We know how pretty sterling silver looks as jewelry. It might be so precious to you that you would wear it everywhere you go. But at the same time, you don’t want to damage your precious silver jewelry.
The simple answer is no if you want to keep your sterling silver safe one hundred percent. Silver sterling might not get entirely damaged by water. But for being a naturally occurring metal, silver can react with certain substances. It also may tarnish when exposed to water, which can cause it to darken.
Can You Wear Sterling Silver In The Shower?
It’s best not to wear sterling silver in the shower as it may tarnish your jewelry. Being an alloy of many metals, sterling silver oxidizes over time. Since sterling silver contains copper and silver, it is more likely to tarnish than pure silver.
What May Tarnish Sterling Silver?
- Harsh Chemicals and Chlorine
Showering in water that contains chemicals like chlorine may corrode silver.
The high mineral content of the water in the South and East of England (termed “hard water”) may negatively impact the appearance of silver. To avoid damage to your jewelry, it’s best to skip the shower if you live in an area with hard water.
- Shower Gels, Soap and Shampoo
Your personal care products, such as shampoos, shower gels, and soaps, may also contain harmful chemicals. Because of its sensitivity, sterling silver jewelry may be damaged by overly fragrant or heavily scented shower products.
When Must You Avoid Wearing Sterling Silver Jewelry?
The appearance of tarnish is not catastrophic. Your jewelry won’t be instantly ruined, but the damage will worsen. In certain conditions, sterling silver jewelry is not a good idea:
While Taking A Shower
The metal is subjected to a large amount of moisture and humidity all at once when you shower it.
The consequences of exposing sterling silver to moisture are immediately apparent. Body wash and hair products include chemicals that may corrode metal jewelry yet are harmless to human skin.
During Cleaning Your Home
Cleaning exposes your hands to a variety of abrasive chemicals and wetness. Your cleaning chemicals are effective at removing filth, but they are also harsh on sterling silver jewelry.
When You Enjoy The ‘Pool Time’
Wearing sterling silver in the shower is no different from wearing it in the pool, on the beach, or in a hot tub. There is too much contact between metal and water, and other substances.
Tips to Avoid Tarnishing Your Sterling Silver Jewellery
Some easy precautions may be taken to ensure that your sterling silver jewelry retains its luster and structural integrity for as long as possible.
Take it Off Before Encountering Chemicals Or Moisture.
Remove your jewelry before using chemicals like cleansers or entering a pool treated with chlorine. It’s essential to remember that sterling silver might tarnish if exposed to moisture. The sauna is hardly the place to show off your jewelry collection.
Take care not to expose your sterling silver jewelry to moisture by leaving it out on the counter after you’ve showered.
Take The ‘Storage’ Part Seriously.
Keeping sterling silver jewelry properly is more involved than storing other types of jewelry. Your nightstand or kitchen counter won’t be a safe enough place to keep it from becoming scratched or tarnished if you leave it there overnight.
- Make sure it is stored in a cold, dark area. Your jewelry is vulnerable to the sun and heat. Having it next to a window, for example, is not a recommended placement.
- To avoid damaging other jewelry, store each item separately in a ziplock bag. Tarnishing may also be avoided by deflating the bags altogether.
Nothing beats a plastic bag, however. Simply place your jewelry in its case, zip it up to the top but not all the way, and then press out any excess air.
- The jewelry is best kept on a plush surface. Even if the sterling silver jewelry is now being stored in individual Ziploc bags, you can still give each piece the attention it deserves by placing them in a cushioned container, such as a jewelry box lined with velvet.
If you’re not cautious, the metal might still be damaged by harsh objects through the plastic.
What To Do If Your Sterling Silver Is Already Tarnished?
There are ways to give your jewelry a new look if you accidentally tarnished it.
Have It Professionally Cleaned
Not in the mood to clean and polish your sterling silver pieces?
That’s okay, as you can easily get your jewelry professionally cleaned. Drop off your item, make your payment, and pick it up after the service is complete. You may not even have to wait a day or two, depending on how fortunate you are.
Use Soap And Water
It may seem counterintuitive to expose the sterling silver to dampness to polish it, but the process is effective if followed to the letter.
