Hand Sanitizer Damaging to Rings?


Does anyone have any information about hand sanitizers like Purell or Calstat damaging rings? I've heard people say that it can weaken prongs or cause discoloration but haven't been able to find any real information online. I asked my jeweler if I need to worry about my platinum rings and they said that I shouldn't. Does anyone have any information or personal experience with their rings being damaged by these products?

And yes, I know many people think rings should be left at home because they harbor bacteria, can scratch patients, won't get damaged, etc.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, IM, OB/GYN, neuro, GI.

I know that I had an old white gold ring (grandmother got it in the 20/30's) that was coated in something to keep the luster (can't remember what the coating is called) and it started to peel from washing and sanitizing my hands. It didn't do anything else to the ring and I took it to a jeweler that deals with antique pieces and got it redipped for $20 and it looked as good as new. I don't know if they still do this to white/platinum rings.

As for the prongs the only time I've ever had problems with those is if I get one caught on something especially if the stone is in a high setting.

If you're worried about them you could always buy a chain and wear them around your neck tucked inside of your top while at work and then put them back on once your shift is over.


648 Posts

It shouldnt damage gold or silver. Purell has a faq on their website I think.


630 Posts

All I know is betadine and silver don't mix unless you like dark dark silver LOL.


2,441 Posts

All hand sanitizer is made of, is alcohol and glycerin, maybe a fragrance, that's it.

The reason it will turn white gold is that white gold has silver in it (or nickel or palladium)...that is what gives it the silver color...there is technically no such thing as white gold that is found in nature.

There is no similar coating on yellow gold or platinum b/c the metal keeps it's own billiance..thus, why it's more expensive.

April, RN, BSN, RN

1,008 Posts

Thanks for the replies! I know white gold is plated with rhodium to give it brightness and needs to be redipped from time to time. I suspect the "discoloration" people had been warning me about is actually from wear and tear and not from sanitizers or soaps. I got paranoid though and started to research just in case :lol2:

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