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Cleaning pearls


#1

What is the best way to clean pearls ? Thanks for being you. Im
usually just a reader of all these great words of wisdom,Im a student
and I have learned so much from this wonderful site,I tell everyone
about it. Karen in Boston’s North End


#2

Hi Karen, usually we recommend to clean pearl by dry cloth for
consumer. “pearl cloth” are selling in Japan. If the pearl is really
dirty, we wash it and polish it by machine. These jobs are
professional work.

Yasu
KOBE PRECIOUS PEARL & CO., LTD.
http://www.portnet.ne.jp/~kobe-p-p/homee.htm


#3

Hello, Karen - The important thing to remember is that pearls are
porous, soft and easily abbraded and/or subject to chemical damage.
That means no jewelery cleaning solutions that do not specify that
they are safe for pearls. This also means no ultrasonic or steam
cleaning, no detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, baking soda,
or some liquid soaps including Dawn. The best thing is the simplest:
a gentle soap like Ivory plus water, and a soft cloth. If something
gross is still stuck to a pearl - use your fingernail - no
toothbrushes or scouring pads. Pay particular atttention around the
drill holes where dirt can accumulate. After washing, lay the pearls
flat on a damp kitchen towel. When it is dry - your pearls should be,
too. You want to avoid stretching the string.

Maintenance cleaning is even simpler. After wearing, they should be
wiped off with a soft cloth or chamois, either dry or damp.This will
help keep dirt and persperation (which can erode pearl nacre) from
accumulating. Needless to say, pearls should not be worn when
applying cosmetics, perfume or hair styling products, all of which
can cause damage and discoloration, not to mention make them stink.
Pearls should be removed before swimming, bathing, showering, or (for
rings) handwashing. They should be stored in soft cloth wraps or
bags,never hung, and not in plastic bags, either. They like a humid
atmosphere, away from drying heat which can cause brittleness and
even cracking.(Remember where they come from.)

Allow me to add a word about maintenance and stringing. Although we
seem to live in an age where people assume all jewelry, including
strung beads, should be indestructible and maintenance-free (much
like our automobiles or our bodies) pearls should be routinely
restrung, knotted - on silk (I am a purist!) once a year, more or
less, depending on how frequently they’re worn… LOLOL -
yeah…that’ll happen…! :o}

Does Brigham’s Ice Cream still exist in Boston? ~sigh~ Margery
Storyjewels.com


#4
What is the best way to clean pearls? 

Karen I just learned this from a friend of mine who has been knotting
pearls for about 15 or so years. If strung or knotted remove pearls
from the silk, even if it means cutting apart the knotted silk,
being careful not to get a knot stuck in the hole of the bead. Wash
pearls with liquid Ivory soap and warm water. Most liquid soaps are
to harsh so make sure to Ivory brand. In a plastic colander gently
agitate the pearls, you can do this by stirring with your hand.
Rinse thoroughly and then lay out the pearls on a towel to dry. Wait
24 hours before restringing to make sure the holes have completely
dried out. She says this should be done yearly. Good Luck Koranna


#5

Dear Margery, Brighams still exsists but no where as good as
before. Hard to get a Hot Fudge Sundae with salted pecans.
Louise


