How To Clean Pearls That Have Yellowed

How To Clean Pearls: Pearls are one of the most versatile types of jewelry, and you can wear them with almost everything you own. Even though white pearls can be used in many ways. Their unique creamy color, elegant finish, and beauty make them the most beautiful.

But pearls age just like everything else, and when they do, they start to turn yellow. The yellowing effect can change how your pearls look and sometimes take away from how beautiful they are. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know why or how to clean our pearls when they change color. Continue reading to find out more.

How to clean yellowed pearls

If you have pearls that have turned yellow, you probably always want to make them white again. Even though it is possible and easy to do, you should know that whether or not the yellowing can be stopped depends on how long it has been happening.

If the process has been left on for a long time, the damage may be too great to fix. But if they turn yellow in a short amount of time, you can clean them and stop the process by doing one of the following:

The Sunlight Approach

Here, you must clean and rinse your pearls carefully and then put them in the sun for an hour or a full day. The idea is to leave them out in the sun for as long as possible until their color changes. With this method, you can obtain back the cream-white, pearl-like color that most beautiful pearls have. Note that you shouldn’t do this too often because natural pearls can fade if exposed to very bright lights for long periods.

Using Soapy Warm Water

This eliminates a lot of dust and dirt to protect the nacre (the outer coating) and the natural shine of your pearls. When you clean pearls with lukewarm soapy water, you shouldn’t use dishwasher soap or detergents because they can hurt these valuable gems. Instead, if you want the best results, you should use pure soap or soap flakes. 

Step 1: Examine the condition of your jewelry

Start by ensuring all your pearls are whole and well-strung on the silk thread with knots between each one. Here, it would help if you also guaranteed that the silk hasn’t extended too much between the pearls and that the clasp works. Also, look through the pearls for any cracks or scratches so that you don’t hurt the fragile ones when you clean them.

Step 2: Clean the pearls with a cotton cloth, lukewarm water, and soap

Little pieces of white cotton balls or a cloth dampened with lukewarm soapy water can be used to clean the pearls gently. Also, don’t let the pearls soak in water for too long, and don’t try to pop your necklace or bracelet while it’s in the water. This will keep the silk thread from getting too stretched out and breaking.

Make sure that all the dirt comes off during this process, and then change the water until your pearls are clean. After cleaning all the pearls, use a damp cotton cloth to wipe them well until all the soap is gone. This keeps their shine and protects the coating on their outside.

Step 3: Let the pearls dry and store them correctly

In this step, put the pearls on a dry, soft white cotton cloth. As you do this, you will see that the yellowing layer on your pearls has been removed. Let the pearls sit on the cotton cloth for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are completely dry. This lets the pearls dry on their own and keeps the shine and elasticity of the silk thread.

Using a nail polish remover

To clean pearls that have turned yellow, you can put them in the sun or use lukewarm soapy water. You can also try nail polish remover. Most of the time, the acetone in nail polish remover is strong enough to get rid of even the most stubborn stains, and it can also be used to whiten old pearls easily.

But you should only use this method on natural pearls and not on the plastic pearl beads that are common today. This will keep you from taking off their pearly paint. So, here’s how the cleaning process works;

Step 1: Wash the pearls with warm soapy water

Follow the steps in the second method to clean your pearls and get rid of dirt and dust. Recall being as soft as you can but as thorough as you can as you do this.

Step 2: Clean the pearls with nail polish remover

In this step, you should put nail polish remover on a third cloth and slowly wipe it over your pearls to bring back their white “pearly” color. Keep doing this until you perceive a change in how they are built.

Step 3: Dry them in the sun

Once you’re done, put your pearls in direct sunlight for about one to two hours to dry. Then, please put them in your jewelry box.

The best way to keep your pearls safe

Pearls can only keep their beautiful look and lustrous feel if they are properly cared for. So, here are several of the best methods to keep your pearls safe and care for them;

Keep them away from your other jewelry

In general, you should keep your pearls from touching each other or other jewelry pieces in your collection. Don’t forget that we said pearls are fragile and can get scratched or broken easily. Because of this, you might want to roll them up in linen or a soft cloth and try to keep them flat if you can.

Give them as much room as possible so they can breathe, and don’t put them in a container that won’t let air in. Aside from that, you should keep them away from metals like Titanium, Gold, Silver, and Platinum, which can scratch the nacre’s soft surface.

As often as possible, wear your pearls

If you have pearls that are important to you and you want to pass them down to future generations, you should wear them often. Not every individual day, but as often as possible. This lets them breathe and keeps them moist, making them look shiny and brand new.

Read Also: How To Choose The Best Cloth For Cleaning Windows

Wipe your pearls down before placing them away

Wiping your pearls with a soft cloth removes perfume, sweat, and extra oils from their surface. Also, by doing this, you can get rid of any debris that makes your pearls turn yellow and any harmful chemicals that change the way the pearls are made. Check to see if the string is too long or if there are any cracks in the pearls. Make sure to re-string them if they do.

Make sure you are storing them at the right temperatures

If it is too cold or too hot, your pearls can start to dry out and break. Because of this, you need to ensure they were kept at the right temperatures. Also, you should be careful if you swim in water with chlorine or use detergents to clean pearls. These often make your pearls dirty, tarnish, and change color. 、


Remember that perfume, makeup, and hairspray can leave behind residue damaging your pearls and making them look dull. Also, dirt and other things in the environment can make your pearls turn yellow, which makes them look awful. To avoid this, you should clean your pearls often and put them away correctly. We hope the tips above will help you easily clean and store your things.