I am so excited to share these essential pearl care tips! They will ensure the long life of your pearls. If you want to fast-forward to ordering The Pearl Girls Repair and Reknot Service, click here!
Last week a customer came in wanting to know why her pearls did not look as good as they did 10 years ago and what could she do about it. (As a side note, these were not pearls from The Pearl Girls). The truth is, pearls can not go back in time. Any damage, misuse or poor quality cannot be reversed.
So, step one of making sure your pearls look great 10 years later, is buy quality pearls! There is a reason to pay more for the higher end pearls: they look prettier for longer. Higher-end pearls typically have a better nacre quality and a higher luster. These two factors stand the test of time! They will keep your pearls looking great for years to come. So, make the investment.
Whether you heed my advice on step one or not (because I too love to occasionally buy cheap pearls!), step two of pearl care is take care of your pearls. How can you take care of your pearls? Do not swim in the pool with them. Do not clean your house in your pearls. Run the vacuum cleaner, sure, but keep those cleaning solvents away! Your poor pearls are soft and vulnerable and those cleaners and chlorine will take a bite out of that pretty, lustrous nacre! You might not notice it at first as the effects are subtle but over time your pearls will just start looking flat and dull. Bummer!
Now, we know you smell fabulous in your fancy perfume but your pearls do not like it! That alcohol in your perfume also loves to take a nibble out of the pretty pearl nacre. Keep the perfume away! Truthfully, those pearls do not want a thing to do with your beauty routine. So, get all gussied up. Put on your makeup, your perfume, your deodorant. Do your hair and spray it with hairspray. Do all of your look-good essentials and then (and only then) can you put on your pearls. Step three is put your pearls on last. And at the end of the night when you are ready to wind-down and put on your pjs and clean your face, take your pearls off first. That way, no night creams, face wash or makeup removers will get close to your pearls.
Speaking of cleaning your face, why don’t you clean your pearls? Skin happens! And skin can be dirty and acidic and the natural oils in your skin can take its toll on your pearls. No problem, really. But, if you take a soft cloth or chamois and simply wipe those pearls down, that will go a long way to keep your pearls looking good over time. Bye, bye skin oils!
“But, I thought…” Oh, I know what you thought! You thought that wearing pearls was the way to ensure their luster. Right? We have all heard that one! We have been told, “Wearing your pearls makes them more beautiful.” Well, that is both true and untrue. Here is why. Pearls love moisture! Yum, yum! They love humidity and therefore they love the feel of being against our moist skin. It makes them feel great! Do you know what pearls hate? Safe deposit boxes. Direct sunlight. Sealed plastic bags. Dry environments that can cause them to crack. Say “no” to dry places for pearls! Pearls do not want to be robbed of a moisture rich environment. So, yes, on one hand they love being on your skin but, on the other hand, your natural skin oils can wear them down. So, simply, take good care to keep them clean!
Take things a step further and actually clean your pearls every once in a while! I know nothing about any marketed “pearl cleaning solution.” But I do know a soft ivory liquid can go a long way. Use this or another mild soap, gently clean your pearls and lay them flat to dry! This is so important! I have taken it up upon myself to wear long strands of mother-of-pearl with my pearls and I foolishly got my mother of pearl beads wet. No worries because they are much harder and more resilient that actual pearls however they are knotted on silk thread so, what happened? That silk stretched! Now I need to re-knot my mother of pearl beads! Bummer. Here is the deal… silk stretches. If you get that pearl necklace wet do not wear it wet, do not hang it up. Lay it flat until it dries! And that will keep the silk from stretching.
And once that thread does stretch or get dirty for heavens sakes, restring those pearls! You can do it, we can do it or a jeweler can! Another of my newest obsessions is purchasing vintage strands of pearls. Well, so many strands are damaged because the knots have pulled out so the pearls are rubbing together and damaging one another! Poor things! It is an all-out pearl on pearl combat! Restring your pearls and your pearls will not rub together and the thread will stay fresh and clean which not only helps the long life of pearls it just looks better! Order The Pearl Girls © Reknot and Repair Service by clicking HERE!
Step six watch where you put those pearls! Now, just because I said take them off, I did not say throw them. You know that pile of jewelry on your dresser or in your top drawer? Do not throw those pearls in that pile. Ouch! Those chain, diamonds or other stones are going to hurt the soft surface of your pearls. See the theme I have going here? These sweet pearls are sensitive and want to be treated with care. Do not let them get all scratched up by your other jewelry. Keep them separate! Preferably in a soft pouch. If you could see the inside of my dresser drawer… it is full of baby socks! I had a surplus of baby socks. clean and unmatched. So, each of my pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings get their own sock. Now, I would never do this with toddler socks because my boys are way too dirty but those sweet, clean baby sock? They are a great way to keep your pearls in a soft, safe place. No matter what you decide to use, keep them soft and keep them away from scratchy jewelry!
These pearl care tips are going to take you places, I tell you! Take care of those pearls, let us know if you want our awesome Pearl Girls service team to restring them and otherwise enjoy the life in your pearls!
To order The Pearl Girls Repair and Reknot Service, click here!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.
8 Replies to “Pearl Care Tips”
How can I get the necklace shown in the April southern living magazine, southern peas for southern girls. Love it
Hi Gayle! Thanks for your comment! Are you looking for the cultured pearl heart necklace? Click on this link to order: https://devtpg.wpengine.com/shop/cultured-pearl-heart/ Thank you!
I have a small freshwater pearl bracelet with rather small pearls strung around a silk band. Is it safe for me to sleep with it on? Could that possibly hurt the pearls or is it ok?
Hi Nicole! You are fine to sleep in your pearls! I do it all the time but I do notice they need a little extra TLC after a while after being so close to your skin for so long. Best, India
Great tips ! I guess these will really help me to take care of my pearls, I really love them and i don’t want them to get damaged. Thank you for sharing such a useful post.
Thank you Jyoti! Yes, take care of your beautiful pearls!! Best, India
Hello I’m new on here..An I have a pearl necklace that was handed down by at least two or 3 generations an I do not know anything about pearls the last owner swore they was real she was in her 50’s and the pearls came from her mom who got them from her mom..She passed them to me..besides a jeweler is there something I can do to tell. They are cool an alil heavy an I also see how they was worn an have some oil or lotion residue. I wouldn’t know the name or anything. even the thread doesn’t show where it stop or connect no knots at all..Any suggestions??
Hi Laquita!If you are ever this way, feel free to come in and show us your pearls, we would love to look at them! I also just created a video as I went through another woman’s pearls and I posted it here. maybe this will give you some tips what to look at with these pearls. Thanks for reaching out!Best, India