Spring break is upon us and beach season is quickly approaching. Even when the weather isn't warm, we're (hopefully) showering. This raises the question : can I get my silver jewelry wet?
The short answer to this question is yes, you can (if you know it's sterling silver). Water generally does not damage sterling silver. *But* water does cause silver to oxidize (darken) more quickly, and what type of water and the chemicals in it has an impact on how much it will cause your silver change color. Here are the dos and don'ts of exposing your silver jewelry to water.
is generally fine - there aren’t any super harsh chemicals in our tap water that would react significantly with your sterling silver jewelry. The soap and water can even help wash away any residue from your skin and dirt in the air that can also cause your silver to look dull.
. . . eh. Swimming pools are usually treated with chlorine, and chlorine reacts with sterling silver. So depending on how much chlorine is in the pool, you’ll probably have to clean your silver if you’re swimming frequently.
Try not to. There’s even more chlorine in hot tubs, and it’s hot. Chemical reactions generally speed up at higher temperatures, so I’d definitely try to take off your silver before getting in the pool. You might notice a definite color change afterwards that could take a lot of cleaning.
Not the end of the world, but possibly the end of your life. Salt can be corrosive and can also leave residue on your jewelry which should be cleaned off. If you can, take it off before going in the water. If you forget, try to rinse it and dry it off with some clean water afterwards. The major downside is you might get eaten by a shark because the flashing of silver jewelry can look like shiny fish scales.
Please don't. Hot springs often contain a lot of different minerals, specifically Sulfur. Jewelers use Sulfuric acid to intentionally oxidize silver jewelry so . . . you could be in for a big color change here. I’d advise against wearing your silver jewelry in any kind of hot spring.