Little John F. Kennedy, Jr. playing with Jackie Kennedy’s pearl necklace at the White House, 1962
Today, we are offering a cleaning tip to preserve your cultured pearls (perles de cultures). Pearls are a precious jewelery that with minimal care can last to be passed on from generation to generation. Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy wore them so well…
Grace Kelly loved to wear her pearls on bear skin. Skin contact keeps the pearls hydrated which enhances their beauty and shine so feel free to wear your pearls Grace Kelly style.
Art of the Home Tips:
- To clean your pearls, wash them with mineral water (not water from the sink — the calcium deposits could damage your pearls). With pearls knotted with nylon string, you may place them in a bowl of mineral water for a short time. After a few minutes, take them out and gently rub your pearls with a soft lint-free cloth (e.g. microfiber cloth used to clean eyeglasses.) If your pearls are knotted with a silk string however, use a humid cloth to wash them instead of placing them in a bowl. This will prevent the string from stretching. Pearls don’t like lemon, alcohol, ammonia, and chlorine so it’s best to avoid cleanser containing any of those ingredients.
- For maintenance and to restore your pearls’ shine, add 1-2 drops of olive oil on a soft cloth (e.g. microfiber, “peau de chamois”) and polish.
- To store your pearls, place them in a separate jewelry box. This will preserve their beauty and prevent irreversible scratches from other jewelry. Also, the small amount of moisture contained in pearls keeps them from cracking or becoming brittle (pearls naturally contain a small amount of water). Keeping the pearls’ inner moisture is important so pearls should be stored away from heaters and direct sunlight if possible.
- How to wear them: pearls don’t like sweat, perfume, and hairspray so it is important to put on your pearl necklace at the last minute after you have put on your perfume, done your makeup and hair.