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Guide to Cleaning and Caring for Pearls

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Satine De La Courcel
    Avoiding the wearing o' the pearls in hot sweaty hot houston would mean not wearing them 9 months out of the year. Ain't gonna happen!

    I was suggesting not wearing the same starnd of pearls everyday. not not wear them.

    changing my sca name to Lady Anne Delamare
    Interesting name change! why for???? You can always e-mail me pvtly if you want!

    Lady Satine De La Courcel!

    MKA on PG Ash[/QUOTE]

    i recently accepted a green belt (costuming) from my laurel and I thought now would be a good time, before i got any further, to get rid of the unregisterable newbie name.


    • #47
      Pearl cleaning

      After you take off your pearls, just wipe them off with a soft cloth which may be dry or damp. This will prevent dirt from accumulating and keep perspiration, which is slightly acidic, from eating away at the pearl nacre. You can even use a drop of olive oil on the cloth to help maintain their luster.

      If pearls have not been kept clean and are very dirty, they can be cleaned by your jeweler or they can be cleaned using special pearl cleaner. Be careful while using other types of jewelry cleaner or soap. Some liquid soap, such as Dawn, can damage pearls. Pay attention to the areas around the drill holes where dirt may tend to collect.

      After washing your pearls, lay them flat in a moist kitchen towel to dry. When the towel is dry, your pearls should be dry.

      About every six months have a jewelry professional verify that the pearls on your jeweler are securely mounted or that the string is still good. Many jewelers will do this free of charge, and they'll be happy to answer your questions about the care of your jewelry.
      Last edited by smartneil; 02-23-2008, 05:26 AM.


      • #48
        Hi Smartneil,

        Useful tips, the one about using a tiny bit of oil on pearls keeps coming up every so often. The thing is, ahem, many of us here are making our own pearl jewelry and won't be takin' anything to the nearest (frequently ignorant about pearls) jeweler. Anyway, hope you find posts of interest here. What is your expertise?

        so many pearls, so little time
        Last edited by pattye; 01-31-2008, 04:57 PM. Reason: add question


        • #49
          Olive oil is acidic, isn't it? I would be afraid to use olive oil.


          • #50
            Once or twice a year, I dab all my pearls with a drop of olive oil. I read (somewhere) that it puts moisture into the pearls.



            • #51
              I think Doug mentioned once (wish I could find the post) that they use a small bit of some kind of oil on Sea of Cortez pearls after they are first washed. I would think, since it is oil, it might help hold the moisture in the pearls, or make the surface shine a bit more, but I am not quite sure how it could put actual moisture in the pearls.

              so many pearls, so little time


              • #52
                [QUOTE=pattye;23864]I am not quite sure how it could put actual moisture in the pearls:

                What I meant was that the olive oil keeps the pearls from drying out.



                • #53
                  I also give my pearls a light application of olive oil every now and again. A friend once revived a lack-lustre strand by polishing with natural beeswax, they looked lovely afterwards, I was amazed.


                  • #54
                    We actually sell a little olive oil from a tiny producer in SE Spain as an adjunct to our wine business?

                    In any case, minimally processed olive oil can equally be classified as a fruit juice, and as such does contain a percentage of water. Could be that the oil serves to keep the water in contact longer (without evaporating), making a more effective penetration of the nacre deposit.

                    Oleic acid (word derives from 'olive') is a fatty acid primarily found in olives, but common to other vegetable sources such as soya and chocolate, and is used on its own to make fake butter. So it does not appear to be a strong, or caustic, acidity (no chemist here).

                    But its major claim to fame is to lower cholesterol (counteracting the fairly saturated nature of olive oil per se). Preservation for your pearls?and for your heart!

                    Seems like a natural for 'The Pearl Doctor.'


                    • #55
                      It is not recommended to wash the pearls on a finished strand because any imbeded dir

                      Originally posted by purepearls View Post
                      Quality pearls are durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful and lustrous. Here are important tips to care for your pearls. If you're anything like me, I like to wear my pearls everywhere so I take special precautions so that they will maintain their allure.

                      Gently wipe the pearls with a warm, damp cloth to remove body oils or dirt (which may harm the colors) before putting them away.

                      Keep pearls away from chlorine bleach, vinegar, ammonia, hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics, as these substances will damage the pearl surface. Make sure to put pearls on after finished spraying perfume or hairspray and putting on makeup. Also, remove pearls before exercising to keep them away from perspiration. Be very careful with substances as they will eat holes in the pearl nacre.

                      Wash pearls periodically with mild soap (NOT detergent) and a soft cloth. When finished washing the pearls, rinse them in clean water and wrap them in a thin, damp cotton towel to dry. If the pearls are especially dirty, wipe the pearl with acetone polish remover. Acetone will not hurt pearls. DO NOT use jewelry cleaners with ammonia or vinegar in them.

                      Pearls should be stored away from other objects or jewelry that may scratch the pearls’ surface. Wrap the pearls in linen, soft cloth, or place in a soft pouch. Do NOT store pearls in an airtight package such as a plastic bag because pearls need moisture. If the environment is too dry, the pearls may crack. If placing the pearls in a safety deposit box or in a hot environment, leave a damp cloth nearby.

                      Restring pearls once a year if worn often. Be sure to have each pearl knotted separately, preferably with silk, so they do not rub together and wear on the pearl nacre. If pearls are very small, knots between each pearl may be undesirable.

                      Amanda Raab

                      it ;is not a good plan to wash knotted pearls becasue the dirt will impregnate into the knots. Especially if there are any gold beads in the necklace. Washing should only be done at time of restringing.


                      • #56
                        Hi PG Design.
                        You mentioned that someone used beeswax on pearls - was it straight from the hive or turned into polish by melting and mixing with turpentine. I'm also a beekeeper so have access to my own beeswax (which I use already to dress the silk before use).
                        Thinking generally about oiling pearls. Since pearls respond to being worn because of the oils in human skin would not an oil like lanolin be better since that is another animal oil?
                        Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021


                        • #57
                          Our firm has been using beeswax for 50 years in stringing.
                          Best to keep in a plastic bag so it won't dry out. It is cheap
                          we can buy from a bee man for couple bucks a pound. a pound
                          will last a life time.
                          Also very good to pick up small pieces of ??


                          • #58
                            I already use it to dress the silk, but I was wondering at your reference to using it on the pearls - neat or as a polish, melted and mixed with something?
                            No need for a plastic bag, beeswax won't dry out if properly rendered and filtered first.
                            My only problem is I forget to tuck it away and leave it on the workbench in the sun and it melts!
                            Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021


                            • #59
                              Dear Wendy:
                              Not too long ago on one of these threads someone forgot and left their beeswax out and their kitty ate it~at least with melting you have some chance of recovery!


                              • #60
                                Or the cat could become a sophisticated beeswax applicator?

                                Lauren's ETSY store is on hiatus!