How bleach/chlorine affects your gold jewelry

When was the last time that you wore any gold jewelry while washing dishes, swimming, or soaking in a hot tub? If you have, your gold jewelry is being effected and not in a good way. Some chemicals, especially chlorine and bleach, are corrosive to gold jewelry. So if you have noticed that your gold ring, bracelet, or anklet is showing considerable wear, bleach or chlorine damage may be at play. Do you need a piece of jewelry repaired? Bring it in to Gems of La Costa.

Our master jewelers can restore nearly any precious piece to its original state.


Gold is a soft metal and as such is nearly always combined with another metal (or alloyed) to give it strength. Bleach and chlorine are part of a group of elements known as the Halogens. The name halogen is formed form the Greek term halo (which means salt) and the English suffix -gen (which means give birth to). The halogen family of elements react violently to
metals—eventually converting them into a type of salt making your gold and prongs brittle and permanently damaging the crystal structure!


Many people clean their counters, floors, bathrooms and other household areas with bleach/water mixture. Doing so with gold jewelry on (such as a wedding band) exposes it to slow damage. Pools and hot tubs utilize chlorine to kill harmful viruses and bacteria. Therefore, swimming or relaxing in a hot tub with gold jewelry on is a definite hazard to the piece. The entire time that you are in the pool or tub the alloy is chemically reacting to the chlorine. There are even traces of chlorine in our water supply, however, it is extremely small so you do not have to worry about damaging your gold ring while washing your hands.

The lesson: Try to avoid contacting your gold jewelry with bleach and chlorine. If you have and
are seeing the effects, bring your piece by our store. Gems of La Costa can try to restore or replace it.