dull its brilliance and speed up your need for routine cleanings.
4. When you’re swimming or showering. Chlorine, sun and saltwater are not great for expensive precious metals or gemstones. The harsh chlorine and saltwater can cause discoloration and erode the finish of most precious metals, including gold, silver, stainless steel and platinum, while regular exposure to sunlight can cause your gemstones to fade.
5. When you’re getting ready. Though it probably won’t cause permanent damage, your beauty routine can leave jewelry covered in a gross film that dulls its brilliance and looks dirty. Don’t put on your jewelry until after you’ve applied any moisturizers, makeup, oil, hairspray, dry shampoo or perfume. Some of these products do contain harsh chemicals or dyes that could permanently alter the look or quality of your jewelry.
6. When you’re working around heavy machinery. We don’t want to get too graphic, but there’s a thing called ring avulsion injuries, and it’s really scary. Suffice it to say that rings and heavy machinery — anything sharp, mechanical or complex — are never a good match.
7. When you’re working with electricity. The same goes for electricity. In fact, precious metal rings should never be worn by electrical workers because they can conduct electricity and cause electrical burns. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends wearing jewelry only if it is non-conducive, such as silicone rings.
8. When you’re cooking. Most likely, the ingredients you’re working with are safe to eat, so they’re probably fairly safe to come into contact with your expensive jewelry. With that being said, rings can harbor germs and bacteria that could spread illness, so it’s much more sanitary to remove them before working in the kitchen. Metal rings bring some danger, too, as they can get caught on heavy machinery. Of course, the kitchen is also full of jewelry destroyers — harsh cleaners, high heat, heavy machinery, etc.
Want to Keep It On? Go Silicone
There are two simple reasons why you shouldn’t wear your expensive jewelry a lot of the time: it’s finicky and it’s expensive. The solution? Keep your cherished engagement ring in a jewelry box or safe and wear a much more durable, flexible and affordable silicone ring in its place.