Are Silicone Rings Sanitary?
Anyone looking for an alternative to metal rings probably has a long list of requirements for the new material. It must be:
But have you also considered whether your new ring is sanitary? Those who work in professions where you need to maintain clean hands, such as healthcare, and others who wear rings in everyday situations need to make sure that a new ring material won’t harbor bacteria and other potential substances that could put your finger or others around you in danger.
Understanding Silicone Rubber
Silicone rings are a manmade material (meaning the material must be altered from its natural state) that includes silicon combined with other naturally occurring elements like hydrogen and carbon. It’s different from rubber—commonly called latex—which comes from the sap of rubber trees. Both are elastomers, which means they are stretchy and flexible, but the process to make them is different. The end result for silicone is a more durable material that can withstand higher temperatures, and is less likely to cause skin irritation or allergies, among other properties.
Does Silicone Harbor Bacteria?
A common question about silicone is whether the material can harbor bacteria. The short answer is yes (but so can metal). The longer answer is that while bacteria colonization can occur, production techniques can reduce the ability for bacteria to colonize and you can take some simple steps to keep your ring clean.
Silicone rings are made of the same medical-grade silicone material that is used in many devices for food prep and cooking, as well as devices to treat medical conditions. It’s used for those applications because it can be easily sanitized to remove bacteria and prevent buildup. Your ring is similarly easy to clean and sanitize. When it gets dirty you have a few options:
Clean it with warm water and soap at least once a day, or more often as needed to remove most dirt and other buildup
Put your ring in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes to completely sanitize and kill any bacteria
Toss your ring in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning with soap and extremely hot water to kill bacteria (put it in a container like the ones for baby bottle parts, or in a silverware compartment that you can close, to protect the ring from falling down near the heating element)
Silicone rings are not only stylish and comfortable, they are also a great choice for a sanitary piece of jewelry that you can easily clean as needed