Jewellery and Hand Sanitisers
We're living in a time where a bottle of hand sanitiser follows us everywhere and your hands get sprayed and rubbed numerous times during the day.
To help us get through these times we all had to adopt a new vision on germs and how to combat them in our day to day lives, but no one has told us about the effects of these chemicals on our precious and treasured jewellery pieces that we wear everyday.
Most sanitisers will contain between 60 to 95% alcohol. The alcohol is a perfect germ killer, but it can have negative effects on your jewellery. You might notice any of the following happening to your pieces:
- Metal loosing its shine
- Stones have a diminished brilliance (look dull and opaque)
- Loosened claw settings (from excessive rubbing, can lead to a stone coming out)
- A build-up of soap and sanitiser between stones and metal
The best tip for preventing damage to your ring
- If possible remove your ring when you're sanitising your hands
- Wait until your hands and fingers are completely dry before replacing your ring
Rhodium Plating and Hand Sanitisers
Rhodium (a part of the platinum family of metals) ads a protective layer to your jewellery. It is also used to make white gold. Rhodium does wear off naturally over time and most women know that eventually you need to take your item to a jeweller to have it re-plated to bring back that bright, white shine and sparkle.
Hand sanitiser containing halogens can crack or tarnish this plating, resulting in an accelerated wear of the rhodium plating. Most soaps contain harsh abrasives in order to clean stubborn dirt in a short period of time. These can damage the surface finish of your jewellery and also result in your jewellery needing a refinish a lot quicker than normal everyday wear.
When it comes to silver jewellery you have to take extra precaution with alcohol and especially alcohol-free sanitisers. These contain chlorine-based chemicals and compounds. These compounds release free radicals that cause a chemical reaction and this can be especially damaging to silver jewellery.
We recommend to keep cleaning and washing your hands and staying safe. If possible wear your engagement or wedding ring and have it professionally cleaned often to kill any germs and bacteria that could be growing in the hard to reach parts.