- Put some mild dish soap (about 2 or 3 drops) in a cup or bowl of warm water. Start carefully hand-cleaning your sterling silver jewelry by placing it in a cup of water. (Let it not soak; that will do more damage than good.)
- Remove any lingering grime or tarnish using a cotton swab and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Take the jewelry out of the basin or cup where the polishing took place and dry it with a soft towel (tip: microfiber works well for this.)
- You should wait until your jewelry is dry before putting it away.
Polish With Lemon Juice And Olive Oil
For years, lemon juice has been widely used as a household cleaner. Despite its acidity, it is safe for most household items and will effectively remove dirt. The acidity of the lemon is neutralized by the olive oil, and the added shine is worth the additional effort.
To do this, please follow these steps:
- In a small dish, combine 12 cups of lemon juice and 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Soak a little microfiber cloth with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Soak up any extra cleaner and buff the silver until it shines new.
- When done, give the jewelry a quick rinse in warm water and pat it dries with a clean, soft towel. Wait until it’s totally dry before putting it away.
Can You Wear Sterling Silver every day?
This question has a straightforward ‘yeah, sure!’ response. Wearing your sterling silver jewelry as often as possible is encouraged.
Using this material to create jewelry is risky since it quickly corrodes. As a result, the jewelry gradually acquires a thin corrosion coating, making it seem old and dingy. This may occur for several reasons, but consistent usage can mitigate it.
As you wear jewelry, the oils from your skin will act as a natural polish, keeping it looking new. These oils shield sterling silver from environmental aggressors that hasten its oxidation.
What Jewelry Can You Wear In The Shower?
You might be tempted to take your precious jewelry in the shower. But, not all of them are suitable for dealing with water. We’ll talk about which jewelry you can use and which you should not take in the shower:
Just remember that no matter how good you feel in your favorite diamond studs, it’s best to never, ever wear them in the water. Diamonds lose their sparkle and if the setting is loose, you can even lose them down the toilet.
The same is true with diamond jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Put away your jewelry before entering any body of water to ensure that it stays dry.
- Gold Jewellery
Gold-plated accessories should be kept dry at all times. Gold-plated jewelry is vulnerable to chips and scratches the more it is worn. Not to mention, it might become old fast. Blunt gold almost has the appearance of being counterfeit.
You can feel safe wearing solid gold jewelry (whether it be rose, white, or yellow gold). Typically, this holds for the most popular gold alloys, ranging from 10k to 18k.
The longevity of your jewelry may be significantly improved by simply drying it off with a soft towel after each use in water.
- Costume And Fast Fashion Jewellery
Wearing costume jewelry in the shower is a bad idea.
Costume jewelry is often made using inexpensive metals and other materials, like glue, which drives down the price.
Many types of jewelry include nickel, which isn’t effectively controlled by governments but is utilized in these products anyway.
As a consumer, you may not realize that nickel exposure might trigger an allergy. Just avoid wearing nickel-containing jewelry while taking a bath or shower since water will only serve to amplify any possible danger.
- Wood, Plastic, and Other Materials
You should probably not get wet when wearing your new peacock-feather earrings. You probably also shouldn’t go swimming around with your priceless diamond earrings on.
Therefore, you should exercise caution while wearing wooden accessories. Treatment and/or finish indicates that it is safe to use. But untreated wood may swell, dry up, and crack if it gets damp! Take caution.
You may safely wear your plastic and glass jewelry to the beach or into the shower. You may dry them with a towel or set them outside to air dry.
It’s important to handle fragile glass and plasticware carefully to avoid losing or breaking any ornaments or filigree.
The use of stainless steel in the shower is also acceptable. However, remove your stainless steel jewelry before entering the water since it is not chloride-friendly.
Since the tarnish on stainless steel jewelry increases with its poor quality, knowing whether or not it contains other metals is crucial. Try to spend your money on stainless steel that can withstand surgical procedures.
In conclusion, it is safe to say to answer the question, Can you shower with sterling silver?
No, you should not. In general, you should avoid bathing with sterling silver, going to a hot tub, the pool, the ocean, or any other body of water while wearing sterling silver. The water issue is that if you expose the fresh sterling silver to it, it will eventually tarnish.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.