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What Jewelry Can You Wear in the Shower?

Deciding whether your new jewelry can be worn in the shower is important when it comes to keeping your pieces in the best possible condition. Our guide answers your questions on the best practices when it comes to getting your jewelry wet. From how different metal types respond to shower water, to general tips for keeping your pieces looking beautiful, read on for the answers you're looking for.

What Causes Jewelry to Tarnish?

Knowing why jewelry tarnishes is crucial to preventing it happening to your favorite pieces. Tarnished jewelry is the result of a reaction caused between the surface of the jewelry and the outside world. Soaps, bleaches, and water itself can all contribute to jewelry becoming tarnished over time. Much of our jewelry is made using 18kt gold vermeil, providing a thicker layer of gold that won't wear away as quickly as pieces that are gold-plated or gold-filled.

What Happens if You Wear Jewelry in the Shower?

Showering or bathing whilst wearing jewelry has long been a topic of debate. Some will adorn some of their favorite pieces almost all the time, not thinking twice before stepping in for a quick hair wash or a soak after a long day. On the other hand, some will swear against letting their beloved silver and gold bracelets or beautiful rings near water.

Why is this? Put simply, the constant exposure to water can dull pieces like shiny necklaces, causing them to tarnish over time. This is to say nothing of the damage that chemicals in soaps, shampoos, and conditioners can cause. With all that said, there are certain metals and jewelry types that are hardier to these effects than others.

Can I Shower in Gold Jewelry?

An all-time favorite, gold jewelry is worn by millions but is often the center of confusion when it comes to showering or bathing. Can you leave your everyday favorites on during your morning or evening routine, or are they best left on the side? The answer depends, in part, on what specific type of gold your jewelry is made of.

Gold Vermeil

Whilst gold vermeil pieces are a must-have in any great jewelry box, it's important to remember to take them off when taking a shower or bath. Long term water exposure can make the layer of gold on your chain bracelets and stacking rings wear away. This leaves a discolored, less shiny finish when compared with its original luster. However, with its outer layer of gold being thicker than that of gold plated jewelry, gold vermeil will fare better against the shower than the latter. Use a dry cloth to gently wipe and care for your gold jewelry every so often, to maintain that high shine.

Solid Gold

Solid gold jewelry, such as that of our 14kt gold jewelry, is much more resistant to the dulling effects shower water can have on other metal types. Providing that your pieces don't feature stones like lustrous pearls or sparkling diamonds, 14kt gold is suitable to wear infrequently in the shower.

Gold plated and gold filled jewelry consists of an alloy with a thin layer of gold on top, when this layer wears away the jewelry can be left permanently damaged. Even gold vermeil, with its base of sterling silver, is best left out of water, which can tarnish the enveloping layer of gold. It's ultimately best to keep all of your jewelry dry if possible. However, if necessary, solid gold is the best type for wearing in the shower or bath. This is because it is the only type that doesn't have an outer layer that is made from a different metal to its base.

Can You Wear Sterling Silver in the Shower?

Unfortunately, sterling silver jewelry can oxidize in water, meaning it's best to leave those silver hoop earrings and friendship bracelets away from your daily wash. Silver can gradually tarnish under the effects of water.

Tarnished jewelry is formed when certain pieces come into regular contact with water and chemicals, leaving a dull finish where a once high shine used to be. Taking care of your silver jewelry properly, and keeping it away from water as much as possible, will prevent this and help you maintain that dazzling finish you first fell in love with.

Can You Shower with Gemstone Jewelry?

We recommend keeping your silver and gold jewelry clear of water for the most part. That said, the occasional shower in your pendant necklace or cuff bracelet shouldn't cause too much damage. When it comes to birthstone jewelry or diamond jewelry, however, showering can have a much more noticeable impact.

A build up of soap around the semi-precious gems adorning your favorite pieces can cause discoloration and even for the stone to come away altogether. Softer stones like pearls can be damaged when worn in the shower. Similarly, when exposed to chemicals, oils and substances often used in a bath or shower, diamonds can lose their sparkle and appear more dull. It's also much easier for these oils to remain trapped between stones in beaded necklaces and beaded bracelets, meaning that the damage can continue taking place long after you step out of the shower.

Is it OK to Shower with Earrings in?

With earrings being one of the most common types of jewelry to keep in, it's essential to know how to care for them best. We've established that for the most part, showering with jewelry should be avoided, or at least kept to a minimum. Those with recently-pierced ears, though, might be wondering how this is possible. Even those with long-term piercings can easily forget their humble stud earrings when taking off their accessory ensemble for the day. We advise new piercings to be kept untouched for between 8 weeks and 12 months depending on the placement, so how does this factor into showering whilst wearing jewelry?

As previously explained, solid gold jewelry is the most resistant to the effects of showering or bathing. This should be taken into account when planning a new ear piercing, as the type of metal used to pierce your ear is bound to come into contact with water extensively during the healing process. For this, we recommend 14kt solid gold earrings as an excellent starting point. Not only is this type less likely to cause allergic reactions than other gold jewelry, it's also going to age the best under constant exposure to the shower.

Caring for Your Gold & Silver Jewelry

Caring for and cleaning your jewelry is essential to making sure it looks its best for the longest time possible. Whether you're wearing pieces as everyday essentials or special pieces to come out only for a big night downtown, protecting them from tarnish and damage is extremely important.

Taking simple steps in addition to not showering in your pieces, like removing rings whilst washing hands, is an easy way to reduce water damage and keep that shine alive. Whilst wearing jewelry in the shower can cause damage over time, wearing jewelry in the swimming pool should be avoided altogether due to the harsh, abrasive chemicals treating pool water. Finally, a simple dry cloth can be used regularly to gently wipe your favorite pieces clean and looking their absolute best.

Sustainable Jewelry by Monica Vinader

Monica Vinader crafts sustainable pieces for modern jewelry lovers using materials like ethical diamonds and recycled silver. Shop our range of choker necklaces, elegant bangles, and drop earrings to find instant staples in any collection.

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