By REY ROBES ILAGAN
Given the constant reminders for everyone to exercise basic protective measures like proper hand washing, you’ve probably go on automatic each time you need to clean up. You sing the happy birthday song twice while scrubbing, but what about your rings? Some even go to the extent of changing clothes when they get inside their house, but should you remove your necklace as well? Can jewelry carry Covid-19?
The Journal of Hospital Infection recently published a study from Germany on the persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. According to their findings, surfaces contaminated with Covid-19 can remain infectious from two hours up to nine days. WebMB, an American online publisher of news pertaining to human health and well-being, also said that the virus can live depending on the material surface it is made from. Metals like doorknobs, silverware, and jewelry can be infectious of up to five days.
“Yes, they can live on jewelry. For example, the novel coronavirus can live on stainless steel jewelry for up to three days,” says jewelry designer Kristine Dee. “We should take necessary precautions for silver and gold jewelry as well.”
So how do you clean them? Shereen Ivy Soriano, owner of Stardust Fine Jewelry, advises to soak them in strong jewelry solutions. “Bacteria and virus can probably live on jewelry for some time,” Shereen says. “We then use ultrasonic machines with solutions specifically formulated for jewelry. After that procedure, we steam dry them. If you’re in need of home sanitation, soak your jewelry in antibacterial wash and then rinse.”
To add, Kristine recommends using warm water and any household liquid soap solution to clean most pieces of jewelry. “You can leave them in to soak for 10 minutes. Use the softest toothbrush to brush away remaining grime and dirt, and then rinse in clean water,” Kristine says. “Check the sink’s drain plug, it must be closed during the time you are cleaning. Also, please avoid using alcohol or any disinfectants as they will dehydrate and damage some precious stones and materials.”
For precious stones like emeralds, jade, pearls, corals, opals, and other delicate stones, extra care must be provided. It is best that your trusted jeweler administer professional cleaning, as soap can dehydrate and cause unnecessary damage.