Rhodium is a precious element that can be at least twice as expensive as gold.
Rhodium-plated jewelry pieces are pretty common, but most people don’t know what rhodium is.
Not sure what rhodium plated jewelry looks like?
Well, all your white gold jewelry is rhodium plated.
Rhodium has a beautiful silver color, and it doesn’t rust or tarnish quickly.
But does that mean you can safely shower with rhodium-plated jewelry?
Several factors need to be considered when taking proper care of your rhodium plated jewelry before, during, and after shower.
Luckily, we gathered all the required information for you in this article.
Can You Shower with Rhodium Plated Jewelry?
Exposing rhodium plating to water can cause it to wear off over time.
If you plan to wear your rhodium plated jewelry in the shower, you probably shouldn’t.
Not only will you wear off some of the platings on the jewelry, but it will end up costing you quite a bit to re-plate the jewelry.
Asides from water, your sprays, aftershave, perfumes, and so on can also wear off rhodium coating.
If you are going to be swimming, showering, or washing your hands, then it’s best if you take off your jewelry first.
This will help preserve the rhodium coating for as long as possible.
Which brings us to another question.
How Long Does a Rhodium Plating Last?
As long as rhodium plating is handled correctly, it can last for more than a year.
However, most rhodium plated jewelry starts to lose its coating after three months.
You should take the jewelry in for re-plating once the coating begins to wear off in certain places.
The re-plating process is not a long one.
Most sessions usually last for about one or two hours at most.
It often starts with a thorough cleaning process.
The jewelry is cleaned to make sure that all dirt or contaminants are gone before replating begins.
Once the cleaning is done, the jewelry is then dunked in a rhodium solution to apply the coating.
A positive charge is then run through the solution to ensure the proper fusion of the coating to the metal underneath.
It’s best to leave this process to professionals to avoid causing further damage to your jewelry.
How to Stop Your Rhodium Plating From Wearing Off
Rhodium metal is more challenging to work with than gold because it is incredibly brittle.
As a result, it cannot be used to make jewelry.
Instead, it’s used to coat other precious metals that can be turned into jewelry.
Rhodium plating is applied to enhance the natural luster and resilience of certain metals.
However, all rhodium plating is known to wear off with time.
You will need to re-plate the jewelry to return it to its initial appearance.
And re-plating can be a costly venture.
With rhodium being worth at least twice as much as gold, you don’t want to have to re-plate your jewelry every other month.
It is advisable to keep your rhodium plating on for as long as possible.
You will end up saving more time and money rather than having to visit the jeweler frequently.
So how do you stop the rhodium plating from wearing off?
Here’s a list of things you can do to preserve your rhodium plating for as long as possible.
1. Do not rub the rhodium plating on your jewelry
Always bear in mind that rhodium is a coating for the original metal on your jewelry.
Rubbing it will only wear the coating off faster.
If you are washing your hands repeatedly for one reason or the other, then pay careful attention to your jewelry.
2. Do not use strong cleaning products on the jewelry
The chemicals in strong cleaning products can react with the rhodium plating on your jewelry.
If you are going to be handling such products, keep your jewelry away from them.
You should also not use such products to clean the jewelry at any point in time.
3. Try not to scratch the surface of your jewelry
This is particularly true for rhodium plated rings.
If you are wearing rhodium plated rings, make sure that you keep them away from hard surfaces or other metals.
Scratching the surface of the jewelry can wear off the coating.
Avoid such situations as much as possible to preserve the plating for longer.
How to Safely Clean Your Rhodium Plated Jewelry
Cleaning rhodium plated jewelry is an easy process.
You can decide to clean the jewelry yourself or have it cleaned by professionals.
If you are going to clean your rhodium jewelry yourself, follow these steps:
- Mix some liquid detergent into some warm water in a bowl. Make sure to use mild detergents as stronger ones can wear off the coating.
- Soak the jewelry in the warm washing solution for about ten minutes. Once you are done soaking, use your fingers or a very soft-bristle toothbrush to clean the jewelry gently. Don’t rub hard to avoid scratching or wearing the plating. Do not stick the jewelry in the water for longer than 15 minutes.
- Rinse off the soap with some room temperature or distilled water. Be as careful as you can while rinsing off the soap.
- Pat the jewelry dry with a soft towel. You can choose to let the jewelry dry for as long as possible.
- Wrap the dried jewelry in some tissue paper and store it in an airtight jewelry box.