Have you ever wondered, what gold can you wear in the shower? Although wearing your jewelry in the shower saves time when you are getting ready, is it worth those minutes saved if the jewelry gets worn down, damaged, stressed, discolored, or corroded?
This blog post will cover this topic and touch on easy-to-remember care tips and tricks to keep your jewelry looking brand new. If you are concerned if you can wear real gold in the shower, whether gold plated jewelry is different from solid gold, or is one gold karat different from the other, this blog post will cover these points.
What Happens When Gold Gets Wet?
Can you wear gold plated jewelry in the shower? When gold or gold plating comes into contact with water, several reactions may occur, depending on various factors and the environment. Here are some things to consider:
Initial Contact: Solid gold is generally resistant to corrosion, tarnishing, and rusting. Plated gold is different and can not withstand the same circumstances. Pure gold is more resistant to water damage than plated jewelry, but few items are pure gold. Plated gold is typically mixed with alloys like copper, silver, palladium, and more, notated with the gold karat (14k, 18k, etc.). These alloys and alloy composition may cause a reaction, such as pitting.
Saltwater: Set sail on your next dream tropical vacation, taking a trip to your favorite beach, or otherwise immersing your gold jewelry in ocean/sea water may not initially damage your jewelry over time as you enjoy the sparkling sea and serenity of nature and the unparalleled beauty of the beach. However, proceed with caution--it may dull your jewelry, dry out your stones, damage your jewelry if it catches on something (bathing suit, towel, rocks, etc.), or even worse, forever lost in the water or sand.
Taking a Shower with Gold Jewelry
Showering with gold jewelry can be done without harming your jewelry, as long as the stones set into the gold aren't prone to damage, aren't soft, and aren't suitable for water contact.
To ensure that your gold jewelry retains its luster and remains in excellent condition, here are some care tips:
Keep it away from lotion and soap
Soaps are generally safe, but lotions may cause a haziness to your jewelry, coating it with a greasy film that may be hard to remove over time. Oils, fragrances, and other chemicals may dull the shine. Removing your jewelry before showering will help it look sparkling and shiny; however, it may not be necessarily damaged from lotion and soap.
Take it off while taking a cold-water shower
Cold water causes your skin to contract, making your rings and bracelets looser when they fit perfectly before! This may cause them to fall off, get damaged, lost, or, if they are small, go down the drain. To prevent accidental loss or damage, consider removing your gold items before taking a cold shower.
Shopping for a luxurious ring and worrying about the maintenance? Check out our other blog, How to Clean Moissanite Ring: 4 Tips to Keep Moissanite Brilliant.
Avoid Chlorine Water
Do you love swimming with your jewelry on? Chlorine may not always be safe on gold jewelry, damaging the top coat over time. Chlorine is a harsh chemical added to hot tubs, spas, and pools, removing bacteria and other harmful contaminants and keeping you safe. Although it is generally safe to swim with jewelry on, removing it will help keep your jewelry looking its best and not getting lost or broken during your swim. Chlorine CAN permanently damage stones though--porous stones like jade, pearls, and coral should never be exposed to chlorinated water.
Have moissanite jewelry? Check out our blog, Can Moissanite Get Wet? Here's Your Answer.
Wipe the wet jewelry with a piece of soft cloth
Wiping your jewelry with a soft cloth will remove debris, bacteria, and other particles from the surface, revealing its beauty and shine once more. Jewelry cloth, washcloth, or even soft tissue will help get rid of surface dirt and filth.
Types of Waterproof Gold
Good news! Most gold is waterproof. Various gold alloys may affect the gold's reaction to water over the years, including regular water, salt water, and chlorinated water, and their effects. Here are some characteristics of three common types of waterproof gold:
Pure gold, or 24K gold, is the purest form of gold jewelry available on the market and is common in different countries. 24k gold is a popular selection for traditional jewelry and is used in many cultures, featuring handmade and custom designs. Pure gold displays a rich reddish-gold hue.
Pure gold consists of 99.9% gold and is highly resistant to corrosion, tarnishing, and rust. Although it is waterproof, it is also very soft because there are no alloys added to the composition. Scratching, denting, and other damage can easily occur because 24k gold is so soft.
10K gold is composed of 41.7% pure gold mixed with alloys such as copper, zinc, or silver. 10k gold is very durable, making it the perfect choice for everyday jewelry because of its alloy-to-gold ratio. 10k gold is resistant to corrosion and is considered waterproof. It can withstand exposure to water, soap, and mild detergents without significant damage (depending on the stones).
14k gold is a common and popular choice for fine jewelry. Affordable yet also luxurious, 14k gold is 58.3% pure gold with a mixture of alloys similar to 10k gold and is also resistant to corrosion. 14k gold is waterproof for everyday wear, just like 10k gold, pure gold, 18k gold, and other gold karats.
Frequently Asked Questions
What gold can you wear in the shower? Here are a few concerns:
Can you wear white gold in the shower?
Yes! White gold is pure gold mixed with alloy metals like silver, nickel, or palladium and is resistant to corrosion and tarnishing. The difference between white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold depends on their alloy mixes, causing their unique color.
Can you wear gold chains in the shower?
Yes! You can wear gold chains in the shower. Gold, whether in the form of a chain, anklet, ring, bracelet, or any other jewelry design, is resistant to damage from water exposure. Making sure the clasp is secure, the link won't get caught in hair or a towel, and there are no small or loose stones will help prevent damage.
Can you wear gold vermeil in the shower?
Wearing gold vermeil or gold plated jewelry in the shower is not recommended because of its composition. Gold vermeil features a thin layer of gold electroplated over sterling silver, brass, or other base metal. Gold plated may withstand occasional exposure to water (handwashing), and long-term or frequent contact with water, soap, and detergents causes the gold plating to wear off, fade, and chip, making the piece and top coat lose its luster. Removing gold plated and vermeil BEFORE showering will help it retain its appearance.
Can you wear gold-filled jewelry in the shower?
Gold-filled jewelry should not be worn in the shower because it is a thin layer of gold coating a base metal and is more sensitive to damage than solid gold. Removing and cleaning your gold-filled jewelry periodically without immersing it in water will help preserve the design.
Can you wear a gold necklace in the shower?
Yes, you can wear a gold necklace in the shower. Gold necklaces, like other gold jewelry, are waterproof without showing signs of damage. Taking care not to snag the clasp or links is optimal so it doesn’t break.
Love chains and wonder what is right for you? Check out our other blog, Types of Chain Necklaces: Every Chain Necklace Type Explained.
Extending the life of any piece of jewelry simply by taking good care of it will allow you to enjoy it for years to come and pass it down as a family heirloom, or keepsake from the memories attached to the jewelry and occasion.
Soaps, detergents, and cleaning solutions depend on the ingredients in these solutions to keep your gold jewelry out of harm’s way. Body soap and body wash will not damage your jewelry. However, harsh and abrasive household cleaning solutions may.
Can you wear gold plated jewelry in the shower? Gold is generally waterproof; gold plated and vermeil shouldn’t be exposed to water.