How to Care for your Jewellery During Frequent Hand Washing

Often there are times in our lives when we need to wash our hands more frequently than normal, for example when we welcome a new born baby, during periods of illness, or when we work in the care or catering industry. Whilst good hand hygiene is essential in all these instances and in life in general, when you throw in a hand moisturiser, it all adds up to a bit of a nightmare for your rings and bracelets.

So what can you do to care for your jewellery during periods of frequent hand washing? Check out this advice from our expert Ilford jewellers.

Remove Jewellery before Washing your Hands

The best advice we can give you for jewellery care when washing your hands frequently is to remove your jewellery before you wash your hands. Hand sanitisers and soaps can make precious stones cloudy and dingy, particularly any organic gems such as coral or pearls.

Frequent hand washing can also dull the shine of white gold jewellery, although a jeweller who specialises in jewellery repairs on the premises will be able to replace the rhodium plating on any white gold rings to bring the silver shine back.

Moisturiser is important in keeping your hands germ-free, as it prevents them from becoming dry or cracked which can lead to infection. However, lotions can also build up behind the settings of stones in rings, which may even lead to the prongs loosening, putting your stones at risk of becoming lost.

The other important reason to remove your jewellery before washing your hands is that your rings may be covering an area of skin which needs to be cleansed. If possible, therefore, it’s always best practice to remove your rings and bracelets before washing your hands.

Caring for your Jewellery after Hand Washing

If you cannot take your jewellery off before washing your hands, we recommend that if your rings – and particularly organic gems such as pearls – come into contact with soapy water during the hand washing process, you wipe them clean immediately with a soft cloth to remove any of the harsh aspects of the soap or sanitiser.

Disinfecting Jewellery

If you’re in a situation whereby you do require frequent hand washing, you may feel that you need to disinfect your jewellery, too. If this is the case, for harder gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, which are set in solid gold or platinum, you can use regular household isopropyl alcohol for this task.

However, it’s important to be aware that many stones cannot take this type of cleaning. Soft stones like opals, tourmalines and emeralds should not be washed in this way. Many an experienced jeweller in Ilford will recommend that for most non-organic types of stone, mild dish soap can be used to clean your jewellery.

If you’re in any doubt, however, about cleaning your jewellery, it’s best to take your rings off and put them to one side until the period of intense hand washing is over, then have them professionally cleaned by a jeweller in Ilford who specialises in jewellery repairs on the premises.

Need your Jewellery Cleaned? E.K. Jewellers is here to help!

If you have shelved your jewellery for the time being ready to have it professionally cleaned in due course, E.K. Jewellers can help. We carry all cleaning and jewellery repairs on the premises, so your piece won’t be lost in transit, nor will you be without it for any longer than needed. Get in touch to see how we can help you keep your jewellery looking as spick and span as your hands. 

Posted on by Ian Tubby.