When you shouldn’t wear your engagement ring

I can’t go past a list, especially a good ol’ ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ – even more so if its on weddings.

This one, well, I couldn’t help but read it aloud to The Mister in my best western suburbs roll-of-the-tongue purr.

(Whatever is italicised is the original article, verbatim.)

Yeah, it's great but take it off, really, take the damn thing off.

Put On Lotion, Makeup and Hair Products:

Build up of makeup, lotion, hair products and creams can mask the brilliance of the diamonds in your ring.  Hairspray and some hair chemicals can eat away at gold and also dull the surface of diamonds and gemstones.

In my experience, if I even consider slapping on some NARS with any of my rings on, I know I’m going to have a bad time. Yes, the above advice is sage, however, screw the ring, what about your hands that you can’t seem to wash properly after you’ve applied your tinted moisturiser?

Eventually you’re going to have to take off the rings and wash them again, right? Also, don’t forget that rings are on your fingers. Even after washing your hands to apply makeup, it doesn’t take long for the germs to surge back (remember Kate Winslet in Contagion? ‘Stop touching your face’) especially the ones that take shelter near your rings.

Do this – Take your rings off, wash hands, apply makeup, wash excess off your hands, dry hands, put rings back on.

Otherwise it goes like this: Wash hands, apply makeup, makeup gets smushed up into your rings, wash hands, take off rings, wash rings, lose rings down sink, cry, call plumber, can’t afford plumber’s call-out fee, makeup gets more tear-streaked, get out tools, boot up You Tube tutorial, start to disassemble bathroom vanity, pipes burst, bathroom ruined, forced to go on House Rules.

But that’s just makeup. If you have ring that has ‘claws’ – the bits that hold onto the diamond or other stone – it can get caught while doing your hair. Similar to how the tiniest little nick in your fingernail can catch your loose strands and feel like it’s about to scalp you if you pull any harder – or if your ringed-up or split nail gets too close to your perfectly smooth ponytail – one little pull can force you to start again.


There are many dangers when it comes to swimming with a ring — chlorine in some swimming pools can also cause damage to your ring, especially if its prolonged.  It may cause the metal to deteriorate.  Another potential problem is swimming in cold water may cause your ring to come loose and fall off – in a pool, it can be rescued- but if you lose your ring in the ocean or a lake, good luck getting it back.

Fab advice here. Except it’s in the wrong order. I would warn of the dangers of loose rings before the harshness of chlorinated pools.

Beach sand is the abyss for rings and unless you want them to end up in the hands of a geezer who trawls the beach with a metal detector, do not take them with you.

If you must take your jewels to the beach and you plan to go for a dip – put them in the zipped compartment of your purse or wallet and leave that with a good friend who is not swimming. Not under a towel – which is, would you believe, a surprisingly ineffective beach anti-theft device.

You will stand a very real risk in losing your rings – choose wisely.

Clean The House:

This is similar to lotions and hair products. Bleach and other chemicals used to clean your house can damage the setting of your ring.  Some cleaners can even change the color of the setting or diamond itself.

Cleaning the house.


Do The Dishes:

Harsh chemicals and dish soaps can discolor, dissolve, or otherwise damage the stone or metal bands.

Madge the manicurist would be appalled.

I’ll admit, I’m lucky enough to have a dishwasher, but I do leave my rings on when doing the other dishes – only as there are only a couple at a time but also because the water is usually pretty warm to hot, and my rings never loosen in warm water.

I don’t really think about taking my rings off with the dishes as I do so few of them (OK, that makes me sound like an ass but as it’s just The Mister and I and the cat that, lets be honest, never chips in, the lazy schmuck), but my mum has a little dish next to her kitchen sink which isn’t a bad idea… but I guess I don’t want to be taking off my rings too many times a day in too many places around the house either. And seriously, losing little things like that in the house? You might as well give them to your next door neighbour with a note: ‘do not return these to me for six years, but when you do, please put them somewhere sickenenly obvious, ta, love your neighbour in unit 4. PS, please, please, please, don’t sell them at the Gold Buyers kiosk down at Westfield.’

 Operate Heavy Machinery:

If you have a job that involves manual labor, like construction work, keep your ring at home in a safe place. This will help avoid breaks, splits, cracks, and looseness that are caused by bang-ups.

