Is Hand Sanitizer Bad for Your Engagement Ring?

You could be unintentionally harming your ring.


Photo by Samantha Gades

In the past few years, you've probably increased your use of hand sanitizer and other soaps, and while those disinfecting agents protect you, they might be hurting your engagement ring. As it 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, the experts at James Allen shared that "excessive exposure to hand sanitizer and cleaning agents can make the 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.

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!

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The Ultimate Engagement Ring Guide

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