How clean is YOUR jewellery? Study reveals a ring, watch and earrings gather 400 times MORE germs than a toilet seat in just a week of wearing
- Survey revealed that two-thirds of Brits admit to never cleaning their jewellery
- New study by Est1897 analysed the bacteria and filth that manifests on jewellery
- Found accessories worn regularly manifest 21,000 growths of bacteria a week
- Rings collected the most nasties, with five bacterial species found on the piece
While we all know our clothes have to be washed regularly, many of us never consider that the accessories we put on day in, day out, are picking up dirt and bacteria with every wear.
A new study has analysed the cleanliness of three jewellery pieces that were worn for a week, after two thirds of Britons admitted to never cleaning their accessories.
Research by pre-owned jewellery and watch specialists Est1897 found that collectively, the ring, watch and earrings had gathered 428 times more germs than a toilet seat in seven days.
The experiment found that just over 21,000 growths of bacteria had manifested on the jewellery over a week.
It also found the jewellery contained everything from the extremely dangerous Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) to Diptheria, food poisoning and bacterial colonies that can cause thrush.
A total of 504 bacterial colonies, one fungus colony and one black mould colony were found on the rings. Exposure to black mould can cause dry scaly skin and skin rashes, amongst other issues
Bacillus cerus, which was found on the earrings studied, is one of two pathogenic species of bacillus, this example causes food poisoning if a human were to ingest the bacterium
Such a large number of bacterial colonies were found on the watch likely as bacteria can catch on links and a watch isn’t included in active hand washing
Every day our hands come into contact with thousands of unknown objects harbouring anything from food to faecal matter.
When jewellery isn’t cleaned properly, bacteria grows at a rapid rate and with the average person touching their face an estimated 16 times an hour, it’s easy to spread harmful organisms our go-to ring or favourite pair of earrings.
Research found that after just one week of wearing, the ring collected the most nasties, with five bacterial species found on the piece.
A total of 504 bacterial colonies, one fungus colony and one black mould colony were found on the ring. Exposure to black mould can cause dry scaly skin and skin rashes, amongst other issues.
485 bacterial colonies were found on the earrings. The earrings harboured the Bacillus species which was also present on the ring
Shockingly after just one week of wearing, a whopping 20,020 bacterial colonies were found on the watch
A new study has analysed the bacteria and filth that manifests on jewellery pieces. Pictured, the 504 bacterial colonies found on a ring worn regularly over a week
The watch was the second-worst offender with four types of bacteria found on the piece.
But more shockingly after just one week of wearing, a whopping 20,020 bacterial colonies were found on the watch – most likely as bacteria can catch on links and a watch isn’t included in active hand washing.
485 bacterial colonies were found on the earrings. The earrings harboured the Bacillus species which was also present on the ring.
Bacillus cerus is one of two pathogenic species of bacillus, this example causes food poisoning if a human were to ingest the bacterium, which can easily be done if playing with earrings then transferring to the mouth, especially if biting nails or eating food with unwashed hands.
Ben Jarrett from Est1897 commented: ‘This study has brought some interesting things to light and the results are astounding.
‘Although it’s important to keep your jewellery pristine to savour its value, it’s also duly important to regularly scrub and soak your pieces to keep them safe and clean. ‘
How to keep your jewellery clean
Mix your cleaning solution
To start, you’re going to need to create a cleaning solution. Mix a few drops of Fairy washing up liquid with warm water.
You will want to mix it into a dish or Tupperware pot of some kind which is big enough to fit a toothbrush in. To start, soak the jewellery in the solution for 30 minutes.
Take your toothbrush and swill it around in the solution, ensuring that the bristles are wet. Then, gently scrub around the piece of jewellery using the brush, making sure to get into all of the engravings and corners.
Once you are happy that you’ve scrubbed each area of the piece, you will need to rinse with clean, cool water. Try to make sure that you rinse off all of the suds so that no soapy residue is left over.
Once thoroughly rinsed, use a dry soft cloth which is preferably lint-free to polish your jewellery piece.
For extra dirty pieces, create a fresh cleaning solution and use a new cloth dipped in the solution to damp polish each surface. You should repeat this process regularly for best results.
Steam to finish
Boil your kettle. Using a pair of long-stemmed tweezers hold your jewellery carefully and at a safe distance from the spout as it comes to the boil to give your piece a steam finish.
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