Pearls have been used in jewelry for millennia and make fantastic jewelry and heirlooms. But have you ever wondered how to clean pearls, take care of them, and make sure they look as brilliant as when you first got them?
Here's a rundown of how to clean pearls as well as how to store and maintain them. We want you to have the best-looking jewelry possible!
What Makes Pearls Unique?
Naturally formed by mollusks, pearls are fantastic gemstones that have adorned jewelry and clothing for years. These shiny, beautiful stones are naturally formed around an irritant on the inside of a mollusk. These irritants can be grains of sand, damage, or even parasites.
When something gets in the creature, it deposits nacre, or mother-of-pearl, around the irritant. As it deposits more material, the pearl grows. Some pearls are very large and have grown for a long time, but many are rather small or oddly shaped.
Round pearls, such as those commonly seen in jewelry, are relatively rare among all the pearls formed. That, combined with their luster and iridescence, has long made pearls a sought-after commodity.
Natural pearls are rarer and more valuable than "cultured" pearls, or pearls that are intentionally created by adding irritants to mollusks. Whether you have cultured or natural pearls, the methods for caring for and cleaning them are the same, but the overall value of your jewelry may be quite different!
How to Clean Pearls
You'll want to be careful with cleaning your pearls, as some chemicals and materials can dissolve them. (Don't dip them in vinegar, for example!) Thankfully, there are a few ways to clean pearls that will keep their luster and appeal for years to come without damaging them.
The first step is to gently clean off your pearls with a damp cloth. This will remove grime, dirt, makeup, and other contaminants that might have gotten on your pearls. Once this is done, that may be all you have to do to keep them relatively clean.
However, sometimes you need to do a deeper clean. One needs to be careful not to use just any jewelry cleaner that you find at the store. Many of these solutions contain harmful chemicals that can destroy and dry out your pearls, taking away the sheen forever. Your best bet is to use a cleaning agent specifically designed to do the best job with your jewelry.
Using Sparkle Bright Cleaning Agents on Pearls
There are two ways of using Sparkle Bright to clean pearls and pearl jewelry. You can spring for some liquid jewelry cleaner to remove more of the dirt and crime that spoil the look of your jewelry. As well, if your pearl jewelry also contains metals like silver or gold, you can use the tarnish remover and polishing cream to clean the metal if it is tarnishing.
If you decide to clean pearls with Sparkle Bright liquid jewelry cleaner, you won't want to soak your jewelry. All you should do is dip the pearls in the jewelry cleaner, use a very soft brush to gently clean them off, and then rinse them with warm water. Afterward, you can dry them with a soft cotton cloth and store them.
The tarnish remover cream works a little differently and is intended for the metal in your jewelry, rather than the pearls themselves. You can use a clean cotton cloth or soft toothbrush to rub the cream gently on bare pieces of metal, rubbing gently in a circular motion until the tarnish is removed. If your metal pieces have stones like pearls inset, you can use a Q-tip or cotton swab to rub the tarnish off in those smaller areas.
As with the liquid jewelry cleaner, if you get any of the tarnish removing cream on a pearl, simply rinse it off with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. Either way, the benefits of Sparkle Bright jewelry cleaner will certainly shine through with your pearl jewelry!
Caring for Your Pearls
Pearls can be tricky things to care for, and you don't want to damage them! With some good care, they should last for years down the road, becoming great heirlooms to pass down to your family.
One of the most important things about caring for your pearls is where you store them. Plastic bags and boxes should be avoided, as the plastic can degrade and damage the pearls. You also need to be careful not to store them somewhere too dry, as the pearls need some moisture in the air to prevent cracking or drying out.
Ideally, you should have a flat, soft surface to store them in, such as a soft pouch or cloth that won't bleed color into the gemstones. You'll want to store pearls and pearl jewelry away from your other jewelry, as you don't want other metals to scratch or damage your pearls. And if you travel with your pearls, make sure they're wrapped in a soft cloth and kept somewhere safe!
When you're preparing to wear pearls, it's a good idea to follow the rule of "last on, first off." This means that you should put your pearls on after everything else, and take them off before you take off anything else. This includes makeup and perfume!
And, of course, regularly cleaning your pearls and other jewelry will help keep them nice-looking and preserved! If you regularly remove chemicals, dirt, and other things from your pearls, you should have much less of a chance of them getting irreparably damaged over time.
Learn More About Cleaning Your Jewelry!
If you'd like to learn more about how to clean pearls or any other kind of jewelry, we'd love to help!
Feel free to contact us with any jewelry cleaning questions or concerns you might have. We'll do our best to help you in any way we can. We want you to have the best experience possible with your jewelry!