Pearls — like those found at The Pearl Source — should be worn, not kept in a box somewhere never to see the light of day. Unfortunately, wearing pearl jewelry can leave them dirty and dingy, requiring a good cleaning to remove the grime. Improper care and cleaning, however, is a leading cause of sever or irreversible damage to pearls. This is why it is vital for the life of your pearl jewelry that you use the correct methods to care and clean these delicate gemstones.
Caring Tips for Pearl Jewelry
• To keep your pearls clean, only put them on after you have applied your makeup, hairspray and perfume.
• After you remove your pearls, wipe them off with a clean and soft lint-free cloth and store them in a safe place.
• Remove pearl rings before applying lotion or creams to your hands and body.
• Have pearl necklaces periodically restrung. This will ensure the nylon or silk cord holding the pearls is in good shape.
Cleaning Pearl Jewelry
When cleaning your pearls, you must remember that pearls are generally thought of as more fragile than other gemstones. This means you must handle them carefully and clean them proper to avoid severe damage to the gemstone. The best way to clean your pearls is to mix a mild dish soap — such as Ivory or Joy — with lukewarm water. Make sure the dish soap doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. Dampen a clean cotton cloth in the solution and gently rub every pearl individually. Rinse the soapy solution off the pearls with a cloth dampened in water, and allow the jewelry to air dry overnight.
What Not to Do
Some people mistakenly clean their pearl necklaces by allowing them to soak. Soaking can actually cause the string that holds the pearls and makes up the necklace to rot and break. Furthermore, never use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean pearls or harsh detergents, bleach, abrasive cleaners or ammonia. This items can wear the coating off the pearl causing it to look like a plain, inexpensive bead.
Storing Pearl Jewelry
While most assume their pearls will be just fine by tossing them in a jewelry box, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Storing pearls in a jewelry box with other pieces can cause them to become scratched when the gemstones or metal from other pieces rub up against the pearls. Instead, keep the pearl jewelry stored in individual chamois bags.