How to Care for Your Pearls

How to Care for Your Pearls

It’s the perfect time to celebrate June’s birthstone: the precious pearl. Considering it’s one of the most popular gemstones in the world, you probably have a few pieces of pearl jewelry in your collection. Now it’s time to learn how to properly take care of them. (Hint: very carefully!)

Put Them On Last

Chemicals of any kind can dull and damage your pearls, so it’s crucial to minimize their amount of exposure to beauty products. That means they should be the very last thing you put on when you’re getting ready—don’t get them out until after the last spritzes of perfume and hairspray have settled. In fact, wait up to 30 minutes after applying any kind of chemicals, if you can.

Clean Them Regularly

Pearls are no different than other precious jewels: They get dirty, and they need to be spruced up. According to Good Housekeeping, your best bet is to wipe them with a slightly damp, soft cloth after every use—that’ll get rid of any makeup or perfume that inevitably rubs off as well as body oils and sweat. You can deep-clean them less often; when it’s time, use that same soft cloth dipped in soapy water, and then wipe them again with a clean cloth.

Store Them Oh So Carefully

On the Mohs scale, pearls rank at a 2.5—the same softness as a fingernail. Translation: These guys need extra care even when they’re not being worn. Either store them in their own special jewelry box or stash them with the rest of your jewels in a separate compartment or a soft bag. Because of their softness, pretty much anything else can ding and scratch them; learn more about the Mohs scale (and jewelry safekeeping) here.

Restring ’Em When Necessary

Ideally, you’ll get your pearl necklace restrung before the wire snaps and the beads go flying. This safety precaution should be taken every few years, according to The Pearl Girls, and the easiest option is to have it done professionally by a jeweler (expect to spend about 20 bucks). But if you have a limited budget and extremely nimble fingers, you can attempt the feat at home. The Pearl Girls have a helpful tutorial on how to perfectly knot bead after bead—it’s not a quick project by any means, but doing it yourself will make your necklace feel even more special.

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