How to Keep Clean Pearl Earrings?
The pearls most of us wear today are cultured pearls, their existence initiated by humans who insert a bead or other object into an oyster or clam. The depth of the nacre coating depends on the type of creature involved, the water it lives in, and how long the intruder is left in place before it is removed. As nacre thickness increases, so does the quality and durability of the pearl.
Put on your pearls after you put on make-up, perfume, hair spray, or other cosmetics. These substances can harm the surface of the pearl and cause spots or disintegration.
Do not expose pearls to vinegar, ammonia or chlorine! These substances are deadly to pearls and can actually eat holes in them and dissolve them. Be especially careful when wearing a pearl ring. It’s not the right jewelry for house cleaning, since many household cleaners contain ammonia. Do not wear pearls in a swimming pool or hot tub that contains chlorine.
Protect pearls from flames or extreme heat. They can burn or become discolored.
Perspiration can damage pearls, so do not wear them while engaged in hard work or heavy exercise.
Avoid wearing pearls with very rough fabrics which might scratch them.
If your pearls are set, such as in rings or earrings check the settings periodically. If settings are loose, have a jeweler repair them.
If your pearls are strung, they will need to be restrung periodically. If you wear them very frequently, restringing once a year is recommended. They should be strung with knots separating the pearls to prevent them from rubbing against each other. Knots also help prevent the loss of pearls if the strand should break. Silk or nylon is recommended for stringing.
Some women’s skin is more acidic than others. If a pearl necklace is regularly worn, as it should be, some of the pearls will constantly be in close contact with the woman’s skin on her neck at the shoulder line. Pearl pendants do not always have such constant contact with a woman’s skin. The pearls in the necklace will gradually absorb acid from the skin and the acid will slowly eat into the spherical pearl. Over time the pearl will not only lose its luster, but will become barrel-shaped. You can slow this process by wiping the pearls with a soft cloth after wearing them.
Besides being soft, pearls are easily damaged by chemicals like perfume, vinegar and lemon juice. Heat can turn pearls brown or dry them out and make them crack. Dry air can also damage pearls. Most safe deposit vaults have very dry air and can damage pearls.