Given gold’s valuableness and ever-appreciating value, you’ve to ask if you should take it off or not when going to shower. You have to wonder if water can damage your precious jewelry. So, can you wear gold in the shower?
Though you can shower with gold once in a while, it’s generally not a good idea to do it repetitively as the alloy metals that make up the gold jewelry can rust or discolor. Moreover, since gold is soft, it can scratch and lose its shiny appeal.
So, the keyword here is ‘repetitively.’ It may not be a big concern showering with your gold jewelry once in a while, but if you do it over and over again, then you risk damaging it.
Remember, you can damage gold although it is unreactive. As you’ll later learn, there are different purity levels of gold, and they all respond differently to the shower conditions.
Before discussing the purity levels, let’s go slightly deeper into the general reasons you shouldn’t wear gold in the shower.
We’ll also look at the exception and what you can do to ensure you don’t damage your precious jewelry when wearing it in the shower.
Let’s get started!
So, Can You Wear Gold in the Shower? 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t!
Generally, wearing gold in the shower comes with these three risks:
Unless it’s pure gold (24 karats), every other gold jewelry contains different percentages of alloy materials like nickel, zinc, and copper. Unlike gold, these alloy materials can react with moisture and air.
So, when you shower with your gold jewelry, you expose these alloy materials to the wet conditions necessary for rusting. Though it doesn’t happen right away, the jewelry will rust in the long run.
That’s unless you only shower with gold once in a while and are careful enough to wipe the jewelry dry with a soft cloth after a shower.
Due to sulfur and other reactive materials present in the alloy materials that make up gold jewelry, the jewelry can react with moisture or heat (hot shower) and discolor.
What’s even worse is the fact that heat hastens discoloration. In that case, gold jewelry is likely to tarnish more when you take a hot shower.
So, yes, gold can tarnish unless it’s pure gold. Only pure gold doesn’t discolor.
The risk of this is that once your gold jewelry tarnishes, it exposes the cheap alloy material and that only makes the jewelry less valuable and less glamorous.
3. Scratches or Indents
Gold is naturally soft. So, no matter the purity level, it’s likely to scratch if exposed to anything aggressive. That includes soap, body wash, and body scrubbers.
Gold jewelry can also form dents if you aggressively grab it when taking a shower. That can happen despite the presence of alloy materials unless the percentage of alloy material is enough to harden the gold, as it’s the case of 14K gold.
The Exception – Rhodium-Coated Gold
It’s important to note that only pure gold doesn’t rust but again, pure gold is too soft, which means it scratches. So, you shouldn’t use it in the shower.
The exception, however, is rhodium-coated gold. Some gold jewelry, especially gold earrings, come coated with rhodium, enabling them to resist water effects. In that case, you can shower with the jewelry.
Note, nonetheless, that rhodium fades off over time, and so your precious metal may also fade as a result. In that case, even if you can use rhodium-coated gold in the shower, you shouldn’t make it a habit. So, again, don’t do it repetitively.
Understanding Gold Purity Levels
Gold purity is expressed in carats (Ct) or karats (K), where 24 karats signify pure or 100% gold. You can tell pure gold (or 24 karats) from its appearance as it has a distinctive bright yellow appearance.
Overall, 24K is the most expensive and the softest of them all. Due to the latter reason, jewelry manufacturers avoid it as it’s less malleable.
Instead, they choose to add alloy materials like zinc, copper, nickel, and palladium to pure gold, giving rise to purity levels like 22K, 18K, 14K, and 10K.
22K means that the gold has 22 parts of pure gold and two parts of alloy materials, while 18K means 18 parts of pure gold and six parts of alloy materials.
Can You Wear 9ct Gold in The Shower?
With 9ct gold, you have nine parts of pure gold and 15 parts of alloy material. That means the percentage of gold is less than the percentage of alloy materials.
The danger is that once you expose 9ct gold to wetness, the alloy materials will likely discolor and rust. For that reason, you should avoid wearing 9ct gold in the shower.
Can I Wear 10k Gold in The Shower?
10k gold means you have 10 parts of pure gold and 14 parts of alloy materials. So, the percentage of alloy material is greater than that of gold, which means the jewelry is likely to discolor and rust if repetitively exposed to wetness.
Subsequently, you should avoid wearing 10K gold in the shower.
And if you happen to shower with gold, you should wipe it dry with a soft dry cloth to get rid of the wetness.
Can You Wear 14k Gold in The Shower?
