Are you wondering about the effects of chlorine on your sterling silver necklace? What about chlorine on gold ring? People are also interested to know if chlorine on platinum has any effects. We’re going to reveal to you the answers, as well as some reminders about places like swimming pools and Japanese onsen.
Swimming Pools are Jewelry’s Biggest Enemies
This is among the most common questions that jewelers get from collectors and jewelry owners: can you safely swim in a swimming pool with fine jewelry like sterling silver, gold, platinum, pearl, and the like? And the general answer is no, even if you’re not wearing pricey fine jewelry.
Sulfur compounds and chlorine in bathhouses and swimming pools can easily tarnish fine jewelry, so it’s best to remove them before swimming.
If you’re going swimming soon, bring a couple of zip lock bags to stow away your jewelry before taking a dip safely. It only takes a few seconds to keep your jewelry safe, and this will save you from a lot of headaches.
Tarnishing may not appear immediately, but eventually, the darkening and discoloration will appear later on as gaseous compounds work on the surface of the fine jewelry.
9 Tips about Jewelry Care:
Some additional scenarios where you would have to remove all your jewelry include:
- Before putting on personal care products like sunscreen, spray tan, lotions, perfumes, and the like.
- When bathing in cold water. It’s not that the cold water will tarnish your jewelry (except perhaps the faux jewelry that is not made of stainless material). Still, there’s a big chance that the skin on your hands will contract, and this may lead to accidentally losing bracelets and rings.
- Direct sunlight for prolonged periods. This is another reminder that you should always remember regardless of what kind of jewelry you bring outside.
- Direct sunlight can aggressively bleach metals and cause them to lose their color. Over time, this can mean that even your finest gold jewelry will look more aged than they are.
- When handling sand, rocks, and soil. There’s a good reason why jewelers always advise their customers to never go gardening with rings and bracelets. While soil and sand may not be harmful to the skin and you may not feel that they’re going to do any significant damage, the matter is that garden soil, rocks, and sand all have abrasive properties.
This means that as you continue handling garden soil, your jewelry will be exposed to mini-session of rock tumbling, minus the finesse of a polisher.
In short, your jewelry is going to look worse after each gardening session. They’re going to be scratched and weathered until they become duller than they should be then with regular use.
If you want to care for your jewelry better, follow these steps:
- Every day, wipe down all your jewelry with a dry microfiber cloth. This will prevent daily dust, sweat, smoke, and grime from accumulating on the surface of your jewelry and between crannies and nooks, especially if you have complicatedly designed jewelry.
- Always store your jewelry in the right organizer or container. Please don’t leave them about the room. Freely-floating sulfides in the air can cause jewelry to tarnish and eventually rust. Keeping them in an air-tight container will help reduce tarnishing and keep them shinier, longer.
- Check your jewelry for loose joints and weak spots. Have them checked and serviced annually if you truly want to take care of your jewelry.
- The most expensive jewelry pieces should be insured; in case you lose them or they break unexpectedly.
Should I Shower/Hot Tub with Jewelry?
How about hot water and hot tub? It is very common practice when you go traveling in National Parks or Japan, you may dip or soak in the hot spring for relaxation. Here we have also compiled a guide on whether these jewelry items can withstand hot tub and onsen:
Sterling Silver Jewelry
Regular bath water will not harm the silver, but it may cause oxidizing, which will lead to tarnishing or aging of the silver. The slippery soap can also cause you to lose your ring while bathing or soaking in the tub.
Showering or soaking in the tub will not perforate or harm the metal. However, jewelers advise against it because water and soap can reduce the shininess of gold. Since gold is best known for its luster and shininess, you will lose out on a big portion of what makes gold jewelry so attractive in the first place.
Like gold, platinum will not react with regular showering or being in the tub. However, platinum is affected the same way as gold: the metal will not be harmed, but the platinum’s surface appearance will be affected. Say goodbye to its luster if you frequently soak with your platinum jewelry.
Pearl Necklaces/ Bracelets
While it’s true that pearls come from oysters and freshwater mussels, and these creatures are submerged in water all the time, they’re not designed to be submerged in water or even splashed frequently. The insides of an oyster are moist but never too wet, so you shouldn’t expect cultured pearls or any pearl for that matter to be waterproof.
Away from the natural environment where they came from, pearls are fragile and prone to chips and breakage. Excessive moisture can also soften them as pearls absorb moisture from the environment. As a rule of thumb, never wear your pearls to the swimming pool, shower, or bathtub.
While diamonds will not be harmed by water, exposure to soap suds and other chemicals in water can leave a dull layer over them, affecting the fire and luster of diamonds. They’re not meant for splashing, and therefore, like other jewelry, diamond rings, and diamond earrings should be removed before bathing. No matter how luxuriant it feels, water and soap (as well as bath bombs) will tarnish and age your jewelry faster than you’d like them to be.