#6

Dear All: I used to use Ivory liquid to clean pearls until I noticed
that nowhere, on any Ivory products are the ingredients listed. I’m
not an expert on FDA regulations, but I believe that it is a
regulation to list ingredients on all cosmetics, soaps, drugs, etc.
Be that as it may, I concocted my own cleaner that is pure with no
harsh chemicals or detergents. I take 4 ounces of pure glycerin soap
(no perfumes, no dyes, etc.) or a bar of castille soap (olive oil
soap with no dyes or perfumes). Both of these can be found in the
baby care section of a grocery store or in a health food store.
Unless you clean an enourmous amount of pearls, this concoction will
last you months! I use my food processor with its vegetable grater
wheen and grate up the soap. Then I put in in my crock pot with 1
quart of distilled water, put the lid on, turn it on low and let it
go all day. I have it in my studio, and I only need to do this about
once every six months. I stir it every now and again, when I take a
bathroom break. When I notice that the soap is all melted, I turn
off the crock pot, stir it well and pour it into an old coffee can,
or anything that has a wide mouth. I use one of my son’s old baby
bath towels (okay so I save everything!) and wet it with warm water
and smear just a little of this glop on the washcloth. I clean the
pearls individually and then rinse the whole strand really well.
This also cleans the silk if it’s not too dirty. If the silk is
dirty or I can see from my initial inspection that it has stretched
or frayed, I usually recommend that they be re-strung also. I
actually show the customer what I see because I have a gem microscope
right there. I have found that this glop is very gentle on the
pearls and basically is nothing but olive oil soal and distilled
water. I use distilled water, because of the chemicals that they put
in the tap water down here in Mississippi to make the water
drinkable. This is not a hard recipe, and the all of the equipment
goes right into the dishwasher afterward. Make sure that you don’t
use too much glop because a little goes a long way. I figure if it’s
gentle enough for a baby’s skin and cleans the baby well, it should
be safe enough for pearls.

Greetings from Therese Hirko at Pterne Designs in Brandon Mississippi.


#7
    Karen I just learned this from a friend of mine who has been
knotting pearls for about 15 or so years. If strung or knotted
remove pearls from the silk, even if it means cutting apart the
knotted silk, being careful not to get a knot stuck in the hole of
the bead. Wash pearls with liquid Ivory soap and warm water. Most
liquid soaps are to harsh so make sure to Ivory brand. In a plastic
colander gently agitate the pearls, you can do this by stirring
with your hand. Rinse thoroughly and then lay out the pearls on a
towel to dry. Wait 24 hours before restringing to make sure the
holes have completely dried out. She says this should be done
yearly. Good Luck Koranna 

Koranna, I would add one other consideration – When pearls are first
strung, it is not uncommon for the manufacturer (or original jeweler)
to choose pearls from the temporarily strung strand that look “best”
– most lustre or best shape or color – and position them at the
center of the strand where they’re at the forefront of the necklace
(likewise, lesser pearls may be nearer the clasp where they’re not
as often seen).

For this reason, I would not cut apart a strand of pearls and place
them all together in a colander. It is important to keep the pearls
in the order in which they were strung when restringing to ensure the
best presentation. This would be true of graduated strands as well;
you may think the pearls would be easy to differentiate for
restringing after the mass cleaning, but you may be surprised – and
your customer would be too!

I would recommend cleaning pearls on the silk before removing them
for restringing, as Margery Epstein described in this digest posting.

Best, Lyn Sutton
for Swest


#8

I have a string of cultured pearls that have been stored in a brown
leather bag. The bag has stained the pearls and I am not sure how
to go about cleaning them to remove this. Any help will be
appreciated…

Nancy at Lil Valley Gems


#9

nancy & all -

this is one more time that the ‘paleo-bond debonder’ from
http://www.uncommonconglomerates.com could come to the rescue - i’ve
mentioned several times that it will remove any adhesive, dyes,
paint, nail polish, etc., ever made from anything they could get onto
(not just skin but also pearls, turquoise, malachite, opals, lapis,
jasper, etc.) without harming the material. it beats ‘attack’ for
safety, results, & cleanup.

here’s the ‘paleo-bond’ official description:

  "DEBONDER (PB400): This was designed to take adhesive off your
  fingers. No more picking the stuff [glue] off, this just
  dissolves it with ease. It is water-based so it won't dry your
  skin out." 

well, after the 18" of saltwater and 5 days without power, most of
the salvaged items have been either dried out or tossed; the cars
rehabbed; but the seawall & dock are still in various, diverse &
noncontiguous sections located some distance from their original
locale. i personally believe this hurricane season was sent as just
a taste of what will happen to florida if we allow our votes to be
cheated again this election - less than 600 floridians’ discarded
votes has cost how many lives, people?

good luck -
ive

people, life is like a sale item: no refunding, exchanging, or
’taking on approval’, so pay attention.