Unlike metals such as gold and silver or minerals such as diamonds and emeralds, pearls originate from a living organism. As such pearls are very fragile and susceptible to damage easily, so cleaning freshwater pearls is a very important step in the care of your pearls.
To protect your pearls from damage and help them to last a long time, here are some tips on cleaning pearl jewelry.
Cleaning Freshwater Pears
Pearls will accumulate the oils and other chemicals, such as perfumes, emollients etc, from your skin so need to be cleaned as soon as you have finished with them for the day. As soon as you remove your pearls give them a wipe with a soft damp cloth. Then let the pearls dry naturally in the air.
Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a very mild soap and water solution. Never use detergents or chemicals to clean pearls. The surface is very delicate and can be damaged easily. Chemicals such as ammonia are a no no and of course, everyone has heard of pearls being dissolved in vinegar and even alcoholic drinks.
Definitely do not clean pearls with an ultrasonic cleaner. The same for abrasive cleaners. They will remove the smooth nacre surface and destroy the bright sheen.
Also when you clean them, do not use abrasive implements such as a toothbrush for example. A soft cloth is the best thing to use.
Sometimes it is a good idea to have your pearls professionally cleaned by a jeweler.
Using Freshwater Pearls
Pearls, like people, can be “allergic” to substances in hairsprays, perfumes and lotions. Many contain chemicals and even natural products that can react and shorten the life span of your pearls. This does not mean you have to change your perfumes, hairsprays etc, rather the best way to handle this is to employ the last on first off principle. That is to say the last thing you put on when you are dressing up are the pearls and the first thing you take of when you have finished is the pearls.
This will limit the exposure your pearls have to other chemicals and substances.
Storing Freshwater Pearls
How one stores one’s pearls is important also and correct storage can extend your pearls life. In fact strung pearls should be restrung periodically to ensure the cord remains in good shape. One can also have knots in the cord between each pearl to help remain the correct distance and shape of the strung pearls and help reduce abrasion between the pearls themselves.
Strung pearls should be stored flat so that the string does not stretch as a result of gravity. Pearls are easily scratched so should be stored separate from other jewelry, particularly gemstones, as they can easily scratch the delicate surface of the pearls. Have a special place in your jewelry box set aside for your pearls where you keep no other jewelry.
Remembers, pearls cannot be repair if damaged so it is better to take precautions to ensure they do not get damaged.
Keep your pearls away from heat and steam but ensure they are not stored in a very dry atmosphere as they can dry out and become brittle. If the air is particularly dry where you are a periodic gentle wipe with a damp cloth when they are not being used will help to ensure they do not dry out.
The best place for pearls is on a woman’s neck. Wearing pearls gives them a chance to breath and the clean skin can produce oils which pearls love with the majority of women.
Cleaning Freshwater Pearls is easy when you make a habit of it and the rewards will be long lasting pearls to give you a lifetime of pleasure.