Cleaning Pearls & Opals

Cleaning Pearl & Opal Jewellery

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 and opals on a strand, or pearls and opals on precious metal jewellery.

Pearls & Opals on a Strand

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 and opal 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 opals or 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)

Pearls & Opals on 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 and opals 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 30 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)

Connoisseurs Delicate Jewellery Cleaner Coming Soon To Argemti!

If you prefer to use Connoisseurs All Purpose Jewellery Foam then you can use this method:

  1. Apply the foam directly to your jewellery and let it soak for around 30 seconds. 
  2. Use a soft bristle brush to work the foam into those hard to reach areas. 
  3. Rinse the jewellery under room temperature water to remove the residue. 
  4. Gently dab your jewellery dry with a soft lint free cloth
  5. Gently polish your jewellery with a polishing cloth to bring back its natural shine (Connoisseurs Ultrasoft Gold or Silver Polishing Cloths are ideal for this)

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 and opals 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:

  1. Fill a bowl with room temperature water and a small drop of mild washing up liquid. 
  2. Place your jewellery in the water and let it soak for around 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove the jewellery from the water and carefully use a soft bristle brush to clean hard to reach areas. 
  4. Dab your jewellery dry gently with a soft, lint free cloth. 
  5. Polish your jewellery with a polishing cloth. (Connoisseurs Ultrasoft Gold or Silver Polishing Cloths are ideal for this)

Connoisseurs Jewellery Foam Coming Soon to Argemti!