One of the most common questions we get asked is about the many conditions stainless steel jewelry can be worn.
One of the most common specific questions is can stainless steel jewelry be worn in the shower.
Stainless steel jewelry can be worn in the shower. Stainless steel jewelry should be made from 316L that can be worn in the shower but there are other stainless steels that you must be aware of because it can not get wet.
Here are the topics we will cover so you can wear your stainless steel jewelry for a lifetime.
- Can stainless steel jewelry get wet?
- Does stainless steel jewelry rust in the shower?
- Does stainless steel jewelry get ruined in water?
- Can stainless steel jewelry be worn in a chlorine pool?
- Can stainless steel jewelry be worn in the ocean?
- Can you wear stainless steel jewelry every day?
Be sure to check out our collection of 316L stainless steel rings here.
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Can stainless steel jewelry get wet?
316L stainless steel jewelry can get wet. True 316L stainless steel will contain an element called Chromium. Chromium will inherently protect steel from water but what you have to be careful of is jewelry advertised as stainless but is not true 316L
With the exploding popularity of stainless steel jewelry, as with all things, some are better than others.
We see it all the time, cheap stainless steel rings that cost $5 - $10 but are not really stainless steel but are rather just plain steel rings.
These rings will get damaged by water and will often turn your finger brown or green. It is extremely important that you buy from a credible ring maker that uses 316L stainless steel.
We have a great article on the pros and cons of stainless steel that you should definitely check out here.
Does stainless steel jewelry rust in the shower?
316L stainless steel jewelry is safe to wear in the shower. 316L stainless steel will contain the element chromium. Chromium will form a layer of chromium oxide on stainless steel that will resist rust.
There are other grades of stainless steel that can also be worn in the shower but 316L is surgical steel that resists rust better than almost any other of the 150 grades of stainless steel.
With proper cleaning, the Chromium layer can even repair itself when damaged.
We have a handy article on cleaning your stainless steel jewelry with vinegar here.
Does stainless steel jewelry get ruined in water?
Most stainless steel jewelry will not get ruined in water. That is because the element Chromium forms a layer of Chromium Oxide that will protect stainless steel from rust.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
1. There are over 150 recognized grades of stainless steel and some will do a very poor job of protecting stainless steel from water because they have a low amount of Chromium. We always recommend 316L stainless steel.
2. If you damage stainless steel jewelry with a scratch or dent before the Chromium Oxide layer has a chance to repair itself.
We recommend waiting a few days before exposing dented or scratched stainless steel to water, so the protective layer can repair itself. Also, cleaning newly damaged stainless steel with vinegar can speed up that process.
We have a great article that you should check out on why stainless steel rings may rust here.
Can stainless steel jewelry go in a chlorine pool?
Stainless steel jewelry can be worn in the pool. However, it is important that stainless steel jewelry is exposed to Chlorine for short time periods and cleaned as soon as possible to remove chlorine residue.
Chlorine is very corrosive to the protective layer on stainless steel, but only with repeated and prolonged exposure. For this reason, if you are in the pool every day, we recommend not wearing stainless steel in the pool.
If you are just taking an occasional dip once or twice a week and clean your jewelry with water and soft clothe to remove the chlorine residue, the protective layer will repair itself.
There are two dangers that can happen with prolonged exposure or exposure that occurs in a small time frame.
1. If you swim every day, even if for a short duration, the protective layer will not have time to recover.
2. If you expose stainless steel for more than a few hours, the protective layer will be completely destroyed resulting in microscopic pits that will allow rust formation.
If you have problems with jewelry turning your finger green, we have an article on how to prevent it here.
Can you wear stainless steel jewelry in the ocean or sea?
You can wear stainless steel in the ocean. Stainless steel has to be exposed for a long time to salt water to be damaged, so if you are going into the ocean a few times a week, you can wear stainless steel in the sea or ocean.
As with Chlorine, it is important to clean and buff off stainless steel jewelry when exposed to salt water.
If you do this after each trip to the beach, you will be fine. Cleaning will remove the salt residue and allow the protective layer on stainless steel to repair itself.
Can stainless steel jewelry be worn every day?
Stainless steel jewelry is perfect for everyday use with proper care. With all the new designs, affordability and durability, stainless steel jewelry will resist damage, look great and save your budget.
Stainless steel is highly durable but out of the 150 different versions, we recommend 316L stainless steel jewelry. This version of stainless steel has the best mix of Chromium for everyday use and protection.
However, it is very important to clean chemical residues from stainless steel so that the protective Chromium Oxide can repair itself between exposures. This is important as this layer is what protects stainless steel from corrosion.
It is also very important, if your stainless steel jewelry is dented or scratched, that you wait a few days before exposing it to chlorine, salt or other chemicals to give the Chromium layer time to repair itself.