When you slip your engagement ring on your finger, you imagine you’ll never take it off, right? Wrong! There are a few times that you should absolutely remove your ring to protect it, so that it stays beautiful for the rest of your life. These are the top five times you should take off your ring:





Cleaning

CLEANING

Harsh chemicals from household cleaners can scratch or tarnish the metal of your ring – or even, in the case of rubies, emeralds and sapphires in particular, damage the stone itself. It’s best to remove your ring or wear sturdy, waterproof gloves to protect your hands and jewelry.





Gardening

GARDENING

The worst case scenario? Losing your ring in the dirt! Gardening also allows dirt to get into every nook and cranny of your ring, and could even loosen prongs if they catch on something. Your best bet is to remove rings before working in the garden, unless you have protective gloves.





SWIMMING

Never—we repeat, never—swim with your ring on, especially in open bodies of water like lakes and the ocean. Cool water can make your fingers shrink, and rings can slip off very easily when you submerge your hands. Don’t risk it; leave your rings on dry land.





PAMPERING

Lotion, cosmetics, sunscreen, hairspray. Avoid getting these things on your ring to keep it sparkling. While they’re unlikely to damage your ring, they’ll certainly make it look dirty very quickly. Just remove your rings before applying them. Easy.





WORKING OUT

If you regularly lift weights, play tennis, golf or use exercise equipment like a stationary bike, you should seriously consider removing your ring during your workouts. Tightly gripping weights or equipment can wear on your ring and scratch the metal. Be especially careful if your ring has an eternity band with stones all the way around, as the prongs can be affected by constant wear and tear, and stones can be knocked loose. Your best bet is to take off your ring while you sweat and put it back on after your post-workout shower.





Remember, when you do take off your engagement ring, it’s a smart idea to have a special place where you always keep it. Check out our top Storage Secrets for ideas on how to create the perfect spot to put your ring when it’s not safely on your finger.