Is Hand Sanitizer Bad for Jewelry?

With everything going on in the world today, washing hands and using hand sanitizer are an important part of everyone’s daily routines, but is it safe to use while wearing jewelry? The short answer is hand sanitizer is not going to cause any long-term damage to jewelry. Here’s everything you need to know to make sure your jewelry is not on the list of things to worry about.

Diamond Ring close up

How It Could Affect Jewelry

The good news is that most hand sanitizers are made of alcohol and alcohol will not ruin your jewelry. However, make sure to read the ingredients because some sanitizers and soaps are made with alternative germicides and other chemicals. For instance, some hand sanitizers are made with bleach and chlorine that with excessive use, may start to tarnish certain precious metals, such as sterling silver. These chemicals can also cause any rhodium plating to wear off quicker. Rhodium is what keeps platinum and white gold looking bright white. But do not worry, rhodium can be easily reapplied to bring back the bright color and shine to these metals.

Tips While Using Hand Sanitizer

People typically use hand sanitizer when they are out and about. This amount of use is perfectly fine for most jewelry. We strongly recommend keeping your beautiful jewelry on when washing hands or applying sanitizer in public places. We have heard sad stories from friends leaving their rings on bathroom sinks or in hotels. Just remember, the safest place for your jewelry when not at home is physically on your body.

At Home Jewelry Care

On the other hand, when you’re at home, we recommend taking off your jewelry and storing it in a safe place before exposing your hands to any liquids or doing anything that may be hard on the hands. For instance, when cleaning, sanitizing, working outside, and even doing dishes. Harsh chemicals can damage jewelry, and there are certain sensitive gemstones, like pearls, emeralds, and opals, that may lose their shiny coating or change color when exposed to certain household cleaners, including jewelry cleaner. Plus, when your hands are wet, it’s easier for jewelry to slip off and get lost. Removing jewelry at home will also prevent a build-up of lotions, soaps, and makeup and helps to keep your jewelry clean and sparkly.

Hand Sanitizer with Jewelry Ring on Finger

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to get your jewelry cleaned, Steven Singer Jewelers is here to help! We offer free jewelry inspections, free cleanings, and free expert advice. Stop in at the Other Corner of 8th and Walnut in Philadelphia or visit us online at

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Comments (2)

  1. John Green

    My girlfriend put her engagement ring in some mashed potatoes and she tried to clean it off she was going to use the pink jewelry cleaner that came with the ring but it says not for use with precious gemstones or pearls can she clean the ring and the diamond with this cleaner thanks

    • Reply

      Hi John, the pink solution from our store will clean up and get rid of those mash potatoes in her diamond engagement ring. You can also gently use an old tooth brush or schedule an appointment to get it professionally cleaned at our store. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

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