There are very few pieces of jewelry that are able to signify love quite like the wedding band. Serving as a visual representation of a couple's union, this accessory is a symbol of one's eternal devotion to their partner; which is why caring for your wedding band is extremely important and should be placed at the top of your priority list. "Your wedding band is meant to last a lifetime! Caring for your ring will ensure it lasts forever and can be preserved as a family heirloom," shares legendary jeweler Neil Lane.
While most couples acknowledge the significance of protecting their wedding bands, it can sometimes be hard to remember the exact rules to follow when wearing this piece of jewelry. If you constantly find yourself asking whether it's acceptable to clean the house with your ring on, or if certain chemicals have the potential to damage your piece, you're not alone. These are questions many couples have, and seeking the answers to these inquiries will help preserve the essence and quality of your band.
So, to help you navigate the best practices for wearing this precious piece, we sought the expert advice of Neil Lane—who has his own engagement ring and wedding band collection with Kay Jewelers—to help break down the top five ways you're putting your wedding band at risk. Follow these pro tips to ensure that your jewelry is kept in pristine shape for generations to come.
Meet the Expert
Neil Lane is a world-renowned, Los Angeles-based jeweler with an eponymous collection at Kay Jewelers. His line offers a variety of jewelry styles from yellow gold and diamond rings to traditional, diamond-encrusted white gold bands.
As it pertains to wedding bands (and all jewelry), it's imperative that you take off your ring before any workout. "It is highly recommended that you do not wear your wedding band at the gym, while exercising or playing sports, due to risk of wear and tear," Lane shares.
We understand that you may always want to wear your wedding band (and that's generally encouraged), but there's a time and place for everything, and wearing a gold and diamond ring to the gym just isn't necessary. Instead, purchase a silicone ring for your workout days, as they are durable enough to withstand any strenuous activity.
"It’s important to store your ring in a safe and dry place while at the spa, or when you’re swimming," says Lane. "Not only do you risk losing your jewelry, but the salt and chemicals can damage your ring."
The last thing you want to deal with is having to search for your wedding band at the bottom of a pool (or worse, losing it in the ocean!), or finding out that your ring has signs of erosion and irreplaceable damage. All jewelry runs the risk of getting damaged when engaging in water activities, so simply put, it's best to steer clear of any mishaps when your wedding band is involved.
This should go without saying, but it's never a good idea to mix precious metals with harsh chemicals. When cleaning any space, you should always remember to remove your wedding band before handling products like bleach or ammonia.
According to Lane, "if you’re using chemical agents to clean the house, it’s best to first remove your ring and store it for safekeeping. These chemicals can be very harsh on the ring, and can affect the color or leave it looking cloudy." Another tip: If you don't want to take off your wedding band (for fear of losing it), just be sure to wear gloves in order to protect your accessory from any potential chemical corrosion.
Though it may be convenient to keep your wedding band on while showering and getting ready, Lane recommends storing this accessory in a safe place until you've completed all personal grooming tasks. "Products like shampoo, conditioner, perfume/cologne, and hair spray can cause build-up on your ring," he notes. "Slip your rings on as the finishing touch at the end." Additionally, if possible, keep a ring dish in your bathroom as a reminder to remove your wedding band before getting the shower.
A wedding band is a precious accessory that should be safeguarded from any form of potential damage. That said, "if you work in a labor-intensive environment, it may be best to leave the ring at home," advises Lane.
As previously mentioned, opting for a silicone ring might be your best bet if you constantly have to work with your hands on a day-to-day basis. Your ring may not seem delicate, but it should be treated with the utmost care.