How to Care for Your Engagement Ring

Take the steps to make your ring sparkle forever with this handy guide.

How to Care for Your Engagement Ring

Photo: Unique Design Studio

Tiffany & Co. engagement ring in black box

Immediately after saying yes, your engagement ring instantly becomes one of your most valuable material possessions, both sentimentally and monetarily. It’s also something you will wear for the rest of your life, and possibly even pass down to children or grandchildren. Thus is it vital to take the utmost care of this precious piece of jewelry.

From how to carry and store your ring, to cleaning and maintaining, to knowing when and where to take your ring off, we have gathered everything you need to know to keep your prized possession as shiny and sparkly as the day you said yes.

• Insuring your ring is the first thing you should do after getting engaged – after calling your friends and family, of course. Fine jewelry can often be added to homeowners or renters insurance, but separate policies are also available if that’s preferable. 

• When taking your ring on and off, or even when picking it up, always hold the band of the ring. This both helps prevent natural oils and dirt from getting built up in the setting and keeps pressure of the stone, which may loosen it. 

• To further prevent buildup, remove your ring when applying lotion or sunscreen, heavy exercising, doing any cooking that involves mixing food with your hands, and yard work.

• You should also take off your ring when doing any household cleaning to avoid damaging it with chemicals. 

• Even when following the steps above, some buildup is inevitable. Clean your ring by soaking it in warm water and mild dishwashing liquid, or equal parts ammonia and cold water (for diamonds only, as ammonia can damage other gemstones). 

• Soaking your ring in vodka will remove any leftover residue. Be sure to rinse it off before wearing again!

• Visit your jeweler every six months to make sure the setting does not come loose, and to polish out any scratches in the band.

• Cold water can shrink your fingers, so either don't wear your ring if you go for a dip in the ocean or be extremely cautious. Pools may be safer, but it’s probably not worth the risk of damage that the chlorine can cause. 

• Have a safe, go-to place to put your ring when you have to take it off. Be sure to keep it away from any edges or drains where you could lose it.

• Make your ring go solo, even if it's not a solitaire! Diamonds can scratch metal, gemstones, and even other diamonds, so store your ring separately from the rest of your jewelry to keep everything safe.

Opening photo by KingenSmith