With so much emphasis on hand washing in the midst of the current Coronavirus crisis, how can we best keep our jewellery clean? Many of us wear wedding rings or multiple fashion rings, watches and bracelets which can pick up germs. Public Health England have said Coronavirus can live on hard surfaces for around 72 hours.
So what’s the best approach?
Dr Aragona Giuseppe, GP and medical advisor at Prescription Doctor goes as far as to say "I would advise at this time to abandon all jewellery as it could be at risk of causing infection.”
But is that realistic? Should we abandon our treasured pieces for fear of catching the virus, ie, another thing we love that must be taken away?
Personally I love this approach that Dr Derek Watson, associate professor in cultural management at the University of Sunderland proposes: “It's all about regulating our behaviour and making cleaning jewellery part of our routine.”
We know the current situation isn’t going away anytime soon, so we need to balance our approach to hygiene with “the psychological effect of wearing jewellery and the importance of the feel-good factor right now”.
Well I’m all for that feel-good factor right now!
So here are our best practice tips on how to keep your jewellery clean during the Covid19 pandemic:
- Public Health England recommend we remove jewellery before washing hands in order to clean underneath rings and watches, where germs can linger
- You can then give your jewellery a rinse with a little soapy warm water in the palm of your hand and wipe down your watch with an antibacterial wipe before putting them back onto clean hands
- If you’ve had significant contact with others, it’s a good idea to clean your rings in a small bowl of warm water with a tiny drop of washing-up liquid and a soft-bristled children’s toothbrush. Rinse them and let them air dry on a paper towel
- Even earrings can pick up debris, but again only if you’ve had high levels of contact in a closed setting. Clean in the same manner recommended above
- Be careful with alcohol-based sanitisers- some will strip the plating from jewellery. This is the case for gold plated sterling silver for example
- Harder gemstones like diamonds that are set in solid gold or platinum can be safely disinfected with 70% alcohol- based santisers
- Porous stones and organic materials such as pearls should be washed in warm water only to preserve the delicate colouring and natural texture
Why not check out our blog post on how to care for your jewellery and maintain it's shine for more comprehensive jewellery care?