Jewelry and washing your hands: Can coronavirus hide on my jewelry?
With the spread of Covid-19, washing your hands seems more important than ever. As we spend more time at the sink, you ought to consider some things if wearing jewelry is an element of your daily routine. We’ve done some research and have some information and tips for you.
Can coronavirus hide on my jewelry?
The short answer is yes. Our research confirms that the virus can survive several days on surfaces. How long it survives depends on the kind of surface. For instance, on cardboard, the virus won’t survive over 24hrs. This is most likely why the shipping of packages has not been suspended. The probabilities of the virus traveling across the planet on cardboard boxes commonly used for shipping is incredibly small. Glass or polished surfaces can sustain the virus for up to three days. Solid gold rings can thus carry the virus. Therefore do not forget to clean your rings with a disinfectant before wearing them, and only put them on after washing your hands AND rings.
Rings with set stones like diamonds or gemstones are slightly more susceptible to harboring pathogens. It doesn’t matter how well the stones fit, on the microscopic level of viruses there’s lots of space between the ring the stone. These rings have to be dipped in a disinfecting solution. A save bet is a bit of luke-warm water and mild dish soap.
Washing your jewelry with anything apart from lukewarm water with a mild standard soap can be problematic. Some guidelines: don’t use bleach for any kind of metallic or precious material. It doesn’t matter if the piece is silver, gold or platinum, even 18-carat gold still contains other metals that give the ring its rigidity, but also makes it structurally sound. Bleach can slightly etch gold, but it’ll dissolve other metals over time weakening the ring overall.
When employing a disinfectant use an alcohol-based one, especially with diamonds. The oil-based disinfectant will make the diamonds dull. Ethyl alcohol is a good product to use because it evaporates quickly. don’t use lotion because that contains oil.
Lucy Wilson, a professor at the department of emergency health services at the University of Maryland Baltimore County was interviewed by HuffPost. this can be what she said: “If rings are contaminated and you pop them back on after washing your hands, you’ve recontaminated your hands,” says Wilson. “If you’re not visiting disinfect your rings, you shouldn’t be taking them off and putting them back on.” Wilson referred to studies that show health care workers who remove their rings and scrub them can get bacteria off. “That’s bacteria though, not viruses,” she clarified. (source:huffpost.com)
Turns out that moisturizing especially once you up the frequency of washing your hands is crucial to keeping at least your hands germ-free. Hands that are cracked or dry can lose the vital safety barrier of your skin. However, lotions can slip behind stones which might then be a major place for bacteria and also viruses to gather. Because the skin of your finger underneath the ring doesn’t dry as quickly it can be a source of irritation (breaking the security barrier of the skin).
When doubtful, use dish soap.
If you want to clean your jewelry, use mild dish soap and warm water. Lukewarm because any hotter can crack gemstones, expand the metal and release the small diamonds on some rings. Use a soft toothbrush to agitate. If you notice any changes to a piece after using any other disinfectant, immediately dousing the piece in soapy water and a soft brush. This will neutralise any chemical process occurring. Any residual chemicals are watered down or removed by the water and soap.
Repair the damage
Despite the best care in the world, you could still accidentally damage your jewelry. Speaking from experience at Kyveli Design most damage is often easily repaired if the damage is stopped in time. In the case of chemicals dissolving the other metals in golden pieces, there’s not much anybody can do, but most superficial damage is often buffed out. Please use your local jeweler to advise and fix any pieces.