How To Clean Pearl Jewelry

Pearls add a touch of class to any ensemble, and have long been treasured for their beautiful, lustrous sheen. As an organic gem, pearls are also known to be quite soft and fragile, and so will require dedicated care and attention to keep them in perfect condition.  

Cleaning Your Pearls

You can clean your pearls at home with relative ease with just a few simple tools. Follow these steps to ensure the best results:

  1. Start by laying out a clean, dry towel on a flat surface. 
  2. Prepare a gentle cleansing solution by mixing a few drops of mild dish soap with room temperature water. 
  3. Dip a microfiber towel or other soft cloth into the soapy mixture, squeeze out excess water, and carefully wipe each pearl's surface.
  4. Once you are satisfied that your pearls are clean, remove any remaining soap residue with another dry or slightly damp cloth.
  5. Lay out your freshly cleaned pearl jewelry on your towel and let it dry for several hours.

Keep In Mind

The gentle act of cleaning your pearl jewelry is easy yet necessary. Here are some extra pieces of advice to keep in mind whenever you are working with your pearls: 

  • Use only room temperature water when mixing your pearl cleaning solution. You risk potentially damaging the delicate surface of your pearls if you use water that is too hot or too cold.
  • Take care to avoid getting your pearl jewelry too wet. Not only could the nacre surface be affected, but soaking can also weaken the silken thread used to string pearl necklaces and bracelets. 
  • The softer the cloth and the milder the soap, the better. Anything too abrasive can scratch the soft luster of pearls.
  • As much as possible, lay your strings of pearls on a flat surface while cleaning and drying them. Hanging puts undue pressure and stretching on the string. 
  • Always wipe down your pearl jewelry with a soft lint-free cloth whenever you take them off before putting them away. This way, any dirt or oil is immediately removed and will prevent buildup over time. 

What Not To Do When Cleaning Pearl Jewelry

The delicate organic composition of pearls means they must be treated differently than other gemstones. There are certain things you should NOT do to your pearls, including exposing them to: 

  • Ultrasonic Cleaners. The intense vibrations inside an ultrasonic bath can actually cause the outermost layer of pearls to break apart and dissolve away. NEVER clean your pearls this way!
  • Harsh Chemicals. Chlorine, bleach, ammonia and other household detergents can be extremely detrimental to the surface of pearls. Even things like perfume and cosmetics can be bad for your pearls, so use these things sparingly or not at all while wearing your pearl jewelry. 
  • Excessive Moisture. Do not submerge your pearl jewelry in water. This means you should always remove your pearls before showering, swimming, or even washing the dishes.  

By following these pearl-cleaning guidelines, you will be able to treasure your magnificent pearl jewelry for many years to come. For more information, contact the helpful consultants at Solomon Brothers Jewelers to book an appointment today!

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