Pearls are beloved all over the world and they are one of the few organic gemstones still available. Shaped in shells and showing a mysterious luster over their surface, no wonder so many hearts have been captured by the beauty of the pearl.
However, these natural gemstones are notoriously sensitive so as not to upset the nacre (the coating that has formed on the outside of the pearl), chemicals, perfumes and even other jewelry should be avoided.
To preserve the quality and longevity of your precious pearl necklace or earrings, read below for some bullet-proof tips on how to provide the extra care and attention they need.
You can wash pearls in warm soapy water, but it’s important to use a mild detergent. Add 1 teaspoon of soap to 4 cups of warm water to dilute it and mix well to create a soap solution. Make sure the water is warm but not sizzling hot as it can damage the beads, especially if they’re real.
On top of mild or detergents for delicate care, you can also use a cleaning product designed specifically for jewelry. However, be sure to check the label to make sure it’s safe for beads. Contact your jeweler for further confirmation.
Don’t use an abrasive cleaner as it may scratch your beads and rub off the nacre, which is their outer coating. Don’t use a home ingredient such as lemon or vinegar, as they have a fairly high pH range and can cause long-term destruction of the pearl. Soak the beads in the detergent mixture. After mixing the detergent and water, immerse the beads in the solution. Let the jewelry sit in soapy water for 10 to 15 seconds. If you’re not comfortable soaking the beads, moisten a cloth with soapy water and use it to pat down the jewelry.
The next step is to wipe the beads with a damp cloth. After removing the beads from the soapy water, moisten a clean towel or cloth with warm water. Gently rub the cloth over the jewelry to rinse off any remaining dirt and soap.
Use a cotton towel or cloth to wipe the beads so that the fabric is not too abrasive like a dried towel. Rub the beads with a smooth towel and lay them flat to dry. After rinsing the beads with a damp cloth, use a clean, dry cotton towel to gently dry the jewelry. Then place the beads on a flat and soft surface and let them dry completely.
If you’re cleaning a pearl necklace or bracelet, make sure that the string is completely dry before wearing the jewelry since moisture can weaken the string. It helps to put your beads on a towel to dry. When the towel feels dry, your beads are probably dry as well.
Put your pearls on when you finish getting dressed. Remnants from makeup, perfume, hair spray and other cosmetics can make your pearls dull. To keep them clean and scraped, always put on your jewelry as the last step when getting ready to go out.
If you accidentally get cosmetics on your beads, wipe them with a clean cloth dampened with warm soapy water. Follow up immediately with a cloth dampened with plain water to rinse them. Wipe the beads with a soft cloth after removing them. Cosmetics are not the only thing that can tear your pearls – sweat can also make your jewelry dull. Make sure your pearls keep their glow by wiping them down with a soft cotton cloth after each time you wear them.
If you forget to wipe your beads after using them, be sure to do so before storing them again. Also, make sure to wear your pearls regularly. Leaving pearls in storage for a long time may seem like a good way to keep them clean and safe, but it can dehydrate them. Try to wear your pearls often so that they are regularly exposed to moisture and can maintain their luster.
While it’s important to keep your beads dust-free, you don’t want to just throw them in a jewelry box. Look for one that has compartments so that you separate each piece of pearl and lay them out flat. This way, they will not be scratched by other objects in the box.
With proper care, you’ll keep your pearls beautiful and lustrous for a long time. Take the abovementioned precautions in mind to maintain your pearls’ allure and remember that pearls should be the last thing you put on before you leave the house and the first thing you take off when you get home.
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