We’ve been getting a lot of questions on what precautions to take when it comes to caring for your jewellery pieces, especially because of COVID-19. With the health pandemic that we are all experiencing, we hear “wash your hands” all day long. Our clients are asking us if washing hands with jewellery on is harmful for the piece; we have your answers! We are going to break it down and tell you how to best keep your jewellery safe from damage, which products are safe, and how to disinfect your pieces.
Here are the answers to your FAQs:
Is it safe to wash my hands with soap with my rings on?
Yes. It is safe but any jeweller would recommend removing rings safely before washing your hands with soap. Simply put, the soapy water will build up under diamonds or other gemstones and affect the brilliance of your piece. BUT if you are in a public washroom or space where it is not safe to remove your rings without risking them, then wash your hands with your rings on! Make sure to scrub around and under the piece to rid your hands of any grime that could be underneath.
What can I use to wash my jewellery at home?
Grab yourself a small bowl, dish, or cup and put in some warm water and mild dishwashing liquid or a small amount of liquid that contains ammonia (products like Windex); use two-parts water and one-part soap. Let the piece sit in the water for a few minutes and then use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub/break away any build-up or gunk. Be careful of any jewellery with porous gemstones like pearls, opals, emeralds, etc., soap can damage the stones.
I’ve heard that the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for days after contact. What can I do to disinfect my pieces without harming them?
Yes, we’ve heard that as well. If you want to take extra precautions, you can wash your rings, pendants, bracelets, and earrings in soapy water (which is the equivalent of washing your hands after potentially being in contact with the virus). Though see below for porous gems like pearls, opals, and emeralds.
Will hand sanitizer damage my jewellery?
Over time hand sanitizer can cause damage, and certainly will to porous gems like emeralds, opals, and pearls. The type of damage would be damage to the luster or shine of your stones, or any kind of piece with a plating (white gold or plated costume jewellery). The damage won’t necessarily happen immediately but after repetitive use of hand sanitizer, it can affect the overall appearance of your piece.
What about my emeralds, opals, pearls, and other porous gems?
Leave these to the professionals. It is best to keep pieces with porous gems at home for the duration of the pandemic so that the virus cannot make contact with them. We wouldn’t want you to accidentally damage these pieces by washing them with soapy water or hand sanitizer.
Keep in mind that once the bans on non-essential businesses are lifted, we will be providing complimentary ultrasonic and steam cleaning in-store! We hope this answers any questions you may have. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
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We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!