The first thing to consider is what it’s made of.
A stainless steel bracelet is unlikely to be damaged by anything in the dish water. It’s a tough metal that’s specially formulated to reduce the risk of rusting or corrosion. But it’s worth thinking about the grime or small food particles that could get onto it. Depending on the style, there could be nooks / crannies in the individual links, or in and around the customised tag – and these are places that grime loves to accumulate! You can give it a wash afterwards, with mild soap and water, but it may be easier to slip it off for a few minutes if your hands are going to be in dirty water.
A bracelet that features nylon cord is also unlikely to be damaged by soap or grease in the water. But as the cord will absorb a small amount of water, it’s really easy to trap small amounts of grease or food in the fibres of the cord. And they could smell or stain over time. Not very nice! Or if it is food grit, it can wear away at the cord in an abrasive way.
The way we think of it is ... if you would dip the bottom of your T-shirt (that you’re wearing!) into the dish water, it’s no problem to dip your bracelet in. But if you don’t want to wear the grime from the water around on you, then it’s worth thinking about your bracelet in the same way. Particularly if it’s a sentimental piece.
The second consideration is what you have engraved on your bracelet.
A sentimental or ID bracelet is probably best taken off. Unless – like possibly a wedding band – it’s really important to you to wear it “all the time.”
A medical alert bracelet could be a different story though. Here, you’ll have to balance up the risk.
For example, if you have a mild allergy to bee stings, and you feel that you are less likely to be stung inside the house while washing up, you might want to set it aside for a few minutes until you have finished.
However, if you suffer from a condition that is aggravated by periods of standing – such as Orthostatic Hypotension or PoTS – or has symptoms such as dizziness or fainting that can occur without warning, you may decide to leave it on all the time. Pop on a pair of rubber gloves to keep most of the soap and grease away. Grimy water is unlikely to structurally damage the materials. But you’ll need to clean it more often and you may find out that it wears out more quickly. This is probably cosmetic, but the look of your bracelet is important in how you feel when you wear it. But don’t worry, your fashion tastes probably change over time too, so it’s not a terrible thing to update your bracelet every so often. It’s a small price to pay to know that you’re safe.
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