Few things in life are as cherished as a wedding ring. This priceless token of affection carries countless memories and serves as an ever-present reminder of one’s dedication and commitment to their spouse. Because your wedding ring is worn so frequently, it is subject to more damage than typical jewelry, and requires a certain amount of special care. Here are seven steps that you can take to minimize potential damage, and keep your treasured ring gleaming brightly for years to come.
1. Avoid Potentially Harmful Household Products
Bathroom and kitchen cleaning products — such as chlorine or bleach — can wear away the protective enamel on the ring, leaving it susceptible to scratches. Always remove the ring or wear rubber gloves when handling any corrosives. Other potentially harmful products include baking soda, toothpaste, soaps, lotions and powdered cleaners. While some products may be safe to use, it is better to be safe than sorry in this situation, so exercise caution.
2. Clean the Ring Regularly
Tiny dirt particles can directly scratch the surface of the ring. To prevent this, mix a little bit of mild dishwashing soap with hot water, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub any dirt or grime off of the ring. Rinse off the cleaning solution with hot water, and then use a lint-free cloth to softly dry the ring. Try to complete this simple process on a consistent schedule, ideally at least once per week. As an added bonus, this will keep your ring shimmering brightly and looking its best.
3. Invest In a Ring Holder
One of the best scratch-prevention measures you can take is to utilize a ring holder, or even multiple ring holders placed strategically around the house. Wearing your ring to bed can be uncomfortable for you and for your spouse, and the ring is also susceptible to scratching against bedposts or frames. Keep a ring holder near your bed, and remember to remove it every night. You may also wish to keep a ring holder handy in your kitchen and in your bathroom.
4. Visit a Jeweler Annually
Bring your ring in for inspection, professional cleaning and possibly repairs at least once every year. Your weekly cleaning regimen is not guaranteed to get rid of all of the dirt and grime, but a jeweler has tools to view and clean even the tiniest microscopic residue. Small scratches can also become larger if left untreated, and a jeweler can polish and buff them out to prevent further damage.
5. Remove the Ring When Necessary
One of the most obvious but often overlooked steps to prevent scratches is simply to remove the ring whenever it could be potentially harmed. If you are going to engage in a physical activity, consider the possibility of the ring getting scratched. If you know that you are going to be doing something potentially harmful for an extended period of time – a day at the beach or a trip to the water park for example – it may be in your best interest to leave the ring safely at home. Consider investing in an affordable substitution if you can’t bear the thought of leaving the house without a wedding ring on.
6. Avoid Handling the Ring
Some people have a habit of touching, twirling, or just playing with their rings absentmindedly. Try to avoid touching the exterior surface of the ring whenever possible, as the sweat and oil from your hands can corrode the ring’s enamel and metal base, increasing the chance of scratches. While you should be mindful of how you handle your ring, don’t let it become a constant worry either. Rings are meant to be worn and enjoyed, after all.
7. Insure the Ring
Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. Although a wedding ring is a one-of-a-kind item with sentimental value that can never be replaced, it is nice to know that you will be able to get a replacement if the worst does happen. You may be surprised by how affordable an insurance policy can be, so take that important step now. If your ring becomes lost, damaged, or stolen, you are going to be glad that you did.
Rich Daniels is a freelance writer and programmer from Santa Rosa, CA who has contributed to numerous respected online publications including Estate Diamond Jewelry and enSoie. When he is not in front of the computer, he enjoys sailing and bicycling with his wife.