Freshwater pearls are delicate items which can be harmed unless looked after correctly.
Unfortunately, the products that harm pearls the most are the perfumes, hair sprays, cosmetics and make up that we wear everyday, along with household cleaning chemicals. If sprayed near pearls these products can build up and damage the surface of the pearl. The surface can become marked, dull, pitted and lose that luminous lustre that defines a freshwater pearl.
So, to minimise potential damage, here are a few tips:
– Put your pearls on after you have applied make-up, perfume and hair sprays.
– Don’t spray perfume on the neck area where the pearls will actually sit.
– Avoid touching your pearls when you have just applied hand cream and remove your pearls before applying cleansers or night creams.
– Put your pearls back in their original container, or a velvet lined box when you’re not wearing them. Never store them in plastic.
– Do not put your pearls anywhere hot as the heat will discolour them. Do not steam clean them for the same reason.
– Do not clean pearls using any of the jewellery cleaners made for gold or silver jewellery. Also do not use the ultrasonic cleaning sets as the vibrations can cause the pearls to rub against each other.
– Lastly avoid doing housework (well, it’s a good excuse)!!
If your pearls are old and the surface is looking dull, wipe them with a soft damp cloth that has been dipped in a very gentle natural soap solution, then wipe them with a detergent-free damp cloth and allow them to dry FLAT on kitchen paper. Once the pearls have dried, a cloth with a fine smear of olive oil wiped over them will help restore some shine to the surface.
By following these basic guidelines, your will ensure that your freshwater pearls stay as beautiful as they are when you receive them.