Pearls... The Right and Wrong Way to Care

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Is there a right and wrong way to care for your pearls? Even if you haven't spent a Million Dollars for yours, you should ALWAYS follow these simple rules of thumb so they last a lifetime:

Only use jewelry cleaners labeled as safe for pearls.

Never use an ultrasonic cleaner.

  • Never steam-clean pearls.
  • Never use (or expose pearls) to a dish or wash detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, baking soda, or ammonia-based cleaners (like Windex).
  • Never use toothbrushes, scouring pads or abrasive materials to clean pearls.
  • Do not wear pearls when their string is wet. Wet strings stretch and attract dirt, which is hard to remove.
  • Do not hang pearls to dry.
  • Take your pearls off when applying cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume, or when showering or swimming.
  • Avoid wearing pearls with rough fabrics like Shetland wool.
  • Have your pearls restrung once a year if you wear them often.
  • Cleaning Pearls

    After you wear pearls, just wipe them off with a soft cloth or chamois, which may be dry or damp. This will prevent dirt from accumulating and keep perspiration, which is slightly acidic, from eating away at the pearl nacre. You can even use a drop of olive oil on the cloth to help maintain their luster.

    If pearls have not been kept clean and are very dirty, they can be cleaned by your jeweler or they can be cleaned using a special pearl cleaner. Be careful using other types of jewelry cleaner or soap. Some liquid soaps, such as Dawn, can damage pearls. Pay attention to the areas around the drill holes where dirt may tend to collect.

    After washing your pearls, lay them flat in a moist kitchen towel to dry. When the towel is dry, your pearls should be dry.

    Veronica Miller - Founder, VLU STYLE

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