5 Daily Activities That Damage Fine Jewelry (& How to Prevent Them)

Many people have a favorite piece of fine jewelry, whether it be an heirloom necklace or their wedding ring. And this love means they want to wear that piece as often as possible, regardless of the situation.

However, there are just some conditions that aren’t ideal if you want to preserve your jewelry.

Here are 5 daily activities that damage your pieces of fine jewelry, and how to protect your favorite pieces from damage:


Wearing your jewelry while you cook is second nature to a lot of people, but if you’re used to cooking with your hands – or if you’re planning to fry something – food particles and oils can get trapped in your jewelry.

Over time, these particles and oils can break down the metals and cause tarnishing, or may even loosen stone settings.

The best way to protect your jewelry when cooking is to remove it entirely and set it somewhere safe and clean, such as in a jewelry tray in a cabinet or on a counter far from the stovetop. However, if you forget to remove your jewelry before you begin cooking, routine cleaning and careful inspection can help remove any debris and prevent further damage.


Household cleaners are full of chemicals and solvents, and industrial cleaners such as those used in office buildings and hospitals are even worse.

These chemicals can cause discoloration and damage to jewelry, with some chemicals reacting almost immediately with the stones and metals found in your favorite pieces.

To protect your jewelry, take it off before cleaning and find somewhere safe to store it until you’ve finished. If this isn’t possible, wear thick rubber gloves over any rings, watches, and bracelets you wear while cleaning, and tuck necklaces securely into your clothing.

Getting Ready

For many people, wearing jewelry becomes so second-nature that they forget to take things off before showering, doing their hair, or applying lotions and creams.

Over time, though, all these can break down the metals that make up your jewelry. In addition, wearing things with delicate settings while doing your hair or putting on clothing can risk catching the stones, yanking them out of their settings.

Instead, set all your jewelry nearby – but a safe distance away from any sprays you may use in your daily routine – and put it on as soon as you’ve finished applying makeup, doing your hair, or putting on lotion. 

Working Out

There are many places you can wear your fine jewelry pieces, but the gym shouldn’t be one of those places. Whether you get your fitness in by running, swimming, lifting weights, or kickboxing, it’s never a good idea to wear your jewelry when working out.

Besides the risk of breakage from getting jewelry caught in your fitness equipment, the salt from your sweat as you exercise also can cause the metals of your jewelry to discolor.

Instead, take off your jewelry and store it in a safe place – preferably at home or, if you go straight to the gym from work, in a locked locker – while you workout. If you feel completely naked without some kind of ring on your finger while you workout, consider getting a silicone ring to wear during your gym time. 


Even if you’re really tired at the end of the day, there are three things you should never forget to do each night: Brush your teeth, wash your face, and take off your jewelry.

As you toss and turn at night, your jewelry can get caught in your clothing or the sheets, leading to breakage that is otherwise preventable.

Take your jewelry off before you get in bed at night and store it in a jewelry dish or box for safekeeping. 

Fine Jewelry in Frederick, MD

At Gold Thumb Jewelry, we have a wide selection of fine jewelry to suit anyone’s taste. Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring, a graduation gift, or something to commemorate that big promotion, our team of jewelry experts can help you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t find anything that meets your needs? We can help you design a custom piece! Contact us today to get started!

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