To maintain the beauty of pearls, and understanding how to care for them properly is essential. While the compact crystalline structure of pearls makes them very durable, they’re soft by nature and this reality can’t be overlooked. It’s easy to scratch pearls and simple contact with the skin’s oils every day causes them to deteriorate. So, regular careful cleaning should be part of any pearl necklace owner’s routine.
1. Find a very soft cloth. Choose either a jewelry cloth or a clean rag, preferably one made from cotton or bamboo fabric. NOTE: Never use anything abrasive to clean pearls with, such as toothbrushes or plastic sponges. A soft cloth is the only item that should touch pearls
2. After each use or wear – wipe your pearl jewelry gently before putting your pearl necklace (earrings, bracelet) away each time, so you can remove body oils and perspiration. Put a few drops of water onto the cloth, enough to dampen it and no more. Begin wiping the pearls one by one. NOTE: Never use a commercial jewelry cleaner on pearls. Usually such cleaners contain way too much ammonia, which can damage the pearls.
3. For every fifth wash of the pearls, (after you wear them a few times i.e. 5th time) they’ll need something a little stronger than simply a dampened cloth. Dip the soft cloth in warm, mildly soapy water. Do not use washing up liquid; use a very mild soap, such as castille soap without fragrance or color additives. Then, wipe with a clean dampened cloth to remove any soapy residue from the pearls.
4. If the clasp has to be cleaned as well, use a Q tip (cotton bud) dipped in either jewelry cleaner (make sure it is compatible with the metal of the clasp) or if it a hard metal (not gold) without gemstones, you can use a bit of toothpaste. Whatever you use, do not allow it to come into contact with any of the pearls as it can potentially harm them. NOTE: Toothpaste is good on tarnished silver.
- Always protect your pearl necklace from sharp blows, scratching, chemicals, sunlight and heat/cold. Store your pearl necklace in a soft lined box or pouch, made from such fabric as silk, satin or velvet. Never use plastic pouches to store pearls, as this will cause them to dry out and crack.
- Pearl necklaces are strung with the silk and if that string stretches or loosens, it may break suddenly. Even if you don’t wear your pearl necklace often, it is recommended that you have the string replaced every 5 years.
- If any of the knots seem loose, get them restrung, or do it yourself. Make a knot at each individual pearl, and using a needle, guide the knot all the way to the pearl before tying it.
- Skin oils (acidic elements), perfume, hairspray and makeup are common causes of deterioration in pearls. Wait until perfumes and sprays have dried before wearing your pearl necklace
- Don’t let your pearl jewellery come into contact with ammonia, chlorine bleach of any kind, inks, nail polish removers, perfume, hairspray and toilet water.
- Avoid storing pearls in an excessively dry place. Store your pearl jewellery in a separate pouch to prevent scratching pearl’s surface on sharp metal edges or prongs, or against harder gemstones.
- Avoid ultrasonic cleaners and never use jewelry cleaners containing ammonia chemicals or ammonia, vinegar or abrasives to clean your pearl jewelry.
- Always remove your pearls prior to doing strenuous exercise or work. Never go swimming with your pearl jewelry on.
Things You Will Need:
Soft Cleaning Cloth