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How to Care for your Pearls

Whether you have cultured pearls — such as those found at The Pearl Source — or faux (imitation) pearls, over time they will require a bit of cleaning and care to keep them looking their best for years to come. Unfortunately, improper care and cleaning can result in irreversible damage to your jewelry. Thankfully, the following tips will help prolong the life of your pearl jewelry.

Daily Care of Pearl Jewelry

Since pearls are an organic gemstone, they are vulnerable to extreme humidity as well as alkaline and acid. Everyday items such as perfume, hair spray, and cosmetics can actually damage the radiance of the pearls. This is why you should take care not to let these items come in contact with the pearl. Waiting to put your pearl jewelry on as a final touch — after styling hair and applying makeup — will help prevent your pearls from encountering damaging items. In addition, the luster of your pearl jewelry can be harmed by perspiration. You can prevent this, thankfully, by wiping the pearls with a clean soft cloth before returning them to the jewelry box.

Cleaning Pearls

Most experts agree that pearls are meant to be worn and worn pearls have a better shine then pearls that have recently been cleaned. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t clean your pearls. But you must be careful when doing so and only do it infrequently when the pearls are noticeably dirty. Since most chemical cleaners can actually damage the pearls, you should only clean them in a bowl of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Some people recommend cleaning real pearls in salty water since cultured pearls do come from the ocean. No matter how you decide to clean them, the process should be quick. Allowing the jewelry to soak could end up rotting the string. Once clean, use a chamois leather cloth to gently buff the pearls until you achieve the desired shine. Fake pearls can be shined dry with a clean cloth.

Storing Pearl Jewelry

While pearls are resistant to shock and cohesive, they can become scratched by coming in contact with other gemstones or sharp objects. This is why proper storage is key to prolonging the life of your pearls. You can prevent scratches and tangles by fastening pins and clasps before laying each item out flat and separately in a jewelry box that features compartments. If you are transporting the pearl jewelry, do so in a protective pouch designed for use with jewelry. Furthermore, avoid leaving your pearls in a security box for an extended time since this can lead to the pearls dehydrating.

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