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Caring for Your Pearl Jewellery

Jewellery does require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it in a good condition and keep its beauty alive for a long time to come. Pearls are no different and here are some tips and things to take care of for thoese beautiful gems.

Woman wearing 4-stranded Pearl Necklace


Pearls are not very resistant to hairspray, strong detergent (hence the use of mild detergent when cleaning them), sweat, acidic substances, perfumes, chlorine, and sunlight. It is thus best to keep them away from any such substances as much as possible.

In practice, this means you should avoid swimming with your pearl necklace or earrings. Do not sunbathe while wearing them either, and make sure to take them off before doing any exercise.


While it depends on the condition of your pearls, usually all you need is a mild detergent and warm, soapy water. Clean the pearls gently, without applying excessive force – they are neither very hard (risk of scratches) nor are they the most resilient of jewels. Make sure to avoid getting the thread wet, which is normally made of silk. Pearls may be completely fine with water, but the silk and glue used to thread the pearls are very vulnerable to water.

Once done, leave them to dry on a flat, soft towel. You may also want to buff the pearls with a soft cloth to enhance their lustre.

Avoid any abrasive items when cleaning pearls, and do not pull on them – doing so will stretch the silk thread and could damage your jewellery.

It is best to clean them before and after each use, but if that is inconvenient, it is good practice to ensure at least a weekly clean so that the pearls can maintain their origianl beauty.


Stone Box with Inner Lining

It is best to lay them flat after cleaning. Store your pearls away from direct sunlight, and ideally in a box or storage bag with a soft lining inside. Make sure they do not touch anything else.

Direct sunlight is damaging to the pearls, but so is extremely dry air – if the pearls dry out, they could turn flaky and their lustre may be lost.

In addition, it is important to always be gentle when handling pearls. Whether you are cleaning, wearing them or putting them in storage – do not use excessive force. Any impacts can be very damaging, and it is best not to play with them in any way; if you have children, it may be a good idea to store the pearls outside of their reach.

Other maintenance

It is a good idea to restring them annually as this will prolong their life. Use silk for restringing if possible since synthetic strings may cause static which will attract dust and dirt, and this in turn will make more frequent cleaning necessary.

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