Jewellery and Hand Washing – 5 Practical Tips

With good hand hygiene being a top priority right now, here are 5 practical tips for jewellery and hand washing. At a time when we’re using more than the normal amounts of soap and hand sanitiser, we explain how to keep your hands clean while protecting your jewellery.

1. Rings on or off?

Firstly, when it comes to hygiene, leading health experts recommend that we remove our rings and bracelets when we wash our hands. Secondly, we should also sanitise our jewellery before we put it back on. The easiest and cheapest way to clean jewellery is with warm water and a drop of soap.

2. What if I cannot take my rings off?

Some people find it tricky to get their rings on and off. This could be because of the shape of your fingers or knuckles or because you’ve put a bit of weight on. Either way, if you find it difficult to remove your rings, try our top tips outlined in this article.

3. What about the maintenance of the jewellery itself?

While occasional water and soap are not harmful to most jewellery, there are gems that you should never soak, like pearls and opals. Also, be aware that alcohol-based hand sanitiser gels can cause damage to precious metals and gemstones, especially if you’re using them frequently.

As jewellers, we always recommend removing jewellery when washing hands, showering or while handling any sort of cosmetics or household chemicals. Learn more about keeping your jewellery safe from damage here.

4. What about wearing gloves?

The NHS recommends that only frontline healthcare professionals use latex gloves during a time when medical materials are scarce. In any case, latex gloves can tear easily when you’re wearing jewellery, so they’re not the best solution here. Washing hands and sanitising jewellery with water and soap is the best way.

Having said that, at home, it makes good sense to protect your hands and jewellery from household chemicals while cleaning. For this, good old Marigold rubber gloves are ideal.

5. Use common sense

Always follow the NHS and WHO guidelines when it comes to washing your hands. If you’re worried that you might not be able to sanitise a particular ring or bracelet effectively, it may be best to leave it at home for now. You don’t have to go without jewellery; instead, swap that statement ring for some earrings.

Additionally, when going to places where many people are in contact with surfaces (such as the supermarket or public transport) it’s best to wear minimal jewellery on your hands. For example, stick to just wearing your engagement ring or wedding band. This way, it will be much easier for you to wash your hands and sanitise your jewellery when you next get to a sink.


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