By Kim Fusaro, Glamour
How many things have you done to mess up your engagement ring today? Probably at least two. Assuming you wear your engagement ring morning, noon and night, it's probably taking quite the beating. Here are three things you likely do every day that could lead to damage -- or just disgusting build up -- over time.
1. Slathering on Lotion. If you do a head-to-toe lotioning post-shower, even if you're careful, your ring is probably getting smeared. Best-case scenario: Your lotion contains only moisturizing ingredients (like shea butter) that will gunk up your setting and dull your diamond's sparkle, but can be soaked away pretty easily. (Drew Barrymore and I soak our engagement rings in vodka to clean them.) Worst case: Your lotion is made with exfoliating ingredients (including glycolic or alphahydroxy acids), which can wear away the metal over time.
2. Going to the Gym. This probably isn't a huge problem if you're strictly a cardio girl. I can't think of any way running or elliptical-ing with your ring would damage it. (Although if your ring is a little loose it could fly off if your fingers start to sweat.) If you're hitting the weights, however, beware of banging your ring against metal; doing so repeatedly could knock the prongs out of place, which could lead to a lost stone. And definitely take your ring off if you're swimming: When your fingers shrivel, your ring could easily slide off.
3. Scrubbing Tough-to-Clean Spots. You're probably fine to wash the dishes* and dust the shelves, but when you're scrubbing a pot with a rough sponge or pad, you're risking scratches. And if you're using chemically abrasive cleaners (say, in the bathroom or on the floors) they can eat away at the metal or damage weaker gemstones.
*If your ring is even a little loose, it's a slip-off risk with all that soap in water. Take it off to be safe.
Some wear and tear to your ring is definitely normal, and to be expected over time. Any metal will eventually show scratches, and white gold, especially, develops a patina that will change its color. (You can have your ring re-dipped to restore the metal, but I like the burnished look of worn-in white gold.) What's not normal: a bend in the band, chipped or missing stones or twisted prongs. If you notice any of those, get your ring to a jeweler immediately.
Are you good about taking your engagement ring off? Or do you wear it all the time?
I almost never take mine off, and as a result, it's generally filthy.
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