Will Sterling Silver Tarnish if it Gets Wet?

The exquisite polished finish of sterling silver has been drawing in jewelry lovers far and wide for centuries. Today, it’s not uncommon to see people boasting this stunning metal in rings, necklaces, earrings, and more. But adding sterling silver to your everyday look raises a few questions, such as what to do when you need to wash your ring-clad hands. We’ve compiled a guide to your sterling silver questions, starting with “Can sterling silver get wet?”.

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Can Sterling Silver Jewelry Get Wet?

The biggest question that people tend to ask about their new silver jewelry is, “Can you get sterling silver wet?” The short answer is yes. In general, water does not negatively affect sterling silver. However, there are certain situations where chemicals mixed in water can lead to quicker tarnishing or damage.

Can you get 925 sterling silver wet?

Since 925 sterling silver is almost pure silver, it’s likely to have a lesser reaction to water. This means that it’s completely okay to get this type of sterling silver wet. Just be sure to dry it off as much as possible after!

What happens if sterling silver gets wet?

This depends on the level of saturation! In situations, such as hand washing, where the silver is mildly exposed to water, it’s unlikely that damage will occur. However, if you let your sterling silver sit in water for too long, the metal can begin to oxidize and tarnish.

Can I wash my hands wearing sterling silver?

Yes! Though we recommend slipping your jewelry off when possible to wash your hands, water and gentle soap won’t commonly cause damage. Make sure that you thoroughly dry your jewelry after washing your hands to prevent oxidation from prolonged water exposure.

Can I go in the shower with sterling silver?

Similar to hand washing, showering with sterling silver is generally okay, as harsh chemicals are not typically present in the shower. You’ll just need to ensure that your jewelry is completely dry afterward to prevent damage.

Can I go swimming in sterling silver?

This isn’t recommended. Typically, pool or hot tub water is treated with chlorine, your sterling silver jewelry will be at a higher risk for color change. The silver will react with the chlorine and leave behind a new color that may take some major cleaning to remove. We suggest leaving your jewelry in a dry, secure location before diving in.

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish When Wet?

It’s a common misconception that certain materials won’t tarnish. Some jewelry gurus seek out these specific materials in the hopes that their accessories will stay in permanent prime shape. Unfortunately, this is an inaccurate concept. Tarnishing is just another side effect of wearing any kind of jewelry regularly. This means that your sterling silver will begin to tarnish eventually. Depending on the chemicals mixed with the water, getting your sterling silver wet may lead to a quicker tarnishing rate. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can care for and clean your jewelry to remove tarnish.

How long will it take to tarnish?

We know that sterling silver will tarnish one day, but how quickly will you start to notice this wear and tear on your jewelry? This is dependent on the environment around your ring and how you care for your jewelry.

Sterling silver that sits in water too long or is exposed to higher humidity may tarnish quicker than a dry ring. Your ring may tarnish in just a few months or stay in prime condition for years. We’ll talk about ways to clean your ring for tarnish prevention in the next section.

How to Clean Sterling Silver

If you notice that your sterling silver is beginning to tarnish, there are a handful of methods you can try to remove the discoloration.

The first is to start with a simple polishing cloth for minor tarnishing. This will eliminate the need for any chemicals that may cause a reaction to your ring.

However, if the tarnishing is more extreme, it may be time to try one of the following solutions:

  • Soap and water. Warm water and gentle soap is a simple but effective method in polishing your sterling silver.
  • White vinegar and baking soda. If water and soap don’t work, you can combine warm water, white vinegar, and baking soda in a bowl and use this mixture to polish your jewelry.
  • Lemon juice. The natural acidity of lemon juices makes it a strong contender for cleaning jewelry. The acidity removes the oxidized layer on your accessories, leaving behind a polished finish.

Boho-Magic’s Stunning Sterling Silver

Interested in adding more beautiful sterling silver pieces to your collection? Boho-Magic offers rings, necklaces, and earrings made with the finest sterling silver. For over fifteen years, we’ve designed and sold bohemian jewelry around the world. Shop our Most Loved collection today to add a special touch to each day.



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