Can Hand Sanitizer Ruin Your Silicone Rings?
For those who wear silicone rings, one of the reasons you made the choice to switch from a metal ring might have been your ability to wear it in many different situations. Professionals who work in jobs where they need to keep their hands clean to protect themselves and others—such as healthcare, hospitality, or food service—find that silicone rings are a great option for comfort as well as safety.
But one of the common questions that comes up is whether the use of hand sanitizer will affect your silicone ring by dissolving the material or degrading it over time.
What is Silicone?
Silicone is a substance made from naturally occurring materials that are put together in a synthetic form (mean it’s man-made and doesn’t occur naturally). The form that silicone rubber takes is a type of polymer called an elastomer, which means it’s stretchy. Millions of people who choose silicone rings over metal wedding rings do so because of that stretch. Most silicone rings are made of medical-grade silicones, meaning they are biocompatible and won’t cause an allergic reaction when they come in contact with the skin. Medical-grade silicone is also designed to be easily sterilized in a way that won’t degrade or break down the material.
Isopropyl Alcohol and Silicone
The most common ingredient used in hand sanitizer is isopropyl alcohol, which is shown to kill bacteria and germs on surfaces (including your hands). This alcohol is liquid at room temperature, which means that it will not “melt” your silicone ring. Since synthetic silicone rings are polymers, they also will not dissolve from being in contact with isopropyl alcohol. In some cases it will absorb the alcohol temporarily (swell), but once the alcohol evaporates from the ring it will return to its normal size and shape with no damage to the structure.
Sanitizing Your Silicone Ring
The good news is that medical-grade rubber does not allow bacteria growth, but sometimes other things that can get attached to the rubber might harbor bacteria. You can sanitize it using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or you can also clean it with a few other methods:
- Soap and warm water will remove most bacteria or contaminants
- Boiling your ring for 15-20 minutes can remove items that don’t come off easily with soap and water
- Sending your silicone ring through a cycle in the dishwasher is also a way to clean it and sanitize it with soap and very hot water
Since silicone is waterproof and can withstand significantly high temperatures (over 500 degrees Fahrenheit), boiling it or sending it through the dishwasher won’t damage it in any way.
Check out silicone rings from Enso Rings today to find one you can wear safely, and with confidence, knowing it’s clean and comfortable.