Do hydroalcoholic gels damage jewellery?

  • by Jordi Rosich

Hydroalcoholic gels have become essential in our lives and we use them every day: at home, at work, in shops ...

It's natural to have doubts about how these gels might affect your new routine, such as whether they could damage your gold jewellery with precious stones.


Do antibacterial gels damage jewellery?


Hydroalcoholic gels DO NOT damage rose or yellow gold jewellery nor do they affect very hard precious stones such as diamonds.

But how often such gels are used and for how long COULD harm white gold rings and jewellery and some more porous gemstones.

The alcohol wears away the rhodium plating applied to all white gold jewellery to give it that mirror effect we love so much.


I ADVISE AGAINST using such gels if you have gold jewellery with pearls. Mother-of-pearl is an organic material that ages over time and therefore you need to look after it to prolong its life. Pearls are sensitive to acid, perfume, lacquer ... and also alcohol, so try to prevent them from coming into contact with antibacterial gels, okay?


Does antibacterial gel damage engagement or wedding rings?

Yes, if they're made from white gold, for the reasons I've already explained. The alcohol in the gel will wear out the rhodium plating and the ring will eventually lose its shine.


Does antibacterial gel make jewellery dirty?

Yes. Antibacterial gels, as well as soap, moisturiser, sun cream and make-up can all make jewellery dirty. But, don't worry; in most cases it's possible to remove any remnants of gel or cream using an easy home remedy that I'll explain right now. But remember - prevention is always better than cure.


Top tips

Antibacterial gels perform the same function as soap and water; i.e. they clean and disinfect your hands and thereby help to prevent possible infection.

The best advice I can give you concerning jewellery and disinfectant gels is, whenever possible, to wash your hands with soap and water rather than using other liquids.

But you can use gels when you're away from home and have no better option.

I also recommend you take off your jewellery before using any gels or creams and wait a few minutes for your skin to absorb them. Then you can put your jewellery back on without the risk of getting it dirty or the rhodium plating on white gold deteriorating.

Also remember that hydroalcoholic gels dry out your hands, nails and mucous membranes. Another reason to use soap and water to keep your hands and skin gleaming.

How to maintain your jewellery yourself

You've probably already seen this home remedy in a previous article on how to look after your jewellery. But, in case you didn't, I'll repeat it here because it's very easy and practical and you're bound to use it.

To remove the remains of hydroalcoholic gels from your gold jewellery set with diamonds or other precious stones, bring a pan of water to the boil.

Then boil your jewellery for 5 to 10 minutes. After this time, rinse the jewellery in cold water and dry it very carefully, little by little, using a cotton cloth (without rubbing).

That's it. If you maintain your jewellery like this once a month, you'll be able to wear it as it deserves (and as you deserve!).

If you'd like to know more, write to me at or take a look at this article:


How to look after your gold jewellery and precious stones

You'll see I've prepared a downloadable text that explains all the everyday actions and substances that can affect the brilliance of your jewellery. I hope it's useful - please let me know!

Warmest regards,



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