Pearls are a natural product, and can get damaged when in contact with certain substances, and rough handling. Customers need to be aware of the special care required:
Chemicals, perfumes, and hairsprays destroy pearls. These should be applied away from the area where the pearls will be in contact.
Pearls can be cleaned occasionally by wiping down with mild soap in water, and then wiped down with clean water on a soft cloth.
Pearls should be regularly wiped first before storing, with a soft cloth with clean water or demineralised - distilled or purified water ideally.
Some sources advocate wiping the pearls lightly with olive oil.
Pearls should be stored in a soft cloth.
Avoid rough handling, and when not wearing keep pearls separate to avoid scratching.
Avoid strong natural light or display lighting for extended periods of time, as the pearls may fade.
Chlorine in swimming pools will damage pearls, so contact with chlorinated swimming pool water is to be avoided.
Avoid ultra-sonic cleaning.
Peoples skins vary in acidity. Most skins have no adverse effect on wearing pearls, in fact the pearls may get better with age, having contact with the body oils, but some skins are very acidic, and can discolour pearls and have an adverse affect on the pearl over time. The need to wipe these pearls down after wearing is advised in these cases.
It is recommended to re-string pearls at least annually, or to at least check regularly that the silk or synthetic thread is in good condition.