Written for NDTV Good Times Online Magazine by Deeksha Rai Chawla.
In these stressful times of Covid, where the importance of hygiene and cleanliness has grown many times fold, we find ourselves washing our hands far too many times than we ever did previously. This has cultivated into a new habit and as the times are currently, adapting is our only choice. Along with this, come various challenges on how to maintain our beloved and precious jewellery pieces which now have an additional maintenance regime to clear all the germs while maintaining the sheen.
While washing or sanitizing our hands following the 20 second rule, we tend to use harsh chemicals found in liquid soaps which are good enough to kill the virus or any bacteria on our skin but may result in damaging the jewellery. It is still a BIG NO to wear the jewellery while washing your hands. Alternatively, the concern would be to sterilize the jewellery pieces too as the small openings could be carrying germs.
A quick and easy way is to invest in a UV Sterilizer box. This kills viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. While shopping for a UV Box, keep in mind the UV wavelength should fall in the range of UVC 100-280 nm to ensure complete removal of harmful virus and bacteria.
For metal, precious and semi precious stones jewellery (with an exception of pearls), another option is to wash your jewellery everyday with mild dishwash soap and warm water, soaking it for 10 mins and then using a soft bristle brush to lather and clean any hidden points. Dry with a towel and then use a soft cloth to clean the metal and stone(s). Use a soft cloth to do the final touches and remove any finger prints or and absorb any remaining water. Avoid wearing pearls at this time as these delicate stones can get damaged by coming in contact with even water.
For Silver jewellery, place an aluminum foil in a bowl and pour warm water in it. Add Salt, Baking Soda and one tbsp of white vinegar and stir well. Now place your silver jewellery items in this mixture touching the aluminum foil for 15 mins. Dry this with a towel and then clean with a soft cloth.
One important hygiene tip is to remember that the skin underneath the rings and earrings need to be washed again at this time as they are good hiding spots for the viruses and bacteria accumulated on the jewellery.
Keep your jewellery clean, stay safe and healthy!