Last updated on January 18, 2021
Pearls are delicate organic gemstones that require special treatment. They are soft and can be easily damaged by accidental hits, harsh chemicals and even your perfume. Since they are vulnerable gems, you need to follow our tips to clean and care for your pearls properly.
How to Clean Pearls?
It is highly recommended to clean your pearls regularly after wearing them.
Simply wipe your pearls with a clean soft cloth after every wear. This will allow preventing the buildup of oils or dirt that may have come in contact with your gems.
Always make sure you clean well around the drill holes with a soft brush. This is the place where dirt tends to accumulate most. Be very gentle not to damage the nacre (outer layer).
If your pearls are visibly stained, you can use a damp cloth or a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Do not soak the pearls in the solution. Just dip the cloth in it and wipe the gems.
After cleaning your pearls with soapy water, take a clean wet cloth and rub it over the jewellery. This will rinse away the soap and dirt that is left.
After you have cleaned your pearl jewellery, leave it to dry on a flat surface.
If you are cleaning a pearl necklace or a bracelet, make sure that the string is completely dry before storing or wearing the jewellery again. Moisture can weaken the string, and dirt will accumulate on it more easily.
You can use a pearl cleaner instead of the soapy solution. Just make sure the cleaning solution is specially made to clean pearls.
Never use steam or ultrasonic cleaners to clean your pearls as this is likely to damage the outer layer of gems.
How to Maintain Pearls?
You should put your pearls on last when dressing. Residue from makeup, hairspray, perfume and body creams can damage your pearls or make them look dull. Putting your jewellery on should be the last step.
In case you get any cosmetics on your pearls, immediately clean them with a cloth dampened with warm soapy water.
When you take off your jewellery, you should remove your pearls before any other accessories or clothes.
Never wear pearl jewellery when doing any household work. Detergents or food ingredients may be harmful to them. Needless to say, you should take off your pearls when taking a shower or swimming.
How to Store Pearls?
Since pearls are vulnerable gems, you should store them separately from other jewellery pieces. While it’s important to keep them free of dust, it’s also necessary to protect them from scratching.
Never store pearls in a plastic bag especially for a long period. The reduced air supply will cause them to dry out and even crack.
As a general rule, you should store your pearls in a space with good air circulation. Take out and wear them regularly as leaving your pearls in storage for a long time will dehydrate and make them dull.
Cover image credit: KURZ Schmuck & Uhren