How to Clean Your Pearls the RIGHT Way
Updated: Mar 8
Beautiful and timeless, pearls are a popular choice for jewelry around the world. But despite their natural appeal, pearls happen to be one of the softest "gemstones" used in jewelry, and are easy to scratch or damage. If you want to keep your pearls in pristine condition, it is crucial to clean them the right way, so if you want to learn more about the pearl cleaning process, keep reading!
Unlike diamonds, which are known for their durability, pearls score only a 2.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, and require special care. The number one thing to remember when cleaning your pearls is to avoid any harsh or abrasive cloths or chemicals. Their outer layer is thin and easily damaged, therefore they cannot be repolished like other gemstones. In addition, they are sensitive to heat and can be harmed by normal cleaning methods, such as ultrasonic machines and steamers, so be sure to avoid these techniques. Pearls are in a whole category of their own and should never be cleaned like other jewelry. Instead, follow these special steps:
Wipe of your pearls after every wear with a soft, dry cloth. This will help rid them of the oils and pollutants that would damage your pearls over time.
To deeply clean them, combine two cups of warm (not hot) water with 1/2 a teaspoon of baby soap. Do not soak them in the solution, however. Rather, take an extra soft cloth and dip it in the water, before carefully wiping off each pearl. Then, dry them off with a separate but equally gentle cloth.
If you need to clean a metal bit, such as the back of an earring, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, but be careful not to let the liquid get on the pearl itself.