What Jewelry Can You Wear in the Shower? A Complete Guide


What Happens If I Wear Jewelry in the Shower?

Before we get into the details, the bottom line is that accessories, whether diamonds or silver, should not be taken into the bath or shower. 

So, what are the repercussions if one does take their jewelry into the bath?

Your Body

Skin Might Damage

When you take a shower or a bath, the skin softens. The softening of the skin in the bath is more vulnerable than usual. 

If the jewelry you are wearing features sharp or pointy embellishments, you’re more likely to injure yourself and damage your skin when you wear the pieces in the bath or shower.

Jewelry

i. Damage to Jewelry

There’s a chance you might damage your jewelry while in the bath. 

Just think about the pressure and heat from the water!

If you’re not careful with your jewelry, you can cause unintentional trauma to it resulting in breakage or loosening the setting of your jewelry. 

ii. Residue from Soap

Residue from the soap can accumulate on your jewelry. 

And once stuck, it will be difficult to remove unless you bring it to a jewelry store to be professionally cleaned. 

iii. Chemical Reaction with Skin and Water

Different metals react differently to the chemicals in our skin, sweat, and water.

For example, silver can darken even with sweat. 

The darkening of silver jewelry is a phenomenon called “sulfidation”.

Sulfidation is caused by a reaction to the sulfur components floating in the air and water.

Sulfur is actually even contained in human sweat. 

So, besides taking off your silver jewelry before the shower or bath, it’s a good habit to take it off before vigorous exercise too.

I’ll Be Extra Careful, What’s the Harm?

Even if you were very careful with your jewelry and made sure no visible physical damage was inflicted to it during bath time, your jewelry could still lose its shine. 

The glowing shine is absolutely necessary for the beauty of the jewelry or gemstone. 

The back of the jewelry is made of metal so that light can enter easily, but with accumulation of water, soap stains, and sebum from the skin, your jewelry can lose its original shine.

i. Accumulation of Water Stains and Soap Dregs

Many shampoo and rinses we use are actually made with oil.

Since it is oil, it cannot be dissolved with water. 

When you take a shower with your jewelry on, soap might get into it.

If the soap dregs are left on your jewelry, they will mix with water stains and will gradually accumulate in the uneven parts and small gaps of the jewelry.

ii. Sebum from Skin

Sebum is an oily substance that is secreted by our sebaceous glands. They help keep the skin and scalp moisturized. 

Since sebum is oily, they can stick to your jewelry along with water stains and soap residue.

Another quick way for your jewelry to loose its shine.

iii. Stubborn Stains

If you keep your jewelry on while you wash your hands, take a bath and repeatedly get the piece wet and dry, the density of the accumulated dirt and grime will start to solidify.

Most jewelry and gemstones that have been worn for many years will start to appear dark and “muddy" due to the dirt attached to the back surface. 

The front side can be wiped off with a towel or tissue, but the dirt on the back side will always remain. 

People who have been wearing their jewelry for years or even decades, will see these stubborn stains starting to accumulate. 

iv. Skin Inflammation

In hot and humid climates, bacteria can become more active. 

Although bacteria generally don’t pose as much of a risk, the skin can become inflamed.

In this case, if you leave your jewelry on, eczema may occur due to the accumulated dart and a large amount of sweat and water reacting with each other. 

Sweat, metal and water can react excessively to each other and cause skin irritation. 

If you add in dirt and grime, this irritation can worsen.

What Kind of Jewelry Can You Wear in the Shower?

i. Showering with Platinum

Platinum is said to "give off a pure white shine forever" because it never deteriorates or discolors in everyday life. 

Platinum purity of 100% is also denoted as 1000PT.  

With 950PT, 95% of the alloy is pure platinum and the remaining 5% is another metal such as palladium or copper. 

The reason why it is not 100% pure, but mixed with other metals is to add strength to the platinum alloy. 

People often think that platinum is a very hard metal, but it is actually a supple and malleable metal.

Platinum jewelry is extremely resistant to heat and acid and will not deteriorate with activities in daily life, like hand-washing or bathing. 

You can continue regular activities without worrying much about your jewelry coming into contact with household cleaning agents like bleach, shampoo, condition, etc. 

However, because it is a supple metal, it can still get scratched easily.

So, do careful with your platinum jewelry. 

ii. Showering with Gold

Just like platinum, gold is malleable. 

It needs another metal to be added to keep it strong to withstand usage in everyday life. 

Gold is very resistant to heat, but if it is less than 100% pure 24K gold, it may discolour when exposed to certain chemicals.

While gold itself does not discolour, the discolouration occurs when the trace materials added to the gold alloy composition has gone through sulfidation. 

The discolouration is not extreme and is reversible. 

However, when in contact with cleaning chemicals, we recommend removing the rings or wearing gloves. 

Once in awhile, it is generally okay to leave your gold jewelry on while taking a shower or bath. 

If you choose to do so, we recommend giving it a thorough pat dry afterwards.

iii. Showering with Diamonds

While diamonds won’t be affected by hot water or the moisture from the bathroom, there is a chance it will lose its beautiful shine.

Water stains can stick to the back of stones and the base of the jewelry. 

Even if the stain is not visible to the naked eye, the whole diamond will become dull if you repeatedly use it in the shower.

Not Shower-Safe Jewelry: Be Extremely Cautious

i. Pearls and Corals

Organic jewels such as pearls and corals should not be taken into the bath. 

These gems are extremely delicate and can be adversely affected by heat and moisture.

ii. Emeralds

Oil-treated emeralds will discolour when placed in hot water.

Some gems are resistant to hot water, but with other adverse reactions to moisture and heat, it is always best to remove your jewelry before taking a bath if you are unsure whether they are shower-safe or not.

Jewelry Storage

When not in use, you should try to make it a habit to store your jewelry properly in a dark and dry environment. 

Storing your jewelry in a protective environment away from the elements will prolong the life of your precious jewelry.

Basic Care for Your Jewelry

A good general rule: “Remove unnecessary things from the shower”

There are various kinds of dirt on the skin, sebum secreted from pores, bacteria in the air and dust.

By removing jewelry before showering and sleeping, you can prevent the accumulation and solidification of dirt and grime on your valuable jewelry.

I’ve Taken a Shower With My Jewelry On! Now What?

If you’ve taken your jewelry into the shower, give it a thorough pat dry before putting it on. 

i. Polish with a Polishing Cloth

To regain your jewelry’s beautiful shine, polish with a jewelry polishing cloth. 

However, don’t scrub too hard or else scratches may form. 

ii. Get it Professionally Cleaned

If you've tried hard and you still can't get rid of the grime and dullness, we recommend that you send it to a jewelry store for cleaning.

Thanks to specialized technology and equipment, it’s not difficult to restore the brightness of your jewelry.

 

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