Showering with Jewelry: Dos and Don’ts

People wear jewelry in the shower for various reasons; some are so attached to the piece, while others forget to take them off. It’s always a good idea to find out if you can use your type of jewelry in the shower so that you don’t damage it.

Types of Jewelry You Can Shower With

Below are some types of jewelry that you can safely wear in the shower.

1. Gold

Gold is notorious for being a chemically inert metal; that means it doesn’t react to chemicals that other metals do. Wearing your pure gold jewelry in the shower won’t cause rust or tarnish, meaning you’re safe wearing it in the shower.

However, almost all gold jewelry is alloyed with another metal to make it stronger (pure gold is very soft). There’s an off chance that your 10-karat gold jewelry might tarnish, but this is extremely unlikely.

2. Platinum

Platinum is also famous for its durability and the fact it doesn’t react to air and water. Therefore, platinum is a good choice of jewelry if you plan to wear your piece in the shower often.

3. Stainless Steel

If the cutlery that fills most people’s kitchens indicates one thing, it’s that stainless steel doesn’t fear water. However, not all stainless steel is made equal, and if you have a stainless steel piece of inferior quality, it’ll rust or tarnish in water. 

Surgical steel is the highest quality stainless steel, and it won’t tarnish or rust when you use it in the shower. Most jewelers use surgical stainless steel, so you don’t have to bother about tarnish or rust.

Plastic and Glass

Plastic and glass handle water well, and your jewelry should be safe to wear in the shower. However, plastic and glass jewelry are not popular for their durability, so when your piece inevitably begins to fade, don’t blame the shower for it.

What Jewelry Can You Not Shower With?

While you can safely use some types of jewelry in the shower, you must also know those you can’t use.

1. Silver 

Silver is a tough metal and won’t tarnish easily; however, sulfur-containing materials can tarnish silver. While water from your shower won’t harm your silver jewelry, moisture provides a condition to accelerate tarnishing. Also, germ-killing chemicals like chlorine that might be present can cause your piece to look dull.

Generally, if you dry your silver jewelry as soon you leave the shower, you should be good to go.

2. Copper 

Copper and iron have a similar reaction to water exposure– they oxidize. When copper jewelry begins to suffer the effects of oxidation, it’ll have a green outer layer that doesn’t look good. The green outer layer of copper can also rub off on your skin and cause you to have green skin when you wear your jewelry.

3. Plated Jewelry

Jewelry made of cheaper metals is often plated with noble ones like gold and silver to make them appear good. This plating also protects from oxidation and tarnish; rhodium-plating is another form of jewelry protection.

As you keep using your plated jewelry in the shower, you wear off the plating layer, exposing the jewelry. If the plating on your jewelry is worn out or scratched, the metal underneath might not be able to withstand the effects of constant exposure to water.

4. Wood and Other Materials

Wooden jewelry doesn’t fare well in water because wood is absorbent. Your jewelry would absorb the moisture, become weak and eventually break. Polished wood has some protection from water; however, any leakage in the polish can cause water to damage your jewelry.

Jewelers use materials like feathers, leather, and foam on some jewelry pieces. It’s never a good idea to expose these materials to any form of moisture; one shower can be all it takes for them to get permanently damaged.

Should I Shower With My Jewelry?

No, you shouldn’t shower with your jewelry even if water doesn’t damage it; some reasons to take off jewelry before you shower are explained below.

1. You Risk Losing It

Soap makes your bother more slippery when you shower, so even your tight-fitting pieces can easily slip off. Also, if your initial reaction to a cold shower is to hop around in the bathroom, your precious jewelry might fall off. 

In some instances, it might not be the entire jewelry that falls off; it could be your earring hook, a pendant, or a gemstone that does. The bathroom is terrible for losing jewelry because the water current can carry your piece down the drain.

2. Jewelry can Lose its Luster

Metals like platinum and gold that are impervious to tarnish can begin to look dull when you use them in the shower. Chemicals in the soap and treated water can cause your jewelry to lose its luster, requiring you to polish them. These chemicals can also cause your gemstones to lose their brilliance and sparkle.

Soap can dry on your jewelry, causing a nasty-looking film to appear. Also, the soap might get stuck in the crevices of your jewelry, causing it not to look good.

3. Might Cause Injuries

Jewelry-caused injuries might not often happen in the shower, but they are a possibility. Your sponge might get tangled to your earring; a studded ring might scratch you, and so on. It’s best to avoid these uncomfortable scenarios by taking your jewelry off before you shower.

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