Can You Wear Sterling Silver In The Shower?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Sterling silver is a stunning combination of pure silver and melted copper. This combination stands out as one of the most visually appealing and durable metals used for jewelry. Proper sterling silver etiquette can be difficult to figure out if you’ve never had it before. So, can you wear silver in the shower?

You should not wear sterling silver in the shower because moisture can damage it. The chemicals in your shampoo, conditioner and body wash can also cause a reaction that tarnishes sterling silver. Hard water in your shower that contains too much magnesium, calcium, and chlorine can particularly weaken sterling silver.

Limit water exposure to protect your sterling silver and make it last as long as possible. Avoid wearing sterling silver when swimming in the ocean because the combination of salt and water can be devastating.

Polish your sterling silver at least once a year and keep it in an airtight container. Follow along as we explore why you shouldn’t wear sterling silver in the shower and how you can make it last the longest.

Can You Get Sterling Silver Wet?

Water can tarnish sterling silver and you should never wear it in the shower. It can quickly rust, especially if you don’t dry your sterling silver immediately when you get out of the shower. Shower water typically contains chlorine, which can also damage sterling silver.

You risk even more damage if your home has hard water. Excessive minerals in your water supply can make your sterling silver jewelry look less shiny. It can also leave a film on your sterling silver that you will need to scrub to remove, and that could cause further damage.

What Jewelry Can You Wear In The Shower?

You should only wear stainless steel, platinum, plastic, and glass jewelry in the shower. Thermal shock is the only thing that you have to worry about if you wear glass jewelry in the shower. This is more likely to happen if you step out of a hot shower and your bathroom is cold.

Jewelry that is made of most types of metal cannot withstand the prolonged moisture of a shower. Platinum and stainless steel can withstand prolonged exposure to water, however. Even still, platinum is sensitive to excessive chlorine and the chemicals in shampoo and conditioner.

The combination of water and the chemicals from soap and hair products can both damage metal jewelry. Some people wear solid gold jewelry in the shower, but that is inadvisable. The water itself may not damage the jewelry too severely, but the chemicals that you use can make gold lose its luster.

Can You Wear Sterling Silver In The Ocean?

You should never wear sterling silver in the ocean. Not only will the water damage the sterling silver, but the salt content will make the problem even worse. Stainless steel and silver are among the most sensitive metals when it comes to salt water.

The only metals that can withstand salt water exposure are galvanized steel and cast iron. However, neither of these metals is typically present in jewelry.

How Do You Keep Sterling Silver From Tarnishing?

The best way to keep sterling silver from tarnishing is to minimize water and oxygen exposure. Ideally, you should keep your sterling silver in an airtight container when you aren’t using or wearing it. This will reduce its exposure to oxygen and contaminants in the air that can cause it to tarnish.

Sterling silver jewelry will eventually tarnish over time if you wear it daily. This is a gradual process and it shouldn’t dissuade you from wearing it regularly. The oils in your skin can slowly tarnish your sterling silver. It’s nearly impossible to stop sterling silver from tarnishing, even though it isn’t always too noticeable.

However, your sterling silver will quickly tarnish if you frequently get it wet or expose it to chemicals. Beauty products and chemical cleaners can discolor and degrade your sterling silver much more quickly than water alone.

What Type Of Silver Does Not Tarnish?

Pure silver is the only type of silver that does not tarnish. However, you are unlikely to find pure silver jewelry. That is because pure silver isn’t quite sturdy enough to make rings, necklaces, and earrings.

Pure silver isn’t nearly as hard as sterling silver and that’s why it’s not ideal for making jewelry. However, jewelers throughout the world work with pure silver to turn it into sterling silver and other byproducts. Jewelers combine melted copper with melted pure silver to create sterling silver.

Does Sterling Silver Ever Turn Green Or Rust?

Sterling silver can eventually turn slightly green. However, sterling silver doesn’t typically get rusty. Instead, it will take on a green tint over time because of the copper content. How quickly it turns green ultimately depends on how well you take care of it.

For example, your sterling silver will turn green much faster if you don’t keep it in an airtight bag or container. That is because oxygen exposure speeds up the chemical change that causes sterling silver to change color. Sterling silver can turn green in as little as 5 months if you don’t take care of it.

However, you are unlikely to notice a green tint for 4-5 years if you store it properly. The green tint won’t appear for even longer if you minimize water exposure.

How Long Does Sterling Silver Last?

Sterling silver can last for a lifetime. Granted, it may lose some of its sheen and luster over time. It will eventually have a green tint in most cases, but some people like that.

Ideally, you should polish your sterling silver at least once a year. It may be necessary to polish sterling silver more often once it is old. However, you should avoid polishing sterling silver more than 6 times a year or you may negatively alter its appearance.

Summing It Up

Wearing sterling silver in the shower can damage it quickly. It will tarnish and eventually turn green much faster than it would otherwise if you get it wet. Pure gold and platinum are much more durable in the shower, but they can still tarnish and weaken.

Keep your sterling silver in a bag or airtight container to reduce oxygen exposure. This will help your sterling silver age naturally so that it doesn’t become green too quickly. Keep your sterling silver dry and in an enclosed location when you don’t wear it so that it will last a lifetime.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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