Important Details About Pearls

You can’t go wrong with this timeless accessory. While classic pearls are a wonderful investment for your jewelry box, these luminous gems come in at only a 2.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, meaning they are a bit harder than talc. Rest assured, with the proper care, your pearls can last a long time!  

Getting Started

All you’ll need to get started is a dry, clean cloth. We recommend the extra-soft JTV Cleaning Essentials® Polishing Cloth.

Jewelry Cleaning Essentials polishing cloth

How to Clean Pearl Jewelry

After each wear, wipe down your pearls using a dry polishing cloth. This helps remove any oils or pollutants that have come in contact with your jewelry during wear.

If you’re cleaning a pearl ring or pearl stud earrings, you can still clean the metal settings without damaging the pearls so long as you are careful to not get jewelry cleaner or rubbing alcohol on the gemstone. We recommend using a cotton swab dipped in jewelry cleaner or rubbing alcohol to carefully sanitize earring posts or the band of your ring setting.

After polishing, store pearl jewelry flat and separate from other pieces to avoid scratching. Soft, velvet-lined jewelry boxes make a perfect haven for delicate pieces of jewelry like pearls.

cleaning pearl jewelry with a polishing cloth
  • We advise against using ultrasonic or steam cleaners on your pearl jewelry as these can cause significant damage to pearls.
  • Pearls should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off to avoid contact with oils from skin, lotion, cosmetics, perfumes and hair products.
  • Do not submerge pearls in water. Water can damage the pearl and cause the materials that string the pearls together to deteriorate.
  • To prevent damage or discoloration, remove pearl jewelry when doing a strenuous workout or cleaning with harsh chemicals. Substances such as vinegar, ammonia or alcohol can damage your pearls.
  • Avoid heat around your pearls as it can destroy the gemstone and its setting.
storing pearl jewelry

We hope our cleaning guide on pearl jewelry was helpful! Pearls are beautiful, organic gems that require gentle care to clean and protect their natural beauty. For more jewelry care tips, check out our jewelry cleaning guide for overall advice on jewelry maintenance

Erin Smith

Erin enjoys empowering fellow jewelry lovers with the knowledge and tools to care for their jewelry and keep it sparkling like the day they purchased it.

Read more about Erin on her author page