What is all this hand sanitising doing to my jewels?

2020 – The year of washing your hands before and after you do anything and everything. What a time to be alive! You may have stopped mid-wash to think about what all this sanitising is doing to your precious jewels. Or maybe it hasn’t crossed your mind yet. One thing’s for sure: While these crazy times are indeed temporary, we know that we need to keep our hands clean to help slow the spread of the virus. But how do we protect our rings? Read on for important insights and to discover the best ways to care for your jewellery amidst all this sanitising. Pandemic style. 

Important things to know:

~ Washing your hands with soap and water  is less harmful for your rings than using sanitisers.

~ Some hand sanitisers can react with the copper elements in rose gold which causes the metal to wear slightly faster. Others, containing chlorine, can cause your sterling silver jewels to tarnish.

~ Repeated contact with certain cleaning agents, perfumes and lotions can break down the brilliance of your gemstones and dull the vivid colour over time. 

What you can do:

~ Washing your hands with soap and water is the best defence against germs. And because none of our jewellery is plated (this means we only use solid metals), it’s completely safe to keep your rings on while washing – they will not get damaged.

~ If you’re going to be wearing your rings, please always choose to wash your hands with soap and water instead of using sanitisers, should you have the choice. It goes without saying that if you only have sanitiser on you and you need to clean your hands, please do so. Although we sure do love our jewels, keeping our community safe will always be more important than keeping jewellery safe.

~ Keep your rings on while washing to make sure you are giving them a good clean – its much safer than taking your rings off first. If rings are contaminated and you pop them back on after washing your hands, you’ve recontaminated your hands.

~ If you are going to be visiting the shops and foresee a lot of hand sanitising happening, rather opt to leave your rings at home. Adorn yourself with earrings and pendants instead.

~ Both soap and sanitisers can leave a residue on your rings that could affect the look of your jewels. Be sure to rinse them properly for optimum shine.

~ Moisturising is an important part of keeping your hands well cared for and germ free (especially during this time of excessive hand washing and sanitising). Make sure you remove your rings before moisturising – especially rings with gemstones or diamonds. Why? Because build up of lotion in the small nooks and crannies of your ring can be a place for bacteria to thrive and for irritants to collect – which causes skin irritation. If there is moisture trapped underneath your stone, it can also lead to unnecessary wear and tear and even loosening of claws. Rather wait for your moisturiser to sink in and then pop your rings back on.

~ Once a week, as part of your routined jewellery maintenance, you can leave your rings to soak in hot water with a few drops of sunlight liquid. This will help loosen any dirt or build-up, after which you can lightly scrub them with a soft toothbrush.