Pearls, unique in the gem world for their organic origin, also have unique care and cleaning needs which are essential to maintaining their strength and luster. Their delicate nature makes pearls particularly susceptible to damage, but with the right care, they can last for generations.
In general, avoid soaking your pearls in liquid or exposing them to heat. While you can wash them gently with mild soap and water then wipe them off carefully, you should never ultrasonic or steam clean your pearls or use any chemicals, abrasives, or solvents. Pearls also have softer surfaces than many other gemstones and can be easily scratched. Keeping your pearls in a fabric bag or wrapped in tissue can help protect them from minor scratches. It’s also a good idea to have your pearls restrung around once a year.
Cosmetics, perspiration, oils, and ordinary wear can all weaken and stretch the threads on which pearls are strung, so it’s important to get those threads checked and maintained regularly.