Keep your pearl jewelry separate from your other jewelry. Pearls are very soft and can be easily scratched or chipped by other gemstones and metals in your jewelry box. It's best to either hang up your pearl strands or keep your pearl jewelry in a soft pouch by itself. Keep in mind, pearls can also scratch each other.
Do not put your pearl jewelry in jewelry cleaner or an ultrasonic. If you feel like your pearls need cleaning, you can take them to your jewelry to safely clean them for you. If you would rather do it at home, take care while cleaning and follow these steps:
1. Use a cup/bowl of warm water and mix in a little hand soap (nothing with chemicals, abrasives, or anti-bacterial).
2. Gently place in your pearls and run them through your hands. Use extreme caution because pearls are either held in by glue, or knotted on silk with glued ends. Over time the glue breaks down and the silk will stretch with wear and if it gets wet.
3. Once you feel your pearls are clean, remove them and dab them dry with a soft towel. Again, make sure not to stretch out your pearl strand, the silk will stretch when wet. Lay out carefully to complete drying on a dry towel.
Wear your pearls. Don't just keep them in a box somewhere. After all, jewelry is meant to be worn and adored. The oils from your skin, believe it or not, are actually good for your pearls and keep them from drying out too much. This statement doesn't give you the go ahead to work out in your pearl jewelry. Sweat contains salt which is not good for your pearls, so it's best to take off your jewelry before you work out or go on a run.
Do not shower, bathe, swim, or get in hot tubs with your pearl jewelry on. There are chemicals in your soaps, shampoos, pools, and oceans that can harm and dry out your pearl jewelry and cause them to crack and chip. Unless you're doing a gentle cleaning, it's best not get your pearls wet.
Written by Claire Avery