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Jewellery Care Tips: Is Hand Sanitiser Safe For My Rings?

In the ‘Covid-19 Era’ as some people have taken to call it, the landscape of our society has markedly changed. From safe distancing markers to hand sanitisers, these have all become common sights in schools, offices, and shopping malls.

While hygiene has very rightly become the top priority, one concern that this new obsession with handwashing and hand sanitisers has brought about is this: Will the chemicals in hand soaps and hand sanitisers damage jewellery worn on the hand? After all, we don’t just want to keep our hands clean, but also keep the jewellery that we wear each day – and hold so dearly to our hearts – in tip-top condition.

Well, you’re in the right place to find out! Here are some answers to your burning questions about jewellery care so you can ensure your wedding band and engagement ring stays pristine for a long time!

Hand sanitiser is generally safe for jewellery

Diamonds are known to be one of the hardest natural substances on earth, so what’s a little hand sanitiser to it? For precious gemstones like diamonds, alcohol-based hand sanitisers generally won’t cause damage. Genuine, stable, and tough metals like platinum, silver, titanium, and tungsten are also alcohol-safe. However, you’ll want to avoid alcohol if you have any pearl or opal jewellery, as this corrodes their organic coating.

Of course, anything in excess makes the story a little different. If you are using hand sanitiser excessively, or getting your rings in direct contact with harsh cleaning agents frequently, this may cause some types of jewellery items to lose its shine. Gold is also a softer metal that is more susceptible to scratches if cleaned with abrasive substances.

When in doubt, it is best to remove your jewellery before applying any hand sanitiser on your skin, and put them back on after the product has sufficiently dried. When using harsh cleaning agents like ammonia, chlorine or bleach, it is advisable to wear gloves to keep your hands – and jewellery – safe.

Don’t forget to clean your jewellery, too

Everyone’s attention is on handwashing and sanitising, but don’t forget, your jewellery needs a good clean now and then, too! Over time, daily activities will cause dirt and grime to accumulate on your diamond rings or wedding rings, which can make them appear less brilliant than they should be. If you use hand products like lotion and creams, these could also build up on rings and dull their shine.

One way to slow down this dirt build-up is, of course, to remove your rings when doing any activities that may dirty or damage it, such as cooking and engaging in sports. It is also good to remember to put on jewellery last, so that there’s less risk of cosmetics like perfume or sunscreen getting onto them. Nonetheless, jewellery experts recommend a deep cleanse for wedding bands and engagement rings about once a week.

How to clean your rings at home

Cleaning your rings at home is easier than you think. All you need is warm water, dish soap, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and lint-free cloth. Simply soak the ring in the warm soapy water for about 30 minutes, then brush it to manually remove any lodged dirt or grime. After that, give it a good rinse before drying it with the lint-free cloth.

Be careful to only use a soft toothbrush and lint-free cloth, because harder toothbrushes or rougher towels may scratch some types of metals. One thing you should also never do is use toothpaste, vinegar, baking soda, or any powdered cleaners, as these are abrasive and can scratch or corrode soft metals like gold.

With good cleaning habits – for yourself and your jewellery – we can all have a better chance of staying healthy and safe! Remember, jewellery comes in many forms and materials as well, so make sure you know what your jewellery can take or not before attempting to clean it yourself. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult our friendly consultants at Love & Co. for more tips on how to maintain your jewellery, or feel free to bring your rings to one of our jewellery shops for professional cleaning and servicing.

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