A stainless steel bracelet is a fashionable and sleek accessory. It may be more durable than a gold bracelet, for example, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay attention to it. Stainless steel, just like any other jewelry metal, needs maintenance and care. And because we know that you love your jewelry and want to maintain them looking as new, let’s see how you can care for your stainless steel bracelet.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is an iron alloy that contains minimum 10.5% Chromium. The Chromium prevents a stainless steel piece from corroding so, as you can imagine, the more Chromium, the more durable the piece. Stainless steel jewelry is very popular at the moment because of its sleek look, durability, and possibility to wear every day.

There are more than 150 types of stainless steel, but, when it comes to stainless steel bracelets or other types of jewelry, manufacturers use mostly four types. The most common one is surgical steel which you can find in almost all stainless steel jewelry. Besides, iron, it contains carbon, high Chromium levels and low levels of nickel. The marking for this type of stainless steel is 316L or 316LVM (meaning it was produced in a vacuum). Other types of stainless steel you can find in jewelry are 302L, which has a high nickel content and shouldn’t be used for piercings and 317L (similar to 316L but with more nickel).

Why is stainless steel great for jewelry?

For starters, this metal has a nice look. But there are other reasons why a stainless steel bracelet is an excellent piece of jewelry:

  1. It doesn’t react to chemicals

The Chromium in the stainless steel prevents it from reacting to chlorine, salt or other chemicals. This means that it’s safe to swim wearing your stainless steel jewelry as long as you secure it properly so that you don’t lose it in the water. Because the alloy contains very little nickel, stainless steel jewelry doesn’t trigger allergic reactions.

  1. It doesn’t tarnish

It resembles silver, but it doesn’t tarnish. You can wear your stainless steel bracelet as long as you want and it will look great. It will need cleaning, of course, but you will never see tarnish on a stainless steel jewelry piece.

  1. It has an excellent durability

As opposed to gold or other precious metals, stainless steel is very durable. It will not bend, loose gemstones or create any other problem of this sort. Of course, a stainless steel bracelet can get scratched, but it is not as fragile as a gold one, for example.

How to clean a stainless steel bracelet

Even though stainless steel is durable and non-corrosive, you should still clean your stainless steel bracelet or other types of jewelry. Lotions, body oils and sweat, as well as dust and other particles, come into contact with your bracelet and, in time, may cause it to lose its brilliance and sleek look. So, how should you clean a stainless steel bracelet?

If you have a simple stainless steel bracelet without gemstones, it should be pretty easy to clean it. Damp a lint-free cloth in a solution of warm water and dishwashing soap. Gently wipe your bracelet to remove the dirt until your bracelet is clean. As soapy water can leave marks on stainless steel after it dries, make sure you rinse your stainless steel bracelet. Don’t put it under water though. Instead, use another damp cloth dipped in water. Sometimes, tap water contains fluoride or chlorine, so it is best to use still bottled water. After you finish, dry your bracelet with a clean, lint-free towel.

If your stainless steel bracelet has gemstones, forget about the soapy water. Just clean it with a damp cloth dipped in warm still water and use a jewelry brush to reach the hard places. It will take longer but, this way, you protect the gemstones from damage. Don’t use toothpaste on your stainless steel bracelet because silica (which you can find in whitening toothpaste) is abrasive.

How to take care of a stainless steel bracelet

As opposed to silver, stainless steel doesn’t tarnish. It is also more durable than gold and, overall, it creates sturdy jewelry pieces. But this doesn’t mean that you stainless steel bracelet won’t get scratched. And because this metal has a very particular shine, any scratch is visible. To minimize the risk of scratching your stainless steel bracelet, store it separate from other jewelry pieces. When you wear it, make sure don’t work too much with your hands. This means that you shouldn’t wear your stainless steel bracelet when exercising or cooking, for example.

If you notice scratches on stainless steel bracelet, don’t despair. You can take it to the jewelry shop so it receives a professional polishing.  Click here to view our designer jewelry collections and choose your next stunning jewelry piece.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.