How to Clean Pearl Jewelry


Pearls are beautiful, elegant and are worn in many different ways. But it is important to be mindful of the amount of wear that pearls can handle. Here is guide on how to clean pearl jewelry gently so that your pearls will last for years to come .



Pearls are formed when a tiny irritant, such as a grain of sand, gets stuck inside an oyster shell. To get rid of the irritant, the oyster secretes layers and layers of nacre over it until the irritant is completely encased in this substance. Nacre is a mixture of calcium carbonate and conchiolin (a protein). It's a very soft substance, but incredibly strong and resilient. Hence, the thickness of the nacre layers directly corresponds to a pearl's durability.

If the nacre of your pearl is thin and delicate, it shatters with little effort, leaving ugly gaps, chips, or cracks as a result of being cleaned with harsh chemicals or placed in a jewelry cleaner such as an ultrasonic cleaner. In the worst-case scenario, the pearl might unravel completely, leaving you with a bland and lifeless bead.

Likewise, faux pearls require special maintenance since their covering is far thinner and more delicate than that of nacre.



Simply put, you should give the pearls a gentle cleaning every time you wear the jewelry. Wipe the pearls with a soft cloth to preserve their luster and remove body oil and other contaminants that may have built upon the surface. After that, if you think the pearls still look dingy, give them a deeper cleaning. Once a year, take the pearls to a jeweler to double-check their integrity and have them thoroughly cleaned.

Even cultured pearls with thicker coatings are more fragile than most other gemstones, so you must handle them with care to keep them in the best condition. The secret to successful pearl upkeep is to use gentle and conservative methods. If your pearls look lackluster, it's possible that they've been cleaned too frequently or roughly.



1. Give the Pearls a Quick Inspection

Check to see if the jewelry is still in good condition before cleaning. With necklaces and bracelets, Examine the silk thread on which the pearls are strung for signs that it has stretched, and check that the clasp opens and closes correctly. For earrings, check the attachment to the posts.

2. Dampen a Cloth With Soapy Water

Stir a solution of warm water and a few drops of mild detergent or dish soap together. The surface of pearls is damaged by water that is too hot or cold, so double-check the temperature before utilizing it on jewelry. Squeeze the water out of a soft, clean cloth and gently wipe the pearls with it. Don't submerge the entire necklace because it might weaken the thread.

3. Wipe the Pearls With a Clean Cloth

To get rid of soap residue, clean the pearls with another soft, clean cloth dampened in freshwater.

4. Let the Pearls Air-Dry

Before you store it, set the pearls on a clean towel and allow them to air-dry completely. This maintains the silk thread's elasticity, which is crucial.



  • Before you go out the door, make a point of putting your pearls on last. Wearing jewelry while getting ready exposes it to potentially harmful cosmetics, perfumes and other chemicals.
  • When you remove your pearls, wipe them down with a soft cloth.
  • Organic pearls are more prone to color change than their artificial counterparts. To minimize yellowing, store pearls in a fabric pouch or a fabric-lined jewelry box that does not scratch them. Place a damp cloth or wet cotton balls in with the pearls and move the pearls away from any sources of heat to keep them hydrated.
  • Don't keep your pearls with other jewelry because they are liable to get scuffed if they come into contact with metal or gemstones. Find a compartment in your jewelry box for the pearls, or store them in a soft bag made from chamois or another non-abrasive material. Avoid stretching out the strand of silk thread by laying pearls flat.


In conclusion, cleaning pearl jewelry is a delicate matter, but with proper knowledge and common sense, you can ensure that your pearls will be sparkling for many years to come.