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Cleaning & Caring: Pearls
Regular cleaning should keep your Pearls looking luminous
While the natural oils from your skin can improve Pearl’s sheen, they can also damage or discolour the silk thread, therefore wipe each Pearl and the silk strand gently after each use with a dedicated jewellery cloth, or suitable soft fabric such as bamboo or velvet. Do not pull on the tread as that may cause stretching.
Due to the softness of Pearls, they are generally threaded onto silk. If that silk stretches or loosens, it may break suddenly. Inspect the integrity of the thread and knots during each cleaning session.
You may lightly dampen the cloth with water if required. As real pearls come from the ocean, some people believe they are best washed in salty water.
Never use harsh fabrics or abrasive tools such as toothbrushes or ultrasonic cleaners on your Pearls, nor commercial cleaners which may contain ammonia which can damage your investment.
Occasionally, especially after heavy or prolonged wear, you may need to use something a little stronger than a damp cloth. You may use a mild soap without fragrance or additives such as castile soap. I don’t recommend the use of detergent or dishwashing liquids.
Dip the cloth in the room temperature, soapy water, wipe the Pearls as usual and then wipe over with a clean damp cloth to remove any soapy residue.
Lay the pearls on a soft cloth (not in the sun) to thoroughly air-dry before returning them to storage. This helps preserves the elasticity of the silk thread. Do not wear the necklace until the silk thread is perfectly dry to prevent it from stretching.
To clean the clasp, use a jewellery cleaner that is suitable for the metal. Dip a cotton bud into the cleaner and wipe the clasp, then refresh with a dampened cloth. Do not let the cleaner have contact with the Pearls as it may damage them.
Store your Pearl necklace laying down in a soft lined box or pouch to reduce the silk thread stretching. As you can see in the photo above, the knots are no longer resting tightly between each pearl.
Always protect your pearl necklace from sharp blows, scratching, sunlight and heat/cold. Store separated from other jewellery as those gems or settings may scratch the Pearl.
Never place your Pearls in airtight containers or use plastic pouches to store them, as that’ll cause them to dry out and crack. Like skin, they need air and moisture to retain their nacre.
Chemicals such as perfume, hairspray and makeup are common causes of deterioration in Pearls. Before wearing your Pearls, wait until perfumes and sprays have dried.
I would love to hear if you have found other methods of cleaning or caring for you pearls that have worked.
Are my Pearls real?
To tell if your Pearls are real, gently rub them along your front teeth. If there is a slightly gritty, sandy feel, they are real. If there is no gritty sensation, and they run smoothly, then sorry, but they are mot probably fake.