Pearl Care: 101
Pearl jewelry is gorgeous. Long strands of delicate beads, floating pearl pendants, pearl earrings (ahem, a good time to read our DIY infected ear lobe treatment for earrings lovers), even pearl rings can be added to your collection! As beautiful sustainable as pearls can be, they’re simply not as durable as their stony counterparts. Most gemstones and diamonds, depending on the fitting, can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. But, when it comes to pearls you need to have some extra special pearl care.
Pearl care musts:
Wear and love your pearls! But really, get them out of storage more often than not. Pearls, unlike other fine jewelry can dehydrate overtime. This can cause your pearl jewelry to become brittle and leave it susceptible to cracking. Getting the pearls out in open air and humidity can help to keep this at bay. Add this to the list of benefits of using a humidifier, obviously.
Clean your pearl jewelry regularly. This is key for pearl care! Anything that may have come in contact with your pearls (like hairspray, lotion, perfume, even sweat) can potentially harm the pearls if it is not removed. Just wipe down with a soft cloth when you take ’em off, no biggie.
Store pearls away from harder gems. Pretty much any stone or metal is going to be harder than your pearls. Storing them in the same place could cause an accidental scratch on your pearls surface, messing with that pretty shine. Keep ’em separate in a soft silky pouch of their own.
Restring your pearls regularly. Pearl necklaces are typically held together with a silk string. Although silk is durable, it’s not the longest lasting product. To keep a pearl necklace breakdown from happening (and hunting down pearls all over the floor!) have your necklace restrung once a year if you wear it regularly. The popular floating pearl necklaces are usually on metal chains that would not need this level of care.
When in doubt, take it to a professional. Something weird going on with your pearls? Don’t try to deal with it at home. Keep your jewelry safe by taking it to a professional jeweler.
Pearl care nevers:
Never wear pearl jewelry in the bath or shower. I know, you can probably picture ten rom-com scenes of a woman with a glass of wine, pearl necklace affixed to her neck relaxing (or crying, let’s be serious) in a tub of bubbles. But, high temperatures, extremely high humidity, and submerging your pearls in water is a big no-no. Depending on the combination you’re running with (heat from a warm bath is different than heat from a blow dryer) you can cause your pearls to darken, dry out, or crack.
Don’t use harsh detergents or acids near pearls. Vinegars, some fruit juices (looking at you, lemon) and soaps can be harmful to the health of your pearls. Take off your pearls while cooking, and when accidents happen, clean off your pearls with a dry soft cloth as soon as possible.
Don’t deep clean at home. Like we said harsh detergents (even seemingly save DIYs) can be damaging to your pearls. You don’t need to get them cleaned all the time, but once a year take your pearl jewelry to a professional jeweler knowledgable in pearl care to clean the delicate piece.
Keeping your pearls in tip top shape is mostly a game of keeping them away from extremes. Do that and your pearls will gleam!
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