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Hand Sanitizer and Fine Jewelry

Sep 8, 2021

Hand Sanitizer and Fine Jewelry

Chances are, you have hand sanitizer in your purse, pocket, or glove compartment — and with good reason! With the Covid-19 pandemic still hanging around, better safe than sorry. However, one thing most people haven’t thought about is the impact hand sanitizer has on fine jewelry. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

First, it goes without saying: wash your hands! Follow the 20 second rule as recommended by the CDC. Jewelry is precious, but not more than your health. 

Second, we encourage people to take their jewelry off regularly as a rule of thumb. While wedding bands and engagement rings are meant to be worn every day, your hands come in contact with plenty of substances or surfaces that could potentially be harmful. For example, an average shower involves scented soaps and beauty products, followed by lotion. If you’re in the Baltimore metro area, you’re also probably used to the hard water that comes from your water sources. All of those components can cause mineral build-up. 

Over time, the build-up can make a stone cloudier or loosen a stone’s settings and prongs, which is less than ideal. It’s okay to shower with your rings on every once in a while, but it’s far less stressful to take a ring off and put it back on than it is to search for a stone after it’s fallen out of a setting. 

Likewise, we’ve learned that excessive exposure to hand sanitizer can wear down the finish on white gold a bit faster. It can also break down the brilliance of gems and metals over time, meaning that your stone might lose its shine. And while we know hand sanitizer won’t damage diamonds and sapphires directly, it too can cause filmy build-up, which is not ideal. 

For stones that are lower on the hardness scale such as opals, pearls, and emeralds, hand sanitizer is more risky because those stones are considered porous. Think of it this way: white pearls that are repeatedly exposed to chemicals such as the alcohol in perfumes and hairspray can start to yellow over time — never ideal.

The good news is there’s an easy solution. When using hand sanitizer (or soap or lotion or anything else that might cause build-up), try to avoid rubbing it directly onto the ring itself. If you can, remove the ring, apply sanitizer, and then once your hand is dry, put it back on. Keep your hands clean and your jewelry safe. Simple as that. 

And if this is all new to you? You can do a quick and easy at-home solution by soaking your diamond or sapphire jewelry in warm water and dishwashing soap once a week. You can also request a cleaning or repair service at one of our locations — we’d be more than happy to help. Simply make an appointment today to get started. 


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