Pearls are like people, in some ways
At least when it comes to their care. They’re happiest in a gentle environment, and they like to be protected from rough surfaces and harsh chemicals.
Pearls also love it when they’re clean, and they thank you for it with radiant luster.
Care instruction for all pearl jewelry
Simply clean with a baby wipe or mild sudsy dish soap water to get rid of dust and oil. Do not use any abrasive cleaners and do not use in an ultrasonic jewelry bath, it will ruin them.
A word of caution: please use perfume or moisturizers with discretion. Pearls may absorb cosmetics, and sometimes they can be difficult to remove. Even if there are no stains, lotions and the fragrance oils do get rancid over time, and your pearls tend to hold on to that odor forever. Yikes!
After wearing, it’s best not to hang them since it will stretch the cord. Store them in a soft cloth or paper towel to ensure their beauty for a very long time.
All pearls will need to be restrung after time, that’s just the nature of the beast. How soon or how frequently, depends on many factors. When in doubt, have your pearls checked for soiled, brittle or loose knots.
Cultured and freshwater pearls
Ahh, the ever enticing magic!
Important here is to keep those genuine pearls separated from metal beads, even Karat gold. As pretty as it is to have a gold or silver bead next to a pearl: don’t do it! The pearl will abrade the metal bead where it touches, and the metal will “stain” those areas of the pearl permanently.
This does not occur by casually wearing a piece of metal jewelry next to a strand of pearls. It rather happens on a strand when those two materials are neighbors for life, where they touch each other very closely and rub against each other.
They are a wonderful alternative to genuine pearls, and they make for great travel jewelry. Wear them with joy, wear them often, but give them some extra love.
The coating on these man-made pearls can wear off more or less easily, depending on the manufacturing process. Fragrance may damage them, as can make up foundation. Don’t let anything scratch them – it may happen quickly. Just be gentle, and you can reap the rewards of your mindful care for a long time to come!
All Other Beads
Most beaded jewelry is made to last, no reason to be nervous.
Use common sense:
- do not immerse paper beads into water,
- keep opals and malachite out of your ultrasonic cleaner
- try not to get your leather cord wet (water won’t kill it, but still…)
- stay away from high heat or open flames, especially with Lucite beads
- don’t drop your glass or crystal beads
- above all: have them restrung when the string looks worn
Cleaning: again, baby or kitchen wipes work great. And as convenient as it is to hang your beaded necklaces in your armoire or closet: don’t do it. Lay them down, put them to bed, let them rest. It becomes them.
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