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How to Clean Pearls: 3 Steps

Table of Contents

  • Step 1: Gather Your Tools
  • Step 2: Clean Thoroughly and Gently 
  • Step 3: Store Your Pearls Properly
  • Find Exquisite Jewelry Options With Diamond Nexus


Is the pearlescent glow of your favorite piece of jewelry starting to lose its luster? Whether you’re new to the world of pearl jewelry or just picking out your first piece, proper care is essential for getting the most out of your pearls and enjoying their full beauty every time you wear them.

Pearl Huggie Earrings

If you’re wondering how to care for pearl jewelry, explore our simple, step-by-step guide.

Whether you’re cleaning saltwater pearls or freshwater pearls, it’s important to know how to properly clean your jewelry. We’ll take you through the whole process of pearl cleaning, from gathering your tools to ensuring proper storage. Read on to learn the essential tips and tricks for how to clean your pearls and restore their natural beauty.  

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

If you’ve noticed your luster white pearls are looking a little worse for wear, the first step is organizing everything you’ll need for a clean-up job. 

Generally, you should clean your pearls every time you wear them. A simple wipe with a clean, dry cloth can help remove build-up from:

  • Body oils
  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Cosmetics

Small particles of debris may accumulate with each wear, so if you haven’t been wiping down your pearls regularly, you’ll need to prepare for a more thorough cleaning process. 

The following items will be key to cleaning your pearls without damaging them:

  • Soft cloths – It’s preferable to use a new microfiber cloth when beginning the cleaning process. A used cloth may already have contaminants or particles on it that could scratch or damage the surface of your pearls. Keep several cloths on hand for this cleaning job.
  • Small basin – A household bowl or basin should do the trick. 
  • Soap and water – Warm water and pure soap are the best options for cleaning. Avoid harsh detergents or liquid dish soaps as they may be too abrasive for your pearls.

Additionally, if your pearls have a silver, gold, or platinum clasp, you may want to invest in some polishing cleaner to revitalize the metal. 

Once you have everything you need to begin, we recommend working in a well-lit area to ensure you remove all dirt. You may want to bring a powerful light source to give you a better view of your cleaning project.

Step 2: Clean Thoroughly and Gently 

The biggest danger when cleaning pearls is damaging them through the use of too much force or harsh cleaning products. With a soft cloth and pure soap, you’re unlikely to cause any accidental harm to your jewelry.

With all your preparations ready, follow these steps to make your pearls shine like they’re brand new:

  1. Inspect – Before cleaning, you might consider having your jewelry inspected by a professional to ensure the setting, silk thread, metal clasps or pearls themselves are all in good condition. You wouldn’t want to begin cleaning only to have your jewelry break or fall apart.
  1. Clean – Dampen your cloth in your basin of warm water and soap, and wipe down each pearl individually. Avoid placing your jewelry piece in the basin, as the water could have negative effects on the pearl strand or setting. Instead, take your time to clean the pearls one by one with a damp cloth. Consider changing your towel out if it gets too dirty.
  1. Dry – Using a dry cloth, rub each pearl until it’s completely dry. If you’re still seeing dirt on your cloth, it’s time to repeat step two. Once your piece is clean, dry, and shining, consider closing the clasp to avoid any accidental damage.

The cleaning process is fairly straightforward and simple. That said, if you’re unable to remove stains or debris, consider consulting with a jeweler as it could be a sign of a more serious problem with your jewelry.

Step 3: Store Your Pearls Properly

With the cleaning process complete, there are several steps you can take to protect your pearls from dirt and debris in the future. 

As always, proper care is the backbone of long-lasting, beautiful jewelry. Consider these tips for keeping your pearls shining every time you wear them:

  • Avoid chemicals – If you’re wearing your pearls while getting ready, you may be exposing them to unnecessary chemicals from cosmetics, hairsprays or perfumes. Wait to put your pearls on until you’re ready to go out to minimize exposure.
  • Avoid high heat – Never store your pearls in direct sunlight or in other high-heat areas. A hair dryer could also pose a danger to your pearls, so remember to finish your haircare before putting on your jewelry. 
  • Use a dedicated jewelry box – Storing a pearl necklace with other jewelry can increase the chance of tangled strands and damaged pearls. Instead, keep your pearls in a separate jewelry box, preferably with a soft cloth interior.

Lastly, be certain to wear your pearls often. With regular wear, pearls can absorb the small amount of air and moisture they require to stay luminous. Plus, they’re a gorgeous addition to your outfit, so don’t leave them lying in your jewelry box for too long. If you’re new to the luster pearl jewelry, you can learn how to wear pearls to ensure they’re getting the exposure they need and you’re looking as stylish as ever. 

Find Exquisite Jewelry Options With Diamond Nexus

There’s no denying that allure of clean, shimmering pearls. From beautiful strand necklaces to dazzling earrings, pearls have a well-earned reputation as icons of grace and style. With our simple tips, your pearls are sure to make a stunning statement, whether they’re saltwater pearls or freshwater pearls. 

If you’re looking to add another head-turning piece of pearl jewelry to your collection, you’ll find it at Diamond Nexus.

We’re proud to offer an affordable luxury option for pearl necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more. Visit us today to find out more.


Jewelers Mutual. How to Clean Pearls Without Ruining Them. 
Jewelry Notes. How to Avoid Damaging Your Pearls.

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