Can I wear my jewellery in the shower?

Can I wear my jewellery in the shower?

This, by far, has to be the most common question we get and the person asking usually expects just a yes or no answer, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

Firstly, what are you really asking?

When I first starting in jewellery and I would get asked “Can I wear this is the shower?”, I imagined these women must have such a glamorous life, sinking into their bubble bath, dripping in their bling, champagne in one hand… lol

But what I quickly realised, is that they didn't necessarily want to wear the jewellery in the shower, they were asking if the jewellery would tarnish?


  1. lose or cause to lose lustre, especially as a result of exposure to air or moisture.

  2. dullness of colour; loss of brightness.

There are a few things we need to look at before deciding “if you can wear your jewellery in the shower”

Firstly, we need to have an understanding of the material the jewellery is made of.

At ELVIE, we generally use two base metals for our jewellery. We mostly use Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel.

Tarnishing is actually a normal process for some metals. Take Sterling Silver, most Sterling Silver jewellery will tarnish over time, but you can easily polish it up with a silver polishing cloth. Sterling Silver is 92.5% Silver and 7.5% other metals, usually Copper. Copper by its nature tarnishes.

Even some lower carat gold can tarnish, depending on what it has been alloyed (mixed) with.

Sterling Silver, although it can tarnish, you can easily polish it up with a simple polishing cloth, and it will look great again. I would say avoid wearing it in the shower, but if you do, it shouldn't be a problem.

Stainless Steel on the other hand does not tarnish in anyway, so absolutely fine to wear in the shower.

For both the above metals, you still need to take some care with how you wear them. Most of our pieces are finished to a high polish, so chemicals in hairspray and perfume may still affect the look of the jewellery. Also, both pieces can still get scratched.

What about the gold and rose gold jewellery, what are those pieces?

Our gold and rose gold jewellery is plated to achieve this look. We plate our Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel pieces with actual gold. The plated pieces are more delicate, and require more care.

Our plated stainless steel pieces generally do not loose colour, they will stay gold and rose gold, but if not looked after, the colour can dull or patina over time, to give a more antique look. It will loose it's lustre, and not look bright and shiny.

Our plated sterling silver jewellery can loose colour over time, that is it can lighten and become more silvery. It is basically the plating slowly rubbing off due to contact with the skin. It depends on how thick the plating is, and we can advise this for each piece.

For both metals, the rose gold plating is more delicate. Basically to achieve the “pink” colour, gold is alloyed with copper. And copper does tarnish, so you need to take some extra care with rose gold jewellery.

Basically for our gold and rose gold jewellery, I would say if you wear it in the shower occasionally, you will be fine, just wipe it down afterwards. If you are wearing it in the shower daily, then you will affect the appearance of the jewellery over time.

Why does jewellery tarnish when I wear it? Even if I don’t wear it in the shower.

For some people, jewellery will tarnish just by them wearing it, even if they don’t wear it in the shower. This is because they have acidic skin. This can happen even with Sterling Silver and lower carat gold jewellery because they are mixed with Copper. Most people that have this are aware of it, and know what metals they can wear.

Usually Stainless Steel is a good option for people with acidic skin, as it does not tarnish. We use 316 stainless steel (surgical steel) on all our chains, and 304 stainless steel on all our pendants.

It’s still best to avoid the plated stainless steel pieces, although some customers don’t mind as it’s affordable and they still get good wear and value out of them.

Also, for everyone, don’t exercise with your jewellery. The salt in sweat can cause your jewellery to tarnish.

Generally speaking...


To keep your jewellery looking pristine, you need to take care of it.

Most of our pieces are fine and delicate pieces, and need to be handled accordingly.

Most of you know the usual things to avoid, but here are my tips on how to keep your jewellery looking its best:

1. Don’t wear it in the shower. I know above I said it’s fine to wear our Stainless Steel and even Sterling Silver jewellery in the shower, but do you really need to?

2. Don’t wear it to bed. If you get regular visitors in the middle of the night and need to be looking your best, then ok, but for the rest of you, take it off.

3. Remove your jewellery before washing your hands, exercising, & swimming.

4. Always put on your jewellery last and take it off first. You want to avoid it getting caught onto your clothes.

5. Always give your jewellery a wipe after wearing. Even from general wear, your jewellery is going to pick up moisture and oil from your skin. So get a soft cloth and give it a gentle wipe when you take it off.

6. Store your jewellery individually in order to avoid scratching. If you throw all your jewellery in together, not only is it going to become a huge tangled mess, but all the pieces are going to rub against each other, scratching each other. All our pieces come in a pouch or box, so store them in that, separately.

7. Store your jewellery in a moisture free environment. Moisture in the air can react with some types of metal and cause tarnishing. Yes they might look nice displayed on your dresser, but the jewellery is better off put away until you wear it next. Again, keep it in a pouch or box, in your draw.

8. Lastly, is the usual, avoid contact with chemicals such as perfume, hair spray, moisturisers, deodorant, household cleaners, etc Even if the jewellery doesn’t “tarnish” sometimes these chemicals will affect the high polish of the jewellery.