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a person using an automated hand sanitizer dispenser

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: We appreciate the good work hand sanitizer does in halting the spread of disease. Pretty disturbing statistics out there about germs spread from hand to hand. If we are heading out to the kind of music festival with long lines for both porta potties and finger foods, you had better believe that a personal bottle of hand sanitizer is as essential as the all-day pass. 

However, while we’re grateful for the intensity that hand sanitizer brings to the table when it comes to germ eradication, there’s no denying that it takes a toll on your hands, especially with repeated use. As the alcohol from sanitizer evaporates, it leaves the skin dry, which compromises its natural defense system, occasionally even cracking the skin. Compromised skin can at least remind you to moisturize and repair itself. But jewelry doesn’t have that luxury. 

When to Take Off an Engagement Ring

a person using a bottle of hand sanitizer

Source: Sunil5959/

If you thought that smearing hand sanitizer did double duty as ring cleaner, we’ve got bad news for you. While it may seem like hand sanitizer performs a magic disappearing trick, it doesn’t entirely vansh. Over time, a filmy residue can develop. Not only that, but the astringent nature of the sanitizer can lead to some tarnishing and discoloration of the band. 

The good news is that this is a gradual process — a quick squirt from the hand sanitizer dispenser at the hospital is not going to wreck your engagement ring. What’s more, the rhodium plating that Modern Gents uses on our rings is an extra line of defense for the metal and, even when there is wear and tear, our selection of affordable engagement rings offers easy replacements.

The whole point of hand sanitizer is to be something that you can make use of on the go, so you don’t have to worry about removing your ring every time you use it. But if you know beforehand that you are going to be doing a lot of hand sanitizing — it’s good stewardship to shed your jewelry (not to mention that you avoid getting your ring dirty with whatever is going to be sanitized off in the first place).  

How to Clean an Engagement Ring

We get that you have to use your hands, but while that ring is a symbol of your love, it isn’t especially essential in terms of unclogging that pipe or prepping that grill marinade. And when you have the choice, it’s better for both your hands and ring to have soapy water be a part of the mix.

a woman cleaning the elena engagement ring in rose gold

Featured: The Elena in Rose Gold

Finally, remember that washing your hands (hand sanitizer or otherwise) isn’t the same thing as cleaning your ring. Make sure you take the time to regularly clean those rings. And if you realize that you are really upping the degree to which you need to clean your hands or clean your rings, consider streamlining the process by subbing silicone wedding bands into your ring rotation.

Shop All Silicone Wedding Rings


Header Image Source: Patricia Perez R/