If you want to know how to care for pearls easily and efficiently, this complete guide will show you some useful and simple steps that are meant to keep your pearls beautiful and shiny. Your special pearls require special care. Our tips will reveal how to store your pearls correctly and how to provide their maintenance. Real pearls are precious and timeless, but you have to take care of them in order to last for years. Find out how to safely care for your pearls and how to restore their unique lustre.
Why do pearls require special care?
We often say that pearls are timeless. To maintain this quality, we should take care of them properly. Before you start cleaning pearls, you should know their main properties. Pearls require special care because, first of all, their material is very vulnerable to scratching. Due to the fact that pearls are formed by oysters secreting a combination of aragonite, conchiolin, and water around irritants in their bodies, they are exposed to acids, ammonia, alkaline, extreme humidity. Moreover, pearls contain that organic soft material called nacre so anything that is harmful to organic materials should be avoided.
According to International Gem Society, nacre is composed of the mineral aragonite with an organic binder called conchiolin. The thin layers of nacre develop a sort of diffraction grating through which light must pass. Therefore, avoid exposing them, for extended periods of time, to harsh light or heat, chemicals. However, in order to take care of pearls properly, be aware that they need moisture and air, so don’t place them in plastic bags or deposit boxes. Generally, pearl’s toughness is good, but aging, dehydration, and sometimes excessive bleaching during initial processing, might make some pearls more fragile.
So, the question is: do pearls lose their luster? Over time pearls can not only lose their luster, but can also become barrel-shaped. The good news is that you can definitely prevent these things by learning how to make your pearls shine again. Read the whole guide to find out how to clean your pearl necklace, bracelets and earrings.
How to take care of your pearls?
The pearl is ranked 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means pearls are soft and can be easily scratched or abraded. But with reasonable care, pearl jewelry can be a lasting treasure.
It’s true they need special care, but taking care of pearls is not at all a difficult task. You may find it easier than you imagine. In order to preserve the beauty of your pearls you just need to follow a few simple steps to maintain them regularly and be careful how you store them. But you have to be consistent. Here are some simple tips on how to take care of real pearls:
- The first golden rule is to always put your pearls last, and take them off first. Always apply your skin lotion, make-up, cosmetics, perfume, cologne, and hairspray before you put on any pearl jewelry. Also, before undressing, firstly remove your pearls.
- After removing your pearls, always wipe them with a soft and clean cloth in order to remove oils and perspiration.
- Never use your pearls as long as their string is wet (after the cleaning process). A wet string can stretch and attract dirt. It will be hard to remove it afterwards, so wait until the string is completely dry.
- You should avoid wearing pearls with clothes made of rough fabrics. They may cause scratches.
- If it wasn’t obvious by now, never wear your pearls while showering, swimming, or washing dishes.
- Part of taking care of your pearls involves not performing any strenuous activity while wearing them. They are sensitive to the acids found in our perspiration.
- Pearls need moisture in order to keep their natural lustre so make sure to wear them frequently. They will absorb it from the air or from the wearer’s body if placed on bare skin.
- If you want to take extra care of your pearls, you can have them restrung once a year.
How to store pearls?
It’s highly important to know how to store pearls.
1. Never use plastic bags or jewellery boxes. Plastic bags can cause scratches. The ideal bags are made of silk of cotton. Our special silky pouch is indicated for storing pearls and you’ll receive it with your order. Make sure to store your pearls separately or individually-wrapped in tissue to prevent scratches.
2. Organize a special space just for storing your pearls. Most of jewels can be hung on a jewelry rack, but pearls, especially pearl necklaces, should be stored flat. Also, make sure to store them separately from other pieces of jewelry to avoid getting them scratched by other items or tangled. Fasten the claps and pins to avoid tangles. A jewelry box with compartments is ideal: you get to separate them and keep them flat.
3. When traveling, you should also take care of your pearls. Carry them in a protective fabric pouch. Moreover, don’t store the pearls in a security box for a long time. They can get dehydrated due to lack of humidity.
4. Usually, pearls are stable to light, but you should keep them away from sources of heat or cold. High heat may burn real pearls or may lead to cracked nacre, discoloration or splitting. Caring for pearls includes knowing how to keep them stored.
5. Another important tip on how to care of pearls is allowing them to breathe. Yes, you read that right. Due to the fact that pearls are organic, they tend to dehydrate without contact with the moisture content in the air. Pearls are not suitable for long-term storage in plastic bags, safes or deposit boxes.
How to clean pearls?
On this section we’ll tell you how to clean your pearls at home easily and effortlessly. You may have heard that you can use some type of liquids to clean your pearl jewels, so make sure to read the whole section to find out what is permitted and what is not. Cleaning your pearls after they get dirty is only part of proper care. Maintenance is also important.
So how do you clean pearls daily? Here are some basic tips:
1. In order to keep your pearls clean and unscratched, always put them on as the last final touch to your outfit.
2. Each time you take your pearls off, wipe them with a soft or slightly damp soft cotton cloth to remove any trace of make-up, perfume, perspiration.
3. If you forget to wipe your pearls clean after wearing them, make sure to do it before storing them again.
4. Once you’ve cleaned the pearls, keep them away from other jewellery items.
From time to time, it’s indicated to deeply clean your pearls. Wondering how do you clean pearls that are visibly dirty? Here’s how to do it:
1. In order to clean your pearls without ruining them only use a small amount of a mild detergent dedicated for soft fabrics or a gentle dishwasher liquid to a quart of warm water. Lemon, baking soda, or vinegar are not at all indicated. Mix them well and then immerse the pearls in this solution for maximum 15 seconds. Don’t exceed the soaping time and don’t use any abrasive deterget because it will rub off the pearl nacre.
2. Next, wipe the pearls with a wet but clean cotton cloth or towel. Gently rub the pearls in each direction to make sure you remove any left dirt and soap. The clasps should be cleaned as well. Insist around the pearl drill holes where dirt tends to collect.
3. Lastly, dry your pearls with a clean and dry cotton cloth. Lay them flat of a soft surface to make sure they dry completely. A clean towel with help absorb the moisture. Don’t try to speed up the process with a hair dryer or any kind of induced heat.
4. To keep your pearls in good condition do not hang your necklaces or bracelets in order to let them dry. Keep them on a flat surface. In this way you avoid having a loose string of pearls.
5. Never clean your pearls in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Also, don’t use any kind of brushes.
6. As we previously mentioned, avoid storing your pearls in close proximity with harmful chemicals. Due to their organic nature, pearls are extremely vulnerable to many types of liquids. While cleaning pearls, under no circumstance should you clean you use vinegar, ammonia, chlorine, bleach, acetone, alcohol, industrial cleaning liquids, chemical cleaners.
7. If you don’t have the time, you can ask a jeweler to clean them. They usually have special pearl cleaners and a professional clean up can never cause harm.
In the end, don’t forget that residue from makeup, perfume, hairspray, and other cosmetics can make your pearls look dull. Always remember to add the pearls last and to clean them after every time you have worn them. Cleaning pearls is simple if you do it regularly. And if you’re interested on how to clean the rest of your jewelry, here’s a short Youtube video tutorial. We hope you found our tips on how to clean pearls with minimum effort useful and that you’ll enjoy wearing them more often from now on!