I used to work FIFO (that’s fly-in, fly-out to the uninitiated) and miners (usually blokes) would keep things like rings and surfie necklaces in their rooms, usually on their bedside table or bathroom sink (don’t get the wrong idea – I was a cleaner) so I had to move them sometimes. I used to pop them all on a piece of paper with a note letting them know all the pieces were accounted for.

However, there is a pretty good reason why this stuff isn’t worn on a minesite.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a ‘de-gloved’ finger, you’ll never, ever, ever wear any kind of jewellery near any kind of machinery (yes, including a Soda Stream), ever again.

Play tennis or golf:

If you have a tight grip, are left-handed and have diamonds all around your band, remove your ring before playing.  You could knock out stones and cause excessive wear and tear to your ring.

See now, I thought wearing a big finger-hugger to ‘the club’ was de riguer, darlinks.

You can just imagine it: Susan, wearing her fabulous hot pink sun visor Dennis got her from Fort Lauderdale (which I have say looks stunning against her tennis whites), goes in for a glorious backhand, only to have her own diamonds come raining all over her? Faaaabulous!


The hidden rocks in dirt can chip the diamond or knock the setting loose–on top of getting your stone super dirty!

The only dirty thing your engagement ring should be is a big dirty ring! Amirite? :/

I honestly thought diamonds were supposed to be one of the hardest substances on the planet. So wouldn’t that mean your diamond might actually DO damage your Bali-themed bamboo water feature… not the other way around?


Depending on the shape and size of your ring, wear it to sleep at night can be a bad idea. If you have an over-sized stone with lots of edges, remove it before going to bed and avoid scratching you or your bed partner’s face in the night.

That’s it. We now know your bed partner’s late-night injuries are not due to your boudoir romps… but your jewellery. As you sleep. The most under-reported instance of first world problems.

‘Oh, that? Yes, well I scratched Jason’s face up with my over-sized pear-shaped mega-carat monstrosity… the poor thing’

In this case, I’m genuinely surprised that Kanye is still alive.           

Lifting Weights/Crossfit/Yoga: 

While wearing your ring is probably okay for most cardio, lifting weights and using weight machines creates a risk for dings and cracks in the stone. It can also scratch up the band.  With crossfit, pull ups and burpees and rope climbs are NOT things you should be doing with an engagement ring on.

I used to do Pump with my rings on. It started as a mistake – I just forgot to take them off in the first place and my hands would swell and, well, there is no way on this earth any rings are coming off.

However, just quietly, I got a lot of satisfaction from the metal-on-metal ‘ding’ sound that it made on the bar, but yeah, it probably did nothing for the band itself.

For me I think it’s more of a safety thing than a ‘oh noes my ring is getting scratched’ situation, if what you’re doing can hurt you or a team mate more if you wear rings (like playing Year 7 netball against Tranby) – leave them at home.

Clean The Oven:

Oven cleaner “Easy Off” is a notoriously harsh product (it burns skin to the touch!) and the damage on wedding rings can be catastrophic. Don’t risk it with gloves. Remove your ring completely.

I’m told that cleaning the oven is one of the riskiest things you can do in a kitchen besides drinking a Coffee Chill that’s three days past it’s best before date. So if the advice on wearing your rings while doing this is ‘catastrophic’, best leave them off.

In fact, if cleaning the oven is SO catastrophic (eeeep!), don’t do it at all.


You actually CAN wear your ring for most cooking and baking projects-but if you are using your hands with something sticky or gooey, like dough, remove your ring.  It’ll make a mess out of your ring and be a pain to clean.

I tell you something. If I lost my ring in a fresh, delicious baked good, I would have no qualms in spending a couple of hours trying to find it.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than your partner coming home to the scene of you with a happy ‘I found the ring you gave me!’ among the destroyed remnants of a huge batch of gorgeous red velvet patty cakes.

Some notable mentions… of when else should you reconsider wearing your rings…


Oh c’mon. If you’re going to take them off when sleeping, imagine the damage you can do to someone when you’re… not sleeping.

Handling newborns

I’ve accidently scratched one before and I’m sure it happens to parents all the time (doesn’t it?) What was worse was the stink-eye from the mother. So either leave it at home or wrap a foam packing peanut around it for full kid-proofing.


Just kidding. Like hearing the little ‘ding’ on a weights bar at Pump, how good does it feel to tap your ring along to a bit of REO Speedwagon on the steering wheel or gear stick?

And if you have rings on both hands? You’re officially the drummer.

Tagged with: