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10 Times to Consider Taking Your Engagement Ring Off (And Why)

Diamonds are forever—or so they say—as long as you treat them with the proper care. You can start by following these guidelines about when to take off your engagement ring.

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If you’re newly-engaged, you probably want to flaunt your engagement ring whenever possible, and we 100% support that! But in order to keep your bling safe and looking its best, there are a handful of occasions when to take off your engagement ring. Along with being a meaningful token from your future spouse, your engagement ring is one of the most valuable items you'll ever own, and it's important to make sure that it lasts for years to come. By doing regular at-home ring cleanings and taking your engagement ring off for certain activities, you'll ensure that it stays as beautiful as it was when you first got it!

Here's exactly when to take off your engagement ring for safe keeping.

Washing your hands

It's true that a quick rinse of soap and water can be good for your engagement ring every now and then, but over-cleansing can contribute to the general wear and tear on your jewelry. This is especially true if you tend to use moisturizing or lotion-based soaps, which will cause buildup on the ring's stones and metal over time. If you live in an area with hard water, the high levels of calcium and other minerals in the water can also dull the shine of your engagement ring (you'll know what we mean if you've ever noticed white scaling or spots on your faucets and dishes). When possible, we recommend removing your engagement ring before washing your hands—it's okay to skip doing so if you're using a public restroom or other location where your ring is at risk of getting lost. 

And while we're on the subject of washing hands, it's important to mention that hand sanitizer is generally harmless to your engagement ring. Most precious metals and stones will be fine with moderate hand sanitizer use, but softer stones, such as opals and pearls, can be damaged or discolored by higher levels of alcohol.   

Working out or playing sports

Fast-paced movements, equipment, and sweat will all increase the likelihood of damaging your ring—it could get caught on loose clothing, hit a hard surface, or even hurt someone else if you're playing a team sport. And if your ring accidentally falls off while you're outdoors (running, rock climbing, etc.), you might not even realize it's missing until it's too late. 


Being in the water, especially if it’s cold, causes your fingers to temporarily shrink. Even if your ring is normally a snug fit (find out how to get it properly sized here), it could easily slip off in cold water and get lost. Pool chemicals, such as chlorine, can harm or discolor your ring by weakening the stone and metal. If you're at the beach, things get really messy when you add sunscreen or sand into the mix (not to mention that crashing waves make it nearly impossible to ever find your ring again if it falls off in the ocean). Going for a dip, whether it's in a pool, lake, or ocean, is one of the most important times when to take off your engagement ring—trust us, it's not worth the risk.

Washing dishes

You can probably imagine the scenario here: you’re washing dishes when suddenly your ring slips off and falls down the drain. Yikes! If you don’t want to remove your ring every time you wash dishes, invest in a pair of rubber gloves. They'll keep your ring safe and will also help your hands stay soft and moisturized.

Showering or taking a bath

Showering with your ring on exposes it to soapy suds, conditioners, and gritty scrubs. These products can scratch or stick to your ring, leaving residue that will make it look lackluster. 

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Cooking or baking

Don’t worry about removing your ring if you’re making a simple meal—chances are you won't do too much damage if you're only heating up a can of soup or eating cereal. But if the cooking process is more hands-on, for example kneading dough, cutting vegetables or making fresh burgers, you should take your ring off. At the very least, you don’t want food getting stuck between the stones or in the setting (if that happens, here's how to easily clean an engagement ring at home).


While you’re asleep, your ring can get caught on your sheets or hair, especially when you toss and turn. Over time, this can loosen the stone(s) or bend the setting. You might also scratch yourself or your S.O. if the ring has sharp edges or prongs. Keep a ring dish on your nightstand as a reminder to remove it before snoozing.

Doing housework

Cleaning, gardening, painting, moving furniture…there are a lot of different ways you can accidentally damage your ring while working around the house or renovating your space. Don’t take the chance!

Applying beauty products

Just like soaps and conditioners, applying lotion and other beauty products while you’re wearing your ring will create product buildup over time. Some abrasive chemicals, such as acetone and toothpaste, may even discolor or weaken the ring. To keep it in top shape, only put your ring on after you've finished your beauty routine. Be sure to give it a gentle cleaning if you accidentally forget when to take off your engagement ring.

For ring maintenance

This is an obvious one, we know. It’s important to have your ring inspected a couple times a year, and most wedding jewelers will offer this as a discounted or complimentary service if you purchased the ring from them. During the inspection, the jeweler can make any necessary adjustments, such as tightening the band, fixing loose prongs and restoring your ring to its original sparkly state with a deep cleaning.