Pearls are a delicate jewelry accessory that requires special treatment. Since they are soft and vulnerable, they can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals or harder gemstones. Since even perfume or perspiration can cause pearls to lose their luster, it is of utmost importance to make sure that they are cleaned and cared for properly.
Cleaning Your Pearls
It is recommended that you clean your pearls regularly after wearing them to remove any dirt or perspiration accumulated on them.
Simply wipe the pearls with a soft cloth or clean them using a soft brush. You can moisten the cloth or brush with water to make the task easier.
Make sure you clean your pearls well around the drill holes as this is where dirt tends to accumulate.
You can also use a pearl cleaner, but do not just use any cleaning solution you find at the store: Make sure it is specifically made to clean pearls.
After you’ve cleaned your pearls, leave them to dry. It is best to lay them on a flat surface and not hang them as you may stretch their string.
Things to Avoid When Caring for Pearls
Do not use any household cleaners or detergents to clean pearls. Also, do not use baking soda or ammonia on them.
You can use mild soap, but it is recommended to avoid doing so unless you are sure that the particular brand you have in mind is harmless to pearls.
Do not use any jewelry cleaners that are not meant to clean pearls, and do not use any abrasive cleaners such as tarnish removers.
Do not put your pearls in ultrasonic or steam cleaners.
Do not clean your pearls with a hard brush or abrasive cloth as you may damage their surface.
If you have a pearl necklace, you should have it restrung every couple of years or so: With time, the string gets dirty, wears off, and becomes easy to break.
When stringing pearls, it is bet to have knots between them to protect them from rubbing each other and falling out all at once in case the strand breaks.
Wearing Your Pearls
You should put on your pearls only after you’ve applied all makeup, hair spray, perfume, or body creams as the chemicals contained in them can damage your pearls.
When taking your jewelry off, remove your pearls before any other clothing or accessories.
Do not wear your pearls when doing any household work as exposing them to detergents or food ingredients can be harmful to them. For example, acidic substances such as vinegar can damage the surface of your pearls.
Do not wear your pearls when taking a shower or swimming as the chlorine often put in water can be damaging to them.
Only wear your pearl necklace when its string is dry; if it is wet, dirt will accumulate on it more easily and will be hard to remove.
Since pearls are easy to damage, you should store them separately from your other jewelry pieces, which are likely to scratch them. Put your pearls in a separate box or store them in a bag made of a soft material such as velvet or silk.
Do not store your pearls in a plastic bag, especially for a prolonged period as the reduced air supply will cause them to dry out, lose their color and luster, and even start to crack. What’s more, some types of plastic may contain chemicals harmful to pearls.
In general, you should not store your pearls for a long time in a closed space with no air circulation. Take them out regularly and wear them.