Can Sterling Silver Get Wet

Can Sterling Silver Get Wet: Exploring the Myths and Facts

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In the world of jewelry, few materials shine as brilliantly as sterling silver. Its lustrous allure and timeless elegance make it a popular choice for rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. However, a common question that often arises among silver aficionados is whether or not sterling silver can get wet. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the topic, exploring the effects of water on sterling silver, dispelling myths, and providing practical tips for silver care.

Can Sterling Silver Get Wet?

Affirmatively, sterling silver possesses the ability to endure moisture, albeit vigilance remains paramount.

Characterized by its amalgamation of 92.5% silver and a 7.5% infusion of supplementary metals, predominantly copper, sterling silver exhibits the requisite robustness for multifarious uses. The incorporation of copper bestows the alloy with augmented stability, a necessity given the inherent malleability of pure silver.

The mere presence of water does not instigate the deterioration of sterling silver. Adorning sterling silver while indulging in mundane activities such as handwashing or showering does not precipitate immediate deleterious consequences.

The true agents of tarnish are elements such as oxygen and sulfur. The interaction between silver and sulfur-containing entities, inclusive of perspiration, select cosmetics, and atmospheric pollutants, triggers a chemical metamorphosis resulting in the formation of silver sulfide, a dark tarnish. The presence of water can potentiate this transformation by fostering a humid environment conducive to the activity of sulfur compounds.

To circumvent tarnish, refraining from donning sterling silver in aquatic environments such as swimming pools, hot springs, or showers is prudent, and divesting rings during aquatic activities is advisable.


How to Clean Sterling Silver

By utilizing mild, non-abrasive cleaning methods, you can maintain the luster and extend the life of your sterling silver pieces.

To commence the cleaning process, a concoction of mild dish soap and lukewarm water proves effective. Submerging a soft, lint-free cloth into this solution, followed by gently rubbing the sterling silver, can eliminate tarnish and impurities. Ensure the cloth is well-wrung to prevent water accumulation on the silver. For stubborn tarnish, a homemade paste comprising baking soda and water is beneficial. Applying this mixture with a soft cloth and delicately rubbing the tarnished areas restores the shine.

It’s imperative to avoid abrasive materials and harsh cleaning agents, as they can induce scratches or damage the silver’s surface. Moreover, certain household items, such as rubber, contain sulfur compounds that can accelerate tarnishing. Ensuring the sterling silver is not in prolonged contact with such materials is beneficial.

How to Clean Sterling Silver

But wait — Why can soap be used to clean sterling silver if sterling silver shouldn’t come into contact with soap?

When sterling silver jewelry is worn during activities such as washing hands or showering, the soap, especially if it contains harsh chemicals, can adversely affect the silver. After such activities, it’s improbable that individuals will meticulously wipe and thoroughly dry every segment of their jewelry. Additionally, these situations often involve elevated humidity levels, which alone can induce tarnishing.

In simpler terms, the risk of damage escalates in scenarios that assure exposure to aggressive chemical agents or prolonged moisture. However, when conscientiously cleaning sterling silver with soap, users are inclined to be vigilant and ensure that every detail is thoroughly dried, minimizing the chances of tarnish and damage. This illustrates the paradox wherein soap can be both a potential hazard and a cleaning agent for sterling silver, depending on the circumstances and care taken during the cleaning process.

Caring for Your Sterling Silver

Adopting a proactive stance in tarnish prevention and damage mitigation is integral to maintaining the aesthetic allure of your sterling silver artifacts.

Wear It Regularly

Contrary to intuition, frequent wear of your sterling silver pieces aids in preserving their shine, as the skin’s natural oils form a protective barrier, mitigating tarnish and enhancing the metallic gleam.

Chemical Avoidance

Minimizing exposure to chemicals found in perfumes, lotions, and household cleaners is beneficial in slowing the tarnishing process, thereby preserving the lustrous beauty of your sterling silver.

Safe Storage

Ensuring sterling silver is stored in a regulated, arid, and obscured environment is paramount. Post-wear, gentle cleaning with a specialized cloth removes oils and moisture, maintaining the untarnished and radiant state of the pieces.


In summary, the answer to the question, “Can sterling silver get wet?” is yes, but with some important caveats. Water alone won’t harm your sterling silver, but prolonged exposure to moisture and substances like sulfur can lead to tarnishing. By following proper care and storage techniques, you can enjoy your sterling silver jewelry and items for years to come, maintaining their beautiful luster.

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Ring Size Guide

ring size guide
ring size guide

This is a chart that will be extremely helpful for you to determine the ring size that you need. You can either make use of a tape or a small piece of string to measure the area that will be occupied by the ring. When it becomes a complete circle, make a mark on such string. This will be helpful for you to compare with the chart that is mentioned below.

Inside Dia. Inside Circ. Size
14.1 44.2 3 F 44 4.25
14.5 45.5 3.5 G 45.5 5.5
14.9 46.8 4 H 47 6.75
15.3 48 4.5 I 48 8
15.7 49.3 5 J-1/2 50 9.25
16.1 50.6 5.5 K-1/2 51 10.5
16.5 51.9 6 L-1/2 52 11.75
16.9 53.1 6.5 M-1/2 53 13.25
17.3 54.4 7 N-1/2 54 14.5
17.7 55.7 7.5 O-1/2 56 15.75
18.1 57 8 P-1/2 57 17
18.5 58.3 8.5 Q-1/2 58 18.25
19 59.5 9 R-1/2 60 19.5
19.4 60.8 9.5 S-1/2 61 20.75
19.8 62.1 10 T-1/2 62 22
20.2 63.4 10.5 U-1/2 63 23.25
20.6 64.6 11 V-1/2 64 24.75
21 65.9 11.5 W-1/2 66 26
21.4 67.2 12 X-1/2 67 27.25
21.8 68.5 12.5 Z 68 28.5
22.2 69.7 13 Z+1 70 29.75
22.6 71 13.5 Z+1.5 71 31
23 72.3 14 Z+2 72 32.25
23.4 73.5 14.5 Z+2.5 73.5 33.5
23.8 74.8 15 Z+3 75 34.75

Other Tips

1) Measure your finger in warm temperatures at the end of the day.

2) If your knuckle is a lot larger than the base of your finger, measure both the base of your finger and your knuckle and select a size between the two.

3) When considering a wide band, move up a size from your measurement, for comfort’s sake.