Caring for your jewelry while repeatedly washing your hands

Jewelry care while repeatedly washing hands

At the risk of sounding opportunistic or exploitive of the existing COVID-19 pandemic, we still believe that people do have plenty of perfectly legitimate questions about caring for their rings and bracelets while washing and sanitizing their hands with increasing frequency.

A little advice can be genuinely useful (and nice) at these times:

Are sanitizing gels or foams bad for your rings? Referring to the previous article, titled Removing "Stuck" Rings, we suggest using hand sanitizer instead of hand lotion as a lubricant for removing "stuck" rings, because they are mainly alcohol. Hand sanitizers quickly evaporate, thus leaving little (if anything) to gunk-up stones and settings. That said, "frequent" and "vigorous" rubbing, may shorten the life-expectancy of gold and rhodium plating (note that pure gold is yellow color, so white gold which is a mixture of yellow gold & other alloys, is often rhodium-plated for a more "whitish" appearance). Re-plating is always a safe and fairly inexpensive option, however removing rings while washing hands may be a better idea, provided you stash them in a safe place and don’t accidentally walk away from the sink without them.

But what about the stones? Most transparent gemstones (including lab-grown), can tolerate both soap and water and the alcohol in hand-sanitizers. Opaque and more porous materials such as lapis, opal, turquoise or any organic materials may be susceptible to chemicals. For general cleaning, we suggest using a diluted, fragrance-free mild dish soap, but under current pandemic circumstances, removing them while washing is definitely best practice. Avoid excessive rubbing that may loosen prongs or abrade facets.

And since we’re on the topic, how about leather? Leather bracelets can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth, but they are vulnerable to sweat and soaking. Soap and sanitizers, however, are much more likely to cause actual discoloration, so be careful.

Take care and our best wishes to you all ...

D&D Jewelry Walnut Creek CA