Before hopping into the pool, you may have heard stories about chlorine turning your jewelry green. The truth is, this chemical can seriously affect your jewelry.
Let’s take a look at whether your jewelry is at risk and how you can clean any affected items. For good measure, we’ll also discuss the benefits of leaving your jewelry at home altogether.
Can Chlorine Turn My Jewelry Green?
First things first, let’s take a look at the main question at hand. Can chlorine turn your jewelry green? Well, it is more likely to turn your metals black... but you may see a ring of green on your finger. The truth is, pool chemicals can affect your jewelry in a number of ways. Above all, it depends on the type of metal your jewelry items are made from.
Most rings, even your engagement ring, are made of a combination of different metals. If your gold items are under 24 karts, they will contain additional metals, such as copper and nickel. In these cases, your jewelry will be more likely to show signs of tarnishing.
You see, chlorine is especially harsh to these other metals and will weaken them. This can even mean that the prongs that keep your stones in place may become brittle or even fall off.
As for coloration, chlorine may actually blacken your gold jewelry if it isn’t 24 karats. This is particularly true in weaker areas of the jewelry, for instance where it may have been soldered or stressed from age. Sterling silver items are made with a bit of copper for better durability. However, this copper can cause your ring to leave a green mark around your finger when exposed to chemicals such as chlorine. The chemical can also damage your silver by blackening and weakening it.
Your precious metals should not be your only concern. Diamonds and natural stones can also have a tendency to dull when exposed to a lot of chemicals.
Jewelry While Swimming
Chlorine damage aside, there is more than one reason that we recommend taking your jewelry off before venturing into the water. For one, your priceless item can be pulled into a drain. If you think of pool drains as powerful vacuums, it is easy to see how this can cause “entrapment,” which can result in drowning.
Pools aren’t the only culprit. In fact, we had a whole blog post dedicated to swimming with jewelry
. It includes information about how these shiny objects can be a target for sharks and thieves alike.
How to Clean Jewelry After Swimming
Simply entering a pool with your ring or necklace on will not immediately be harmful. It isn’t the water that affects these items; it’s the chemicals in the water. Some exposure is okay, but you should get into the habit of washing your jewelry right when you exit the pool. You don’t want that chlorine lingering on your precious items.
To wash your valuables with care, simply rinse your jewelry under clean water as soon as possible. Remember to close the sink’s drain first! Some experts recommend using a dab of soap as well. The trick here is to make sure the item is thoroughly rinsed and dried after cleaning.
Best yet, regularly rub your fine jewelry with a soft cloth that is appropriate for your particular metal to keep it well maintained.
What About Saltwater?
If you think you are off the hook if you are swimming in the ocean or a saltwater pool
, think again. Unfortunately, saltwater can also be damaging to your precious metals. In fact, even your sunscreen and the salt from your sweat can accelerate tarnishing.
Bottom line, if you know you’re going for a dip, it’s best to keep the jewels at home!