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Hygiene matters – How to sanitise your jewellery

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Handwashing and hygiene have suddenly and abruptly come to the fore in recent weeks but one area that has been largely overlooked is that of maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of your jewellery, which can harbour potentially dangerous germs and viruses. Coronavirus has caused a good deal of anxiety for many of us and most people are keen to find any methods they can to reduce the risk of contracting, or passing on, the virus. While the NHS, health experts and government have given clear advice on social distancing, and thorough hand washing, jewellery can harbour harmful germs and bacteria so keeping rings, piercings, bracelets and other items clean is now more important than ever. Understandably many health care professionals choose not to wear jewellery while at work but for the rest of us there is no reason to stop wearing it altogether. It is important to wash under your jewellery every time you wash your hands. This can be a simple as pulling your ring up and down your finger or sliding your watch slightly up your forearm to reveal the skin underneath and allow you to clean it. There is no need to use any form of chemical cleaning solution on your jewellery and this can tarnish plated metals and some gemstones. Traditional soap and water are the most effective method. From time to time it is a good idea to brush any watches, bracelets or intricate rings with a simple tooth brush (or similar) to get into all the nooks and crannies, such as behind chain links and the spaces between gemstones and their mountings.

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When it comes to very hands on tasks, such as D-I-Y, it is always a good idea to remove your jewellery. Gold, for example, is a soft metal and it can scratch easily, as well as collecting small particles of dirt and dust. When you shower or bath it is worth removing all jewellery items so that you can thoroughly clean the skin that normally lies beneath it. This is not only good from a hygiene perspective but also from a dermatological point of view. Many people apply moisturisers, hand lotions and other skin regenerating products, especially at night. Where possible it is a good idea to remove jewellery when you do this as the liquid can become trapped in small edifices, such as under claws and between chain and watch strap links. When this happens, they can attract the accumulation of germs and bacteria to the surface of the object that is hard to get rid of. With body piercings it is especially important to ensure the skin surrounding the items is kept as clean as possible, both to prevent infection and to keep micro-invaders a bay! It never hurts to ask a jeweller to professionally clean your jewellery every 5 years or so, this not only helps to maintain cleanliness, but it also improves the aesthetic qualities of your pieces! We provide jewellery cleaning services (which are free of charge to our existing customers). Contact us for more information.

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