Is Hand Sanitizer Bad for Your Engagement Ring?

Big yikes.

rings

Photo by Samantha Gades

In the past few weeks, you've probably increased your use of hand sanitizer and other soaps. But while all of those disinfecting agents are protecting you, they might be hurting something else—your engagement ring.

Turns out, the aggressive use of hand sanitizer is doing two dangerous things to your engagement ring and the experts at James Allen, an online diamond retailer, explained it all to us.

Meet the Expert

James Allen is an online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer. While the business launched in 2006, its founders have over 60 years of experience in the diamond industry.

First, they shared that "excessive exposure to hand sanitizer and cleaning agents can make finish on white gold wear a little bit faster, but it won’t cause immediate damage." However, contact with cleaning agents such as chlorine, bleach, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers "can break down the brilliance of metals and gems over time." In other words, your rock might lose its shine—and probably won't come back.

And not only do you run the risk of dulling the luster of your ring, but you can also destroy the setting, too. "Extensive hand sanitizer use can also loosen prongs that hold diamonds in place," revealed the experts at James Allen.

Of course, don't stop your hand sanitizer use—at the end of the day, health and hygiene are always more important than any piece of jewelry! However, there are ways to stay clean and keep your diamond safe at the same time. "If possible you should avoid rubbing hand sanitizer or harsh cleaning products directly onto your ring," they explained. "The best option is to remove your ring, apply hand sanitizer, let it dry and then put your ring back on."

If you can't remove your ring, we recommend wearing gloves when doing any household cleaning.

We also suggest cleaning your engagement ring and wedding bands at least once a week by soaking the jewelry in warm water and dishwashing soap. So yes, you can continue your good hygiene habits without putting your diamond ring in jeopardy!

Related Stories