How to clean: Pearls
How to clean pearls safely and avoid ruining them? Follow these instructions and you'll be fine. Pearls are organic gemstones and with care and attention, they can last a lifetime.
It’s amazing that a grain of sand can become something so perfect and beautiful. Pearl jewelry can ‘dress up’ even the most casual outfit. To maintain their natural shine and color, pearls do need to be taken care of. The most important thing to remember though: pearls benefit from being worn regularly – not that you needed an excuse! Pearls are often worn on the skin and the natural oils help the pearls shine. It protects them from dehydration, so please don't clean them too often!
Step 1 - Cleaning
- Clean the pearls very gently using a soft piece of white cotton dampened in lukewarm water. If you are cleaning a necklace or bracelet, don’t be tempted to dip the whole piece in the water as that might cause the silk thread to stretch and weaken.
- If that itself isn’t enough, add a bit of mild soap (most hand soap is mild enough). As you gently wipe each pearl you might be surprised by how much dirt comes off!
- Once you have cleaned all the pearls with the soapy water, it is time to softly wipe them a second time with a damp piece of white cotton. It is important to do it thoroughly to ensure that you have removed all the soap. Otherwise, pearls might lose their luster.
Step 2 - Drying
Finally, very gently dry each pearl also using a soft piece of white cotton. By now they should look lovely. Lay piece(s) of jewelry on a soft towel until it is completely dry. If you are cleaning a pearl necklace or bracelet with silk string, letting the pearls dry naturally will help the silk thread to regain its elasticity.
Pearls generally come from an all-water environment, so they can stand the wet. Let them dry overnight.
Organic pearls are very sensitive, so try to avoid getting chemical or acids like hairspray, fake tan and perfume on them. Put on your perfume and cosmetics well before your pearls! Preferably take them off when sporting, swimming or sunbathing as well. If you do accidentally splash something acidic on your jewels, clean them as quickly as you can. Don't rub pearls too hard, as it may damage the nacre (the coating on your pearls).