14K gold means having 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of alloy materials. Statistically speaking, it means having 58.3% pure gold.
Nothing brings a balance between pure gold and alloy materials like 14K gold. So, this is the form of gold that is safest to shower with.
For one, the higher gold percentage reduces the risk of rusting and discoloration. Secondly, the high percentage of alloy materials gives the jewelry the necessary hardness to resist scratching.
So, yes, you can shower with 14K gold. However, you shouldn’t do it regularly as it may discolor in the long run.
Can I Wear 18k Gold in The Shower?
18K gold means 18 parts of pure gold and six parts of alloy material. Statistically, that means having 75% gold.
The danger of having a higher percentage of gold is that the jewelry is softer and more prone to scratches and damage by scrubbers and harsh soaps.
So, no, you shouldn’t shower with 18K gold. Even though it may not tarnish quickly, it’s likely to scratch and lose its smoothness and spark once you repetitively expose it to harsh conditions.
Can You Wear 24k Gold in The Shower?
24K is the purest form of gold, which means it doesn’t contain any other metals. Experts, however, argue that it’s 99.9% gold and 0.1% silver. Regardless, it’s the softest form of gold.
Note, however, that pure gold doesn’t rust or discolor, which means it’s not affected by the wet conditions of the shower. The only danger is its soft nature, which makes it more susceptible to scratches. For that reason, you shouldn’t shower with 24K gold.
In Summary; What Gold Jewelry Can You Wear in The Shower?
Though 24K gold doesn’t rust or discolor, it can scratch as it’s very soft. And if you settle for either 22K or 18K, they are more resistant to rusting and discoloration, but they are also prone to scratching. So, 24K, 22K, and 18K are not best for showering.
However, when it comes to 14K gold, you have a more balanced form of gold, which you can shower with. Though it doesn’t resist wetness, it can withstand seldom contact with water. The other advantage is that 14k gold is hard enough to resist scratching.
It’s also important to note that you can wear any form of gold with a rhodium coating in the shower. Rhodium offers it the necessary protection against wetness and skin allergy. But since rhodium fades over time, you shouldn’t expose it to the shower frequently.
What to Do When Showering with Gold
While you can shower with gold, it’s essential that you take a few precautions to protect it. Here are the must-do:
- Avoid abrasive elements – Things like soap, body wash, and scrubber can scratch gold as it’s naturally soft. So, avoid them when showering with gold jewelry.
- Avoid heat – Too much heat reacts with sulfur and other elements present on gold, which ruins the jewelry. Sol, you should avoid it. That includes hot baths, saunas, and steamy showers.
- Wipe it dry after use – Ensure you use a soft piece of cloth to wipe your jewelry dry after showering. That protects them from wetness which could lead to corrosion.
People Also Ask
1. Can You Shower with A Gold Chain?
Yes, you can shower with a gold chain once in a while if it is 14K or rhodium-coated. You should, however, wipe the chain dry with a soft cloth immediately after the shower to get rid of the wetness.
More importantly, you should avoid harsh chemicals and heat to encourage discoloration.
2. Can You Wear Gold Plated in The Shower?
The problem with plated gold is that the plating easily peels off, exposing the cheap metal beneath the jewelry. So, no, you shouldn’t wear gold plated in the shower. If you expose the metal underneath, the jewelry will tarnish/discolor and eventually rust.
3. Can You Wear a Gold Necklace in The Shower?
While you can wear a gold necklace in the shower, it’s never a good idea to do it regularly. That’s because the alloy materials that make up the gold jewelry could rust following exposure to wetness or discolor due to contact with soap and steam.
4. Can You Wear a Gold Bracelet in The Shower?
Just like you shouldn’t wear a gold chain in the shower, you shouldn’t also wear a gold bracelet when taking a shower. Doing so only exposes the alloy materials that make up the jewelry to rusting and discoloration.
5. Can You Wear Gold Earrings in The Shower?
The advantage that gold earrings have over other pieces of gold jewelry is that they mostly come rhodium-coated. Rhodium generally protects the gold against wetness, which means you can shower with gold earrings.
Unfortunately, rhodium discolors over time, and so the earrings are likely to lose their shine and appear unsightly in the long run.
Can You Wear Gold in The Shower? Closing Thoughts:
Generally, you should avoid showering with gold, especially regularly. It’s okay to do it once in a while, given that gold is unreactive. However, the moment you do it repetitively, you expose the alloy materials to tarnishing and rusting and the gold itself to scratches, given that it’s soft.