Cleaning Pearl Jewellery

strands of pearls

Cleaning Pearl Jewellery

Discover the best and safest way to keep your pearl jewellery glistening with our cleaning pearl jewellery guide…

Opals and pearls are a bit different to other gems as they need a bit of extra attention and care when cleaning as they are a lot more delicate. With the way pearls and opals are made up, they are both susceptible to scratches and scuffs. They are also very vulnerable to chemicals like ammonia found in cleaning products which is why correct care and cleaning methods for these gems is so important. 

With pearl and opal jewellery it is recommended to clean it after each wear. This is because the acids in your sweat can actually have a negative effect on pearls and opals. Another thing to point out is that pearls and opals are sensitive to temperature changes and may get damaged so please bear this mind when cleaning it. See our guides below for cleaning pearls on a strand, or pearls and opals on precious metal jewellery.

Pearls on a Strand

pearl strand necklace laid out on a grey linen

Submerging this jewellery in any kind of solution is not a good idea as moisture can get trapped in the drill holes of these gems if they are on a strand. Silk strand, which most pearl jewellery is often created with, can also weaken when wet, so when cleaning pearl & opal on a strand jewellery we recommend:

  1. Wet a soft, lint free cloth with room temperature water 
  2. Gently dab the pearls to remove any dirt or residue
  3. Use a soft brush to carefully remove any dirt on the strand or trapped in the knots. 
  4. Using a separate lint free cloth, dab the jewellery dry being sure to pay extra attention to moisture build up in the knots. 
  5. Leave your jewellery on a dry towel to make sure it is properly dried before storing. (please never use a hairdryer or expose this type of jewellery to heat)
Connoisseurs Jewellery Wipes on a white background

Connoisseurs Jewellery Wipes are perfect for giving your pearl jewellery a quick touch up. The small lightweight packaging makes them perfect for travel so you can keep your pearls sparkling while out on the go

Pearls & Precious Metal Jewellery

pearl jewellery polishing

For pearls on precious metal jewellery then it is preferably recommended to use either Connoisseurs Delicate Jewellery Cleaner or Connoisseurs All Purpose Jewellery Foam. Both of these products are ammonia free and specially formulated to be safe to use with pearls as well as any precious metal that holds them. For using Connoisseurs Delicate Jewellery Cleaner just:

  1. Unscrew the lid and remove the seal. 
  2. Place one piece of jewellery into the dip tray. 
  3. Submerge the jewellery in the solution and let it soak for no longer than 10 seconds. 
  4. Remove the dip tray and rinse the jewellery under room temperature water to remove residue
  5. Use a soft brush to clean any hard to reach areas
  6. Gently dab the jewellery dry using a soft, lint free cloth
  7. Give your jewellery a polish using a polishing cloth to bring out its shine. (Connoisseurs Ultrasoft Gold or Silver Polishing Cloths are ideal as they leave an anti tarnish layer)

If you do not have access to these products however, you can still use the water and mild detergent method. TAKE CARE to ensure that you use room temperature water as pearls are very sensitive to drastic temperature changes and may get damaged. Also please check that the washing up liquid you use is completely free from ammonia and perfume as these will damage your jewellery. Please NEVER submerge your pearl or in water as it may damage the pearl:

  1. Fill a bowl with room temperature water and a small drop of mild washing up liquid. 
  2. Lightly wet a soft cloth & carefully wipe your jewellery to get off any dirt or stains. 
  3. Dab your jewellery dry gently with a soft, lint free cloth making sure the jewellery is fully dried before storing. 
  4. Polish the metal on your jewellery with a polishing cloth. (Connoisseurs Ultrasoft Gold or Silver Polishing Cloths are ideal for this)

Stay Away From:

PLEASE NEVER USE BLEACH OR HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS ON YOUR PEARL JEWELLERY. These types of cleaners are a surefire way to ruin your jewellery in no time and should be avoided at all costs. 

Toothpaste is another novel cleaning method we recommend staying clear of as the chemicals inside can strip away the metals of your jewellery over time and leave it looking dull.

It is not recommended to use any kind of ultra sonic cleaner on your pearl jewellery as the heat and chemicals may have a negative effect on them over time.

Submerging pearls in water may damage the pearl. It is also important to make sure you remove any pearl jewellery when doing any exercise to avoid perspiration and especially when swimming.