How to Clean Pearls At Home | Linjer Jewelry

Are your pearls in need of a little TLC to restore their shine and luster? Cleaning your pearls at home is easier than you think, and with a few simple steps, your pearls will look as good as new. Whether it’s a family heirloom necklace or a cherished gift from a loved one (or yourself!), your pearls deserve the best care to keep them looking their best. Let’s dive into a few of our favorite tips and tricks on how to clean pearls at home!

How to Clean Pearls

Pearls are delicate and natural gemstones that require special care to maintain their radiance and luster. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean pearls safely and effectively:

  • Mix a small amount of mild unscented soap with lukewarm water (never use hot water). Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water and gently wipe the pearls, being careful not to rub or scratch them.
  • Rinse the pearls thoroughly with clean water and gently pat them dry with a soft towel.
  • Allow the pearls to air dry completely before storing them in a soft pouch or cloth.

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Pearl Maintenance Tips

Explore our top tips for maintaining the pristine beauty of your pearls, including the essential do's and don'ts of pearl care:

Wear Pearls Last and Take Them off First

  • Pearls are easily damaged by cosmetics, hairspray, and perfume, so it's important to put them on last and take them off first.
  • This helps to avoid exposing the pearls to substances that can dull their natural beauty over time.

Store Pearls Carefully in a Soft Pouch or Cloth

  • When you're not wearing your pearls, store them separately in a soft pouch or cloth to protect them from scratches and other damage.
  • Avoid storing pearls in plastic containers, as these can trap moisture and cause the pearls to become discolored or damaged.

Clean Pearls Regularly With a Soft Cloth

  • Use a soft and damp cloth to gently wipe the pearls clean after each wear.
  • This helps to remove any dirt, sweat, or other buildup that may have accumulated.

Avoid Exposing Pearls to Extreme Temperatures or Conditions

  • Pearls are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so it's important to protect them from heat, cold, and humidity.
  • Avoid exposing pearls to direct sunlight, which can cause them to fade or discolor.
  • Be sure to store your pearls in a cool, dry place.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals or Cleaning Agents

  • Harsh chemicals and cleaning agents can damage pearls, so it's important to avoid exposing them to these substances.
  • This includes substances like vinegar, ammonia, and bleach, as well as commercial jewelry cleaners.
  • Instead, use gentle cleaning solutions that will not harm the pearls.

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Do Old Pearls Turn Yellow?

Yes, old pearls can turn yellow over time due to a variety of factors. One of the primary reasons for this discoloration is the breakdown of the organic material that makes up the pearl's surface (nacre). Exposure to heat, light, and other environmental factors can also contribute to the yellowing of pearls over time.

If your pearls have turned yellow, it may be possible to restore their color and luster through professional cleaning or restoration services. However, it's important to choose a reputable jeweler or specialist who has experience working with pearls to avoid causing further damage to the pearls.

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Can I Wear Pearls in the Shower?

It is generally not recommended to wear pearls in the shower or while swimming, as exposure to water can damage the pearls' delicate surface. Pearls are sensitive to chemicals and acids found in soaps, shampoos, and other personal care products. Additionally, exposure to heat and humidity can also cause damage to pearls over time.

If you do choose to wear pearls in the shower or while swimming, remember to rinse them thoroughly with clean water afterward and dry them gently with a soft cloth. However, to keep your pearls in tip top shape, it’s generally best to avoid exposing pearls to water and other harsh substances whenever possible.

Why Pearls Require Special Care

There are several reasons why pearls require special care:

  • Organic Material: Unlike many other gemstones, pearls are made up of organic material, specifically nacre, which is a combination of calcium carbonate and protein. This organic material is more fragile than mineral-based gemstones.
  • Softness: Pearls are also relatively soft compared to other gemstones, with a Mohs hardness scale rating of 2.5 to 4.5. This means that they are more susceptible to scratches, chips, and other damage than harder gemstones like diamonds.
  • Surface: The surface of a pearl is also unique and delicate, with a natural luster and iridescence that can be easily damaged by exposure to chemicals or rough handling.
  • Sensitivity: Pearls are sensitive to changes in temperature, humidity, and light, which can cause them to become discolored over time. They are also sensitive to chemicals, such as those found in cosmetics, hairspray, and perfume, which can damage the pearls' surface.

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How Often Should I Clean Pearls?

How often you should clean your pearls depends on how frequently you wear them and how much exposure they receive to substances that can cause buildup or discoloration on their surface. Here are some general guidelines on how often to clean your pearls:

  • After each wear: It's a good idea to gently wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after each wear to remove any dirt or sweat to prevent the buildup from becoming harder to remove over time.
  • Monthly cleaning: If you wear your pearls frequently, it's recommended to clean them at least once a month using a soft cloth or sponge and mild soap.
  • Professional cleaning: If your pearls are heavily soiled or discolored, or if you haven't cleaned them in a long time, it may be necessary to have them professionally cleaned by a jeweler or pearl specialist. This can help to remove stubborn buildup and restore the pearls' natural beauty.

We love wearing pearls and with anything you love, you have to remember to take care of them (a little life advice too 😉). By handling your pearls with care, avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures, and gently cleaning them regularly —you can help to ensure that your pearls remain a cherished and timeless addition to your jewelry collection!

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