Gemstones General Jewellery Learning

How to clean pearls & pearl jewellery

Single Pearl on Feather Background

How to clean pearls 

Pearls are a unique and delicate gemstone, and therefore require a little extra care and cleaning. To clean your pearl jewellery, you should avoid getting the pearls wet. You should also never use harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners, to maintain the integrity of the gem. And while they might seem a high-maintenance choice, the experts at The Diamond Store give their expert advice for making pearl care easy. Read on for pearl cleaning, care and maintenance tips. 

Wipe your pearls after every wear 

  • As pearl jewellery meets the skin, it gradually picks up a layer of oils, dirt and debris, which can discolour your pearls, and even damage them. So, make it a habit that when you take them off at the end of the day, you give them a simple wipe-over with a soft cloth to remove this.

Clean your pearls with a slightly dampened brush or cloth 

  • If your pearl jewellery needs a more thorough clean, it’s important to remember that you should never submerge a pearl in water – it weakens the silk thread and can cause irreparable damage to your piece. Instead, take a clean eyeshadow brush, cotton swab or cloth and dip it in a solution of warm water, with a drop of gentle shampoo added. Buff your pearls with your tool of choice, then wipe with a dry cloth before storing.  

Dry your pearls thoroughly before storing 

  • To ensure your pearl pieces don’t lose their shape or degrade, they need to be completely dry before storing. Wipe with a dry cloth, or lay them flat and give them a gentle blast with the cold setting of your hairdryer. 

Other care tips, to keep your pearls in top condition: 

  1. Wear your pearls often to keep them ‘hydrated’ – while getting pearls wet is a bad idea, your pearls can also sustain damage if they become too dry 
  2. Store your pearls flat, and separately to other jewellery  
  3. Put your pearls on as the ‘finishing touch’ 
  4. Never use harsh chemicals or ultrasonic machines when cleaning your pearls