Taking Care of Your Pearls — The Dos and Don'ts
Pearls are an organic gem. They require special care to protect them for years to come. Pearls can be harmed by contact with many chemicals found in household cleaners, perfumes, cosmetics and hair care products.
• Always remember that your pearls should be the last thing you put on when dressing and the first thing you take off when you get home
• Only use jewelry cleaners that are labeled as safe for pearls
• Store pearls wrapped in a soft cloth or pouch, protected from all abrasive objects
• Wipe pearls with a soft cloth moistened with water
• Remove pearls when applying hair spray or perfume; both can damage pearls
• Be aware of the fabrics you wear with your pearls; fabrics like Shetland wool can damage pearls
• Never use a toothbrush, scouring pad or other type of abrasive material to clean pearls
• Never expose pearls to dish or laundry detergent, bleach, powdered cleanser, baking soda or ammonia-based cleaner such as Windex
• Never use an ultrasonic cleaner
• Never steam clean pearls
• Never use tarnish remover or other type of jewelry cleaner advertised on television as a 'miracle cleaner'
• Never store pearls in any type of plastic bag; plastic can emit a certain chemical that will cause the surface of the pearl to deteriorate
• Never leave pearls near a direct source of heat such as a fireplace mantle, television or stove
• Never store pearls in a very dry room or safe deposit box for a long period of time; pearls need moisture, just like your skin, so they do not dry out