Pearl necklaces are elegant and beautiful, but they require special care and attention if you want them to stand the test of time. Unlike inorganic gemstones that can be wired with more robust material that doesn’t stretch or expand quickly, pearls are threaded and knotted with silk.
Silk is durable, but not in the way that metal wires are. Silk will stretch and possibly rip over time, especially if you wear your pearl necklace often. Today, we are going to tell you more about how to clean your pearls properly, how to care for them, how to store them, and the best way to restring a necklace if ever yours broke in the past.
Cleaning Pearl Necklace
The first thing that you should not do with genuine pearl is to wash them and clean products with chemicals that can erode the pearls’ structure. Unlike metals and more robust gemstones like rubies, gems do not take easily to chemical cleaners. Your pearls might dissolve in the process, which we know you don’t want to happen.
Pearl necklaces can accumulate a significant amount of grime and body oils when you wear them regularly, so it would be best to always wipe it down with a clean cloth (like a cotton cloth) after each day. The choice of fabric is essential when wiping down pearls. The fabric has to be super soft and non-abrasive. Never use abrasive material on pearls as they can easily be scratched and damaged.
Should you use a damp cloth to wipe pearls? Do this only when it is super necessary, moistened silk can attract more grime, and wiping down with a wet cloth eventually introduces contaminants and dirt in between the pearls.
Remember: pearls are knotted in necklaces to prevent pear loss when the string breaks. If there are no knots, one snap can send all your expensive pearls flying away from you. Dropped pearls can become scratched, chipped, or even broken in half.
In rare occurrences where there is visible staining on the pearls, you can use lukewarm water and the gentlest dish soap you can find. Add one or two drops of mild dish soap to a bowl of lukewarm water, dip your clean fabric in the solution and gently wipe down the section of the necklace that needs more in-depth cleaning. Remember to avoid making the necklace soaking wet, even if you can air-dry it afterward. Use another fabric to dry the pearl necklace and, for good measure, air-dry your pearls later before storing it as per usual.
Can you submerge pearls in lukewarm water and dish soap? The answer is no; you mustn’t. Too much water can damage the delicate silk threads that hold together the necklace. The silk threads may expand and eventually lose their strength, which increases the risk of a snapped or cut necklace.
Remember: drying a pearl necklace properly is just as important as wiping it with lukewarm water and some dish soap. Leftover suds from the cleaning solution can affect the lustrous appearance of the pearl. It’s also a well-known fact that dish soap, once dried, can become a sticky attractant of grime and dust. Not cleaning your pearl necklace properly can result in even more dirt the next time you wear it.
Restringing a Pearl Necklace
If your pearl necklace snaps in half, you can restring it with some silk threads, a pair of clamshell ends, and a lobster clasp. Use a size 0 and a size two thread when stringing together the pearls. Use a simple overhand knot to create the appropriate spacing between the pearls. We recommend two threads with different thicknesses so you can quickly develop knots that won’t slip into the drill holes of your pearls.
Be sure to allow at least two times more string based on your estimate because you will have to knot each pearl as you go along. Use your finger and a big needle to help create the overhand knots and guide them to their proper points.
Storing a Pearl Necklace
Proper storage is key to a happy life with pearl necklaces and other pearl jewelry. Since pearls are an organic gem like amber, extra care must be given to ensure that it can last for years without losing its color and luster. The best way to store pearl jewelry is to create a flat and dry space where they can be laid completely flat.
Flat, and not tumbled together without jewelry, which is the more common orientation. Storing pearls with other jewelry with much harder settings can cause scratches and different kinds of abrasions on the surface of the pearls, so avoid storing pearls and other jewelry together.
The compartment where you store your pearls should also have a lovely felt-like fabric on the surface, to provide additional protection to the pearls. The reason for this is that when you pick up and put down pearls on a hard surface, they might get easily scratched. So the best way to go about storing pearls is to ensure that the surface isn’t hard, so you can put the pearls with ease and not worry about accidental chips and scratches.
Did you know that unlike inorganic crystals, pearls thrive with healthy room air? Please do not put them in air-tight zip lock bags or any similar container. They need air, and they will fare better if there’s a reasonable amount of air around them.
To ensure that the color of your pearls is preserved, you must store them in a room where there is low humidity, and the temperature is also stable. High humidity can cause white pearls to be yellow.
Wearing pearl jewelry helps maintain the luster and shininess of the pearls because our body oils are good for hydrating the nacre. And finally, we recommend the first on and first off method of wearing your pearls to sustain the duration of your pearls being bathed with standard body oils. Put your pearl jewelry on early in the morning and take them off last in the evening.