Let’s talk about chlorine and jewelry. Can pool chemicals damage your jewelry or turn it green? Should you even be wearing jewelry in the pool? Read on to learn more.

Understanding Chlorine

As our regular readers know, we have covered chlorine on the Safety Blog quite a bit. Basically, chlorine is one of the most popular chemicals used to keep home pools and hot tubs clean. When properly mixed into the water, chlorine assists to keep the pool looking crystal clear. It does this by preventing buildups of slime, algae and other potential hazards.

Additionally, chlorine kills bacteria and germs, and controls any organic debris that can find its way into the water. As gross as it may seem, this can even include body oils, blood or sweat. From the home pool to the public community pool, chlorine can help to balance the pH levels and alkalinity of the water.

It is important to note, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, some people can even be allergic to chlorine. You can learn more in our dedicated post. For now, let’s move on to chlorine and jewelry!

Do Chlorine and Jewelry Mix?

When it comes to chlorine and jewelry, people usually want to know if the pool water will turn their accessories green. The answer is… maybe. It really depends on the type of jewelry we’re talking about. When the jewelry is removed, it can leave a residue. Chlorine will likely affect metals by turning them black, though you may also see a ring of green around your fingers or neck.


Basically, chemicals like chlorine affect different types of metals differently. For example, most rings are made of a combination of different metals. If your gold jewelry is under 24 karats, they will contain additional metals. Beyond gold, sterling silver is often mixed with copper for better durability. This can include copper or nickel. Chlorine often reacts with these additional metals and your jewelry will be more likely to show signs of tarnishing or discoloration.

These other metals can also be weakened by the chemicals used in most pools. In particularly bad scenarios, the little prongs that keep your stones in place may become brittle or even fall off. This is particularly true in weaker areas of the jewelry, for instance where it may have been soldered or stressed from age.

Beyond metals, some gems can also be damaged by pool chemicals. For example, diamonds and natural stones can become dull from exposure to chlorine.

Should I Wear Jewelry While Swimming?

In a nutshell, if you can avoid bringing your jewelry into the pool, it is better. Chlorine and jewelry just aren’t a great mix.


Chlorine damage aside, swimming with jewelry just isn’t the best idea. Accessories can get caught in drains or filters, trapping you under the water. In the open water, shiny objects can also lure potentially dangerous predators, like sharks! Besides the risk of damaging or losing your precious pieces, swimming while wearing jewelry is simply an added hazard. Swimmers are better off leaving their finery at home!