Sterling silver is a precious metal prized for its beauty, malleability, and durability. It’s often used in jewelry, dinnerware, other decorative objects, and currency. But can you get sterling silver wet? The answer is yes — but with a caveat. Sterling silver can become tarnished when exposed to air, humidity, or moisture. Keeping it dry is the best way to preserve its shine and luster.
Can I Get Sterling Silver Wet?
Yes, you can get sterling silver wet because a small amount of water can not make sterling silver tarnish. However, long-term humidity can cause oxidation and tarnish into green or black sterling silver.
When exposed long-term to water, sterling silver will oxidize and form a black patina on its surface, known as “tarnish.” This occurs due to a chemical reaction between the water’s metal and oxygen. To prevent this tarnishing from happening, it’s essential to keep sterling silver clean, polished, and stored away from moisture.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much about getting your sterling silver jewelry wet or damp — whether you are showering or swimming in the sea or pool water. If necessary, you can take off your rings, bracelets, or necklaces before taking a dip in the pool or ocean; however, cleaning them afterward is highly recommended if this isn’t possible.
To clean your sterling silver jewelry after exposure to water (and even without it), use warm soapy water with mild detergent and gently scrub with a soft brush using circular motions to remove any dirt buildup or dust particles may be present on the piece. Afterward, rinse thoroughly with cold running water and allow it to dry naturally (do not rub dry). Also, avoid using chemical-based cleaners as they may be abrasive and potentially damage your valuable jewelry pieces over time.
After cleaning your sterling silver jewelry pieces, always store them away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as these can also cause tarnishing over time. Place them inside an airtight container such as a zip lock bag (with all air removed) along with silica gel sachets which offer additional protection against moisture build-up over time. It would help if you also considered applying anti-tarnish strips when storing them for long periods to protect against oxidation caused by environmental factors such as humidity or heat exposure.
Regular maintenance of your valuable sterling silver pieces will ensure they look their best year after year! Cleaning them regularly with warm soapy water and regularly polishing them with unique metal polishes explicitly formulated on silver will help maintain their sparkle. In contrast, storage techniques mentioned above will help protect against tarnish formation caused by prolonged exposure to humid environments or other external elements such as smog or industrial pollutants worldwide today! So there you have it: Yes, it’s ok to get sterling silver wet — remember to take care of it properly afterward, for it retains its natural beauty for many years ahead!
Please read our article about sterling silver flatware worth.