There are many questions that people ask before purchasing any sterling silver jewelry. One of them is, can sterling silver get wet? Well, the answer is yes. The metal gets wet, and one needs to be cautious. Sterling silver has, for many years, been the jewelers’ favorite metal. That’s because it boasts a lot of qualities, including durability. However, that does not exempt it from corrosion when it comes in contact with water.
Sterling silver is known for giving that stunning shiny look that makes someone stand out. Secondly, wearing a piece of jewelry gives you a certain type of confidence and speaks volumes. Moreover, sterling silver is associated with some touch of class. Many people find it hard to remove their jewelry whenever they are getting into the water. This could be during swimming or bathing time.
Well, I don’t know if its laziness or just too much attachment to the jewelry that causes it. Getting into the pool with your sterling jewelry is not like committing a murder anyway. It’s okay, but it depends on the type of water. Within this refined article, we are going to understand if sterling silver can get wet. We shall also look at sterling silver water care tips that will enhance the longevity of that sterling silver necklace that you cherish.
What is sterling silver?
This is a common question that many people may be struggling to find answers for. Sterling silver is a combination of metals. It is formed when copper is added to silver resulting in an alloy metal, which contains 92.5 % of silver, and the rest is a metal combination.
What happens when sterling silver gets wet?
Sterling silver can get affected by humidity and moisture. These two have got high chances of causing some blackening on the sterling silver. However, one needs to understand that it is not water that causes this tarnishing effect. The effect is caused by the components that are in the water. These components, when they get in touch with water, they cause an oxidation reaction.
Also, the metal alloys in the sterling silver are known to be a contributor to tarnish. Generally, there is no major harm in removing that sterling silver bracelet or not. That’s because there is a remedy in case it turns black though you should not take chances. Below is a to-do and don’t do outline; the outline is about different waters and their reaction to sterling silver.
That piece of sterling silver is too costly to come into contact with hot spring water. That’s because hot springs contain a lot of reactive chemicals, including sulfur. Jewelers often use sulfuric acid in the process of making jewelry. The acid is meant to oxidize the sterling silver, and that is what leads to blackening. Therefore, it is wise to remove your precious jewelry when doing hot springs. Besides sulfur, the temperature is also not good for that pair of earrings.
Swimming pools are always treated with chlorine, and sometimes it’s in high quantities. This chlorine is reactive to sterling silver. It causes some tarnish, and if you continue swimming for long, then your jewelry will lose its stunning look. That’s why it is advisable to always remove your jewelry before getting into the pool. In case you forget, you can clean it immediately; you get out of the pool using freshwater.
Despite having many benefits, salt is not friendly when it comes to jewelry. It is corrosive and forms some residues on your jewelry, making it necessary to be cleaned. Therefore, it is advisable to remove it, or if you forget, you can clean it with pure water then dry. If swimming in the ocean, you need to remove it because sharks might confuse it for fish. That’s because it will appear to them like it’s a fish scale, and they would come running to feast.
This one means direct damage to your sterling silver. Hot tubs contain chlorine, and besides that, they are hot. The heat and chlorine combination is a bomb in waiting for your jewelry. If you don’t remove it, you will start noticing some gradual color changes on the silver.
How long does sterling silver take to tarnish?
This is a common question that comes from most swimmers. They want to be attached to their jewelry, even while in the water. Tarnishing sterling silver can take a shorter or longer time. This is determined by the environment and the care you accord to it. Some kind jewelers do some coating on sterling silver.
In most cases, the tarnishing of silver takes a long time, but that should not be a cause for alarm. Tarnishing doesn’t lower the quality of your piece of sterling silver jewelry. There are many ways to prevent tarnishing and also remove it.
How do I take care of my sterling silver?
The price of that sterling silver necklace is worth every possible care from you. Even if there is a remedy for tarnishing, that doesn’t mean that you should be careless. Below are ways to take care of your jewelry and get to rock in them for a long.
- Proper storage- Proper storage will ensure longer service. The best way to store sterling silver is by keeping it dry in an airtight container. A zip lock bag serves the best in storage.
- Use of anti-tarnish strip-The strips are placed inside the zip lock bags, and they come in handy, preventing tarnishing.
- Don’t leave sterling silver in the bathroom. The humidity in the bathroom will expose it to corrosion, thus producing blackening.
- Don’t expose to chemicals. Sterling silver doesn’t work well with chemicals found in lotions, perfumes, and hairsprays. Also, please don’t wear it in the shower or when swimming.
- Always clean your jewelry and ensure it is dry before putting in the storage bag.
- Always remove your jewelry first before removing your clothes. Also, it should be the last thing that you wear. This rule also applies to all jewelry. That’s because it reduces contact with lotion and reduces scratching, maybe from the hair.
- Do not expose your jewelry to adverse heat. Direct sunlight is another cause of tarnishing.
How to maintain sterling silver?
Everyone wants to buy something that will serve them for a long time. However, this calls for proper care. The only perfect way to prevent sterling silver from tarnishing is to perform regular maintenance. Over time and with frequent wearing, dirt will accumulate on your piece of jewelry. The dirt can be from skin oils or even makeup residues, causing your necklace to become dull. The best way to avoid this unpleasant look is to clean them regularly.
Most people think that water must be used in cleaning everything. Well, that rule changes when it comes to sterling silver. Water easily causes discoloration, and using it will be like adding salt to an open wound. The best way to clean and polish the metal is by using a silver polish cloth. These clothes are well treated with polishing formulas that will restore that shiny, glamorous look. The cloths are readily available in jewelry stores. However, if that seems too much work for you, you can use a soft piece of cloth. The use of papers or rough pieces of cloths will result in scratching, and scratch might harm your skin.
It is wise to clean your sterling silver jewelry always before storing it. This is more important if you are going to store it for long. In case your jewelry has serious tarnishing, then you might need to do a deeper cleaning. The cleaning might require you to have a mild detergent; in most cases, dish soap is the best for silver. You then rub a piece of cloth into the soap and gently wipe your jewelry with it. The rubbing should be on a back and forth pattern. If you notice the tarnish isn’t gone, you can keep on repeating until its shiny. Following these tips will ensure that your sterling silver is well maintained, translating to longer service.
Sterling silver is good metal, especially in jewelry, and fits any fashion, whether casual or official. For many years it has remained most people’s favorite metal when jewelry comes into the picture. Boasting several qualities is what has kept it trending and jeweler’s common choice. However, these qualities do not prevent them from tarnishing. The metal is mostly affected by sulfur components, including leather, chlorine, sweat, and rubber. An environment with air pollutants and saltwater are equally harmful to silver sterling. Practically, it is difficult to avoid these substances because they are all over. That is why the use of a polish cloth recommends a regular cleaning routine. Also, the daily wearing of your jewelry comes in handy in preventing tarnishing. Moreover, proper storage is another magic in keeping your jewelry well maintained for long. This detailed article has expounded on facts about sterling silver and its maintenance.