How to Clean Pearls

You never forget your first strand of pearls. They complement any outfit and lend an air luxury and sophistication. Pearls are very sensitive and require delicate cleaning techniques. The value of pearls are often determined by their outward appearance (luster, color and thickness of the exterior coating) so it’s best to take care when attempting to clean your jewelry.

What can harm your pearls?

Perspiration – the acids found within sweat can erode the nacre (exterior coating). Avoid wearing your pearls if you are physically exerting playing sports.

Ammonia, most dish washing liquids, ultrasonic cleaners, commercial jewelry cleaners not specified for pearls, steam cleaners, bicarbonate of soda, bleaches, abrasive cleaners including powered cleaners, lemon juice and vinegar.

Your beauty routine – If you’ve read the list above you’ll understand why it’s best to leave putting on your pearls till last. Makeup, perfumes and hairspray are all capable of being absorbed and thereby damaging the pearls delicate porous surface. This is why cleaning your pearls regularly is important.

Regular cleaning
Pearls should be wiped after each use with a soft barely damp cloth. I would recommend you invest in a chamois. This damp dusting technique will remove the daily residue that can be left behind by your usual beauty routine.

Deep cleaning
An occasional deep cleaning will help you prolong the life of your pearls.

What you will need
Mild Bar Soap - Sunlight or castile soap
Luke Warm Water for washing and rinsing
2 x Soft Cloth - Chamois

Step 1

Create soapy light foam with the water and soap.

Step 2 Washing
Dip the chamois into the foam and wipe the pearls gently.

Step 3 Rinsing
Rinse pearls with clean fresh water. Do not soak as pearls are porous and will absorb water.

Step 4 Drying
Dry pearls with your soft chamois cloth.
To ensure pearls are dry lay them flat on a soft barely damp cloth, when the cloth feels dry to the touch your pearls will be too.
Do not wear pearls without drying them completely, as this may cause the string to stretch thereby weakening the integrity of the thread. For the same reason do not hang your pearls up in your jewelry box to dry.

Deep Cleaning
Little lumps of dirt that refuse to be removed by the previous methods can be quite safely scratched off with your finger nails. The mineral scale of hardness puts pearls at 2.5 - 4.5, while your fingernail is around 2.5 which makes your fingernail unlikely to damage the pearls surface. Please test this method on a small inconsequential area first.

No comments