Did you know?

The coronavirus can survive on surfaces anywhere between 24 hours on cardboard and as much as nine days on metal, glass, and plastic, unless a proper disinfecting process is carried out.

But, although bleach and other disinfectants are good for most surfaces, how are you going to disinfect your jewellery?

Should we be removing our rings and watches when we wash our hands? Will sanitizer harm jewellery? Does jewellery play a part in spreading the virus?

This article covers such coronavirus and jewellery related questions that are on everyone’s mind at the moment.

How to clean and care for jewellery during the Coronavirus pandemic

Our lifestyle within the last half year has included spending much more time in front of the sink. While doing so, there are certain things we must consider, beyond simply maintaining good hygiene. If you need to wear jewellery as part of your everyday routine, you are probably wondering whether or not you should wear it, and what is the result of excessive hand sanitizing on the jewellery. Keeping these in mind, how do your keep yourself and others around you healthy?

According to doctors, there is a strong possibility that Covid-19 germs can be traceable on your jewellery, especially with rings. Our hands and fingers are the most used parts of our body on a daily basis, which means that particles could be sitting on top, or beneath our rings and watches, which is why these need to be washed regularly. It is best to remove all jewellery and accessories (rings, watches, bracelets, fitness trackers, etc) before washing your hands so that you are able to properly clean all corners of your hands first. Then you have to clean the accessories thoroughly without fail so as to avoid recontamination. Because if the germs are still on the jewellery and you put it back on without washing the item, the there is no point in washing your hands.

Studies have shown that germs can survive under rings for some time, but it is not affirmed whether diseases can be transmitted this way.

The most common and safest way to free your jewellery from germs is by squeezing a few drops of mild liquid soap into a bowl of warm water and using a soft-bristles children’s toothbrush to clean the item. This method is ideal for most jewellery, including hard stones such as rubies, diamonds, and sapphires. Gently scrub your rings, watches, bracelets, or ear rings with the toothbrush, rinse them in the warm soapy water and dry on a paper towel or clean cloth.

Softer stones such as emeralds, opals, aquamarines, and organic materials such as pearls, amber, and coral should be washed with warm water only. Any brushing should not be done on these otherwise you may end up damaging them.

What to know about washing and safety

Jewellery experts advice users to be careful when cleaning their jewellery because over-cleaning metal might discolor the metal and can damage delicate settings where different colors of gold are used as part of the design. Harsh cleaning agents should be strictly avoided on jewellery. Delicate items are best cleaned with soft polishing cloths.

Too much of hand sanitizer coming in contact with jewellery can be harmful because the high alcohol content can tarnish metal, loosen prongs, and damage stones.

If you are unsure about how to remove tarnish and germs from a specific piece of jewellery, it is best to seek advice from a jeweler – or just take it to a professional for cleaning.

Moisturizing also plays a critical role in keeping your hands germ-free. Cracked and dry hands do not have a safety barrier and cannot absorb the antibacterial benefits of a sanitizer and soap. But, applying lotion constantly on your hands can be problematic for rings and stones on the rings. Debris can collect easily behind the stones, which is why that area needs to be kept clean. This area is a prime place for bacteria and irritants to collect, leading to skin irritations. Debris build up also leads to unnecessary wearing away of jewellery, and loose prongs resulting in lost stones.

 

Hand washing instructions:

  • Put your hands under warm running water
  • Apply soap to get a good lather
  • Thoroughly scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Rinse hands under clean running water
  • Dry hands with a clean towel.

 

When should you wash your hands?

  • After you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • After and during food preparations
  • Before eating
  • Before and after you have been to a public place
  • After using the bathroom
  • Before, during, and after caring for a sick person
  • After handling garbage

 

A guide to sanitize your jewellery

  • Only use traditional and conventional cleaning methods.
  • Avoid alcohol-based sanitizers as these can damage the jewellery surface.
  • Hot water, mild soap, and air dry is the safest method to clean and sanitize jewellery.
  • Disposable wipes are also a soft and gentle material to safely clean and polish your jewellery.
  • Some jewellery brands offer cleaning solutions which you can use to clean your jewellery.
  • For deeper cleaning, use the steaming wand on your espresso machine. Remember to wear gloves as you steam-clean the item, or simply hold the item in a tea strainer.
  • Contactless UV sanitizer cases are available as jewellery cleaners for disinfecting larger and fragile jewellery without having to wipe or scrub.

 

After cleaning, it is important to dry and store your jewellery safely. Treat your jewellery with care and store the items in a clean and safe jewellery box.