Coronavirus & Jewellery Care: What You Need To Know About Washing Your Hands

While there is still little known about coronavirus, based on information about viruses in general, it would be “reasonable to assume that it could be on any type of jewellery.” Hand-washing, then, continues to be the best line of defence.

If wearing jewellery is part of your everyday routine, you might be wondering if you should wear it, what effect excessive hand sanitising has (if any) and best practices for keeping yourself ― and others around you ― healthy during this time…


Here are a couple of things to consider:

USE COMMON SENSE.

The overriding advice is keeping the hands washed, keeping your hands to yourself and not touching your face. If you’re washing a lot more and wear rings, you can get irritation. So it’s not a bad idea to cut back on them if you’re trying to be really careful. But don’t just take off your rings without washing them.

If you’re worried about missing a spot on the hand that could be covered by a ring, it’s not a bad idea to remove it. But simply removing it is not enough. If rings are contaminated and you pop them back on after washing your hands, you’ve recontaminated your hands. If you’re not going to disinfect your rings, you shouldn’t be taking them off and putting them back on.

But what about the maintenance of the jewellery itself? Hand sanitiser should not be used on any organic gems, like coral or pearls. The alcohol in the sanitizer can dry out the gems and lead to surface damage or cracking. Hand sanitiser is also not safe on porous stones like opals or turquoise. When in doubt, it is always better to take your jewellery off before washing your hands. Some medical experts are suggesting using disinfectant and antiseptic wipes to clean ring bands.

BE CAREFUL ABOUT MOISTURISING, TOO.

Moisturising plays a crucial part in keeping hands germ-free. Hands that are cracked or dry lose their safety barrier, which could make the hand unable to absorb the antibacterial benefits of sanitizer and soap. But lotion can be problematic for items like engagement rings and other stones.

Rings set with gems can collect lotion or debris behind the stones. It’s important to keep this area clean for many reasons. That buildup can be a prime place for bacteria or irritants to collect, which can lead to skin irritations. Also, decreased airflow behind the stone can trap moisture against the finger, which is also a common cause of irritation. And the buildup of debris in a jewel can lead to unnecessary wear, and even loosening of prongs, which can result in lost stones.

WHEN IN DOUBT, SEEK EXPERT ADVICE.

If you do wash your hands with sanitiser and notice any change in your jewellery, wash the piece immediately with warm, mild dish-soapy water. This will remove any residual chemicals left from the sanitiser. Take the piece to an experienced jeweller as soon as you can to asses the damage and discuss repairs.

{NB: This post is purely common-sense information, not medical advice.}

{Source: Huffington Post}


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