Real mother-of-pearl are very fragile. Perfumes, cosmetics and hairsprays can stain them. Their value depends essentially on their color, their luster and the thickness of the mother-of-pearl. Luckily, cleaning them is easy and won’t damage them, as long as you carefully follow these 4 simple instructions.
Wipe your pearls after wearing them
- Use a very soft cloth (preferably chamois leather) barely dampened to remove anything that can penetrate their porous surface (perspiration, makeup, perfume).
- Always wear perfume, make up and apply your hairspray before putting on your jeweler.
From time to time, clean them more carefully
This will restore their luster and shine.
- Pour mild liquid soap into warm water; mix.
- Collect the foam formed on a soft cloth and rub gently.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
- Never leave jewelry in water, as this will weaken the mounting wire.
To dry pearls
- Put them to dry on a damp cloth: when it is dry, they will be too.
- Never hang them while drying, this could loosen the yarn.
- Warning: if, when you wear it, the thread of your necklace is still wet, it may relax and attract dirt that is difficult to clean afterwards.
How to remove dirt
Remove stuck-on dirt by scraping it gently with your fingernail, which has a maximum hardness rating of 2.5 on the Mohs scale (a mineral hardness scale where 1 represents the hardness of talc). Pearls have a hardness between 2.5 and 4.5, you should not scratch them.
Caution ! Pearls can be damaged by many common cleaning products including ammonia, ultrasonic cleaners, bleach, powdered cleaners, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and most dishwashing liquids.
To keep your mother-of-pearl jewelry looking its best for years, just follow these easy tips. Wipe your pearls after wearing them, from time to time clean them more carefully, pay particular attention to drying and beware of some common cleaning products.