Under normal circumstances, many people want to know what’s the best way to clean your jewelry. In the event that you’re slathering your hands down with hand sanitizer multiple times per day right now, you’re probably wondering whether or not it is safe for your jewelry.
As a matter of fact, that depends on the ingredients in your hand sanitizer of choice. Or, perhaps more accurately, in whatever hand sanitizer you’re actually able to get your hands on. Pun intended.
Alcohol-based vs Chlorine-based Cleaners:
Generally speaking, hand sanitizers that are alcohol-based should not affect your jewelry. As a matter of fact, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is mild enough that it is more or less benign.
However, non-alcohol-based cleaners typically use chlorine as a germicide and that can be quite destructive. Basically, when the chlorine-based compounds in those cleaners mix with water, it causes a reaction that can leach the non-gold and platinum alloys from the jewelry. This is the same reason why you should not wear your fine jewelry in the pool or hot tub.
Under the best of circumstances, exposing your jewelry to chlorine-based cleaners might cause them to tarnish. On the other hand, it could also cause them to crack under the pressure of long-term corrosion. With that in mind, we suggest using only alcohol-based hand sanitizer while wearing your jewelry.
How to Properly Clean Your Jewelry:
Regardless of whether or not alcohol-based hand sanitizer is safe for jewelry, it’s likely to build up and collect in the structure of your rings. With that in mind, here is the best way to clean your fine jewelry between professional cleanings and inspections.
As a matter of fact, the best way to clean your diamond engagement ring is to soak it for a few minutes in a solution of warm water with a drop of Dawn dish soap.
You might also want to buy a jar of Connoisseurs Jewelry Cleaner to start out with because it is convenient. As a matter of fact, you can reuse the container and it comes with a soft bristle brush and a basket that makes it easier to rinse your jewelry clean.
Alternatively, you can use a baby’s soft bristle toothbrush and a basket style strainer for loose tea leaves. Either way, we suggest that you close the sink trap before starting this procedure for obvious reasons!
Soak. Scrub Lightly. Rinse Thoroughly.
If you’re cleaning gold or platinum jewelry with durable gemstones like diamonds, rubies, or sapphires, then the only thing you really have to be careful of is trying not to catch the bristles of the toothbrush in the prongs. In the event that you do, please remove it gently and carefully so that you don’t pull the prongs back or loosen them.
That’s just good common sense, right? Okay, then, you’re going to soak your ring for a few minutes. Then, you’re going to scrub the ring gently with a baby’s soft bristle toothbrush. And then, you’re going to rinse the ring clean under warm running water (again, with the sink trap closed).
Afterward, you simply pat the ring dry with a soft dish towel. Note that we do not recommend the use of ultra-sonic jewelry cleaners because they can loosen the stones in your ring.
Cleaning Soft/Porous Gems:
Special care must be taken when cleaning gemstones that are soft and/or porous, e.g. pearls, emeralds, jade, opals, etc., to avoid damaging them. As a matter of fact, you should avoid exposing these types of softer gemstones to any kind of cleaning agent.
The nacre of skin of a pearl is porous and can be easily damaged. With that in mind, it is probably best to minimize the exposure of pearls and other soft gems to chemical cleaning agents. A good rule to follow is to rinse your jewelry at the end of the day to remove any hand sanitizer that might have collected on the rings throughout the day.
Due to the unique nature of colored gems and pearls other than diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, we recommend that you seek professional advice for each specific jewelry item that contains pearls, emeralds, jade, or opals.