Men’s Wedding Band Care Tips: How to Maintain Your Ring
Once you’ve invested in a wedding band that you cherish, caring for it is as important as caring for the marriage itself. The specific properties of your wedding band may even drive your buying decision, as some wedding bands may be more suited to your lifestyle than others. In fact, many men now purchase more than one wedding band in order to have some versatility in their daily ring choices.
The take-home is this: wedding band maintenance is a combination of damage prevention and appropriate cleaning techniques. Both of these require a solid foundation of knowledge specific to your ring’s materials and finish. While some rings are best cleaned with soap and water, others need to be kept dry to avoid tarnish or damage. Some men’s wedding bands can be polished for lasting shine, while others can react poorly to polish and burnishing. To learn about prolonging the life of your wedding band, we’ve compiled a helpful guide to keep your ring looking fresh year after year.
Tungsten Steel Rings
Tungsten is a crowd favorite for a reason: it’s naturally resistant to tarnish, scratches, oxidization, rust, and water. As one of the most durable materials used in today’s wedding bands for men, tungsten steel is also one of the easiest rings to care for. Available in modern burnished and matte finishes, this versatile metal requires nothing more than an occasional wash.
To clean your tungsten wedding band, simply remove and clean with a few drops of dish soap and warm water. Be sure to dry thoroughly before re-donning your ring. If your tungsten ring is coated, avoid harsh chemical cleaners or polishes and stick to the simple dish soap trick.
Wood Inlay Rings
Among the other crowd-favorite trends in wedding bands are wooden inlay rings. These unique wooden wedding bands offer serious style and a ton of customizable wood type choices—from trendy whiskey barrel rings to timeless hardwoods. Caring for a wood inlay ring requires slightly more planning than a tungsten style, but the general rule of thumb is: avoid moisture.
While your wood inlay is typically coated in some sort of water-resistant finish, it isn’t waterproof, so prolonged water exposure can damage your ring. For this reason, you should avoid wearing a wood inlay ring while showering, swimming, doing dishes, and anything else where your ring could come in prolonged contact with water. To clean your wood inlay, simply wipe with a dry microfiber cloth.
If durability and worry-free wear is what you’re after, silicone wedding bands are an excellent choice. These flexible styles are comfortable, safe, and wear-resistant—not to mention, they’re incredibly easy to care for. Silicone is naturally waterproof, requires no polishing, and is an excellent option for wearing to work, gym, outdoor adventuring, and more.
Caring for your silicone ring is as simple as washing it with soap and water, then carefully drying it before wearing. Occasional disinfecting may also be wise, as some people do sometimes report having “ring rash” or irritation from prolonged wear and moisture or bacteria buildup. You can avoid this by removing your ring while showering or sleeping to give your ring some air. If you’d like to disinfect your silicone ring, simply boil it for 20 minutes, or soak it in a solution of ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide + ½ white vinegar for 30-40 minutes.
To say that a ring is “plated” simply means that it is coated in a different metal than its base metal. For example, a gold plated ring may be made with a core of silver alloy but covered in gold to achieve the look of a solid gold ring. Plated rings are often a less expensive alternative to single-metal bands, but they do require some caution in terms of routine care.
To clean your plated ring, simply soak it in warm water and mild dish soap for 1-2 minutes. DO NOT use polishing cloths, as their mildly abrasive material can strip away the plated metal coating of your ring. You should also avoid contact with chlorine and everyday solvents like lotions and hair products, which can tarnish and discolor your plated ring. This means you should apply your shaving creams, cologne, and pomade a few minutes before donning your plated ring. It is also important to store any gold-plated jewelry on its own or with other gold pieces, as contact with silver and other metals can lead to tarnishing. Who knew!
Titanium Metal Rings
As another contender for “most durable,” titanium rings can be washed regularly with soap and water. To remove smudges and preserve shine, you can also wipe your titanium band with a spritz of glass cleaner like Windex. While titanium is extremely resistant to damage, it will inevitably sustain small scratches over time. Luckily, titanium can be burnished with a polishing cloth or cream metal polish, which will help restore your ring’s shine. You can also take your titanium ring to a jeweler for the occasional professional polish.
No matter what style or material you’ve settled with, caring for your wedding band doesn’t have to be complicated. Make sure you understand how your ring is made in order to determine what types of cleanings and maintenance it requires. You might even consider buying a “fancy” band (like a wood inlay) to wear out and a more durable option (like silicone or tungsten) for everyday wear.
When in doubt, make sure to familiarize yourself with your ring’s warranty! Many reputable wedding band vendors will protect your ring against damage, such as cracks, and some may even replace your ring if it requires an emergency removal (We do 😉). For more information on how to remove your tungsten band in an emergency click here.*Your ring’s warranty may also specify resizing coverage if applicable, so be sure to read that fine print!
Along with a rings warranty, another thing to look for when searching for the perfect thing is to ensure you get the correct ring size. If you don't know how to find your ring size and/or don't feel like socializing with your local jewelry store, check out our post here on how to find the correct ring size without even having to get off the couch!
As always, if you have any questions just ask, that’s what we’re here for. We’ll make sure you receive top-notch customer service we pride ourselves on. We look forward to earning your business and hope that these tips were at least slightly more helpful than your umpteenth diet self-help book. Now get back to your high school reunion Facebook group, memes don't post themselves.
- Emerson -
"There are some good rings in the world...and it's worth shopping for"
*Disclaimer, this article is not a supplement to professional help from a licensed doctor or EMT. If you are in an emergency situation please call 9-1-1.