The Dos & Dont’s of Caring for Your Pearl Necklaces

Pearls are a classic jewellery piece; however, without good care and maintenance, they won’t last long. Natural pearls contain nacre, a soft organic layer that covers it and gives the pearl its shine.

Cleaning and caring for pearls the same way you do with your other jewellery can damage the nacre and dull its shine.

Before you start wearing them, you must understand how to care for them properly. In this article, you will learn the dos and don’ts of caring for your pearl necklaces.

Importance of Proper Care for Preserving Their Lustre

The Dos & Dont's of Caring for Your Pearl Necklaces

Giving your pearl necklace the appropriate care and maintenance is necessary to maintain its beauty and lustre and make it last long. However, you won’t achieve this if you don’t go about the whole cleaning process correctly, as this plays an essential role in the long life of your pearls.

Let’s delve into the many ways you can effectively go about cleaning your pearl necklace and what you should avoid when doing this.

The Dos of Pearl Jewelry Care

Wear them often

This advice shouldn’t be that hard. All you have to do is wear them. Try wearing them as often as possible!! Pearls are gotten from water and need a moist environment. This is what your skin will provide them, keeping it from drying and becoming brittle. When you wear your pearl necklace, the pearls absorb the moisture from your skin and the air.

Regular Cleaning

Clean with a soft, damp cloth.

Pearls need a lot of gentle care and love. When you want to clean them, be careful and use a soft damp cloth. Avoid using toothbrushes or rough cleaning materials that are more suitable for the other metal jewellery types. You don’t want to damage the jewellery. Using the soft cloth, gently clean sweat, stains or dirt on the pearl necklace before storing it.

Using a mild, soapy solution for stubborn dirt

To avoid damaging your pearls when you are cleaning, especially when cleaning stubborn dirt that is hard to remove, you should use a mild, soapy solution. Don’t use harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach for cleaning to avoid ruining them. Apply the mild, soapy solution gently with a soft, damp cloth and try not to scrub too much.

Proper Storage

Store properly after use

After using your black pearl necklace, ensure that they are stored properly. When you are storing them, do not put them together with other metal jewellery or objects that may scratch their surface and ruin their beauty. I recommend you wrap your pearl necklace in soft cloth or linen when storing them.

Avoid exposing your pearl necklace to intense heat or sunlight.

As I had mentioned, pearls need moisture and air to keep them from cracking or drying out. You should protect your pearl necklace from exposure to direct heat or sunlight. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear it on a warm day; that is totally okay. However, you shouldn’t place it on hot surfaces like on top of a hot TV or near a fireplace.

The Dos & Dont's of Caring for Your Pearl Necklaces

Wearing with Caution

Wear after applying skin care products.

As I had mentioned before, pearls are absorbent and can take in both the good and bad stuff. If you apply any skin or personal care product to your skin, you should wait at least 30 minutes before you wear your pearl necklace to avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals that can damage the surface of the pearl.

Avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals, perfumes, and hairspray

Try to keep your pearl necklace away from harsh chemicals. If you know you are going to be applying perfume or hairspray, first of all, remove the necklace before you get started, then it when you are done. The harsh chemicals, perfumes and hairspray can easily affect the pearls and make it lose its lustre.

Restringing Pearls

Signs when restringing is necessary

If you use your pearl necklace regularly, you should get it checked and restringed by a jeweller at least once a year. When restringing your pearls, ensure that each one of the pearls is knotted separately using silk string to avoid them rubbing against each other and scratching.

Importance of using silk thread

When getting your pearl necklace strung, ensure that silk thread is being used. Silk thread has more durability and strength than any other option, so you don’t have to worry about the thread breaking. It is also very easy to work with a little stretch, saving you from having to deal with unwanted tangles and knots.

The Dont’s of Pearl Jewellery Care

Avoid Abrasion

Keep away from metal necklaces and abrasive surfaces

Though pairing your pearl necklaces with other types of metal necklaces looks really good, you will have to be careful because these necklaces may rub against the pearls, leaving them with scratches that may ruin their beauty. The same rule goes for placing your pearl necklace on a rough or abrasive surface. This is a quick way to say goodbye to the sleek beauty of your pearls.

Wearing your pearl necklace during strenuous situations.

When doing strenuous activities, like exercising, you are going to sweat a lot during the activity. We recommend that you remove your pearl necklace to keep it away from the sweat. You may think it is the moisture or salt in the sweat we are worried about (pearls come from saltwater, so they are probably used to that). However, the acidic pH level contained in the sweat can be corrosive to pearls.

Limit Exposure to Water

Wearing it in a swimming pool or shower.

The fact that you have to wear your pearls doesn’t mean you wear them in the swimming pool or shower. That is a big NO! This is because most swimming pools and showers contain chlorine in the water. The chlorine can affect the pearl, causing it to lose its lustre, and it can also cause the silk thread the pearls are strung on to stretch out and break.

Preventing water damage to pearls

Yes, pearls are gotten from water, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be damaged by too much exposure to water. Most of the standard water contains chlorine or some other harsh chemicals which may affect the pearls’ beauty. If you want to rinse or wash your pearls, use mineral water or distilled water and try not to keep your pearls too long submerged in water.

The Dos & Dont's of Caring for Your Pearl Necklaces

Store in plastic or airtight packages.

Remember that pearls need moisture, but airtight packages are usually too dry, and if you store your pearls inside, the lack of moisture will cause the pearls to crack. Plastic bags or storage are also not a good idea for storing your pearls, no matter how tempting it may seem. If you keep it in an airtight package like a safety deposit box, ensure to wrap it with damp clothes to maintain the moisture.

No Ultrasonic or Steam Cleaning

Using ultrasonic or steam cleaning for the cleaning of your pearl necklace is a very bad idea and a really quick way to ruin the beauty of your pearl. The sound wave from the ultrasonic cleaning can easily cause the pearls to crack. The heat from the steam cleaning will make the pearl lose its moisture and develop cracks. It is much better and safer to use soapy, lukewarm water for cleaning.

Avoiding Commercial Jewelry Cleaners

Harmful chemicals in commercial cleaners

When cleaning your pearl necklace, you must avoid commercial cleaners because they contain harmful chemicals that may ruin the pearls. Commercial cleaners like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol will draw the oil from your pearl and make it lose its lustre.

Safer alternatives for cleaning pearls

If you want to clean your pearl necklace, you don’t really need too much. They are very soft and easy to clean, so you don’t have to do too much to make them clean. All you need is to mix a solution of lukewarm water with mild dish soap, then a soft, clean cloth to apply the solution and wipe the pearl.


When it comes to caring for your pearl necklace, there are a lot of dos and don’t that you have to follow through and trust me, they are all worth the effort if you want to keep your pearls for a long time – and pass it on to the next generation.

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