1. After every wear, wipe your pearls with a soft cloth. This will help prevent any buildup of oils or other substances that may have come in contact with your jewelry throughout the day.
2. Clean with a damp cloth only as needed. If your pearls are visibly stained, you can mix a solution of lukewarm water and mild dish soap, dip a soft cleaning cloth in it and wipe the pearls. Do NOT submerge a pearl necklace in water, as it will weaken the silk thread.
3. Let them dry all the way before storing. Again, this helps preserve the elasticity of the silk strand.
4. Take them to your jeweler once a year. While you want to wear your pearls often to keep them hydrated, all that body oil doesn't do the silk thread any favors. Make sure to have your jeweler check the integrity of your pearl bracelets and necklaces once a year. They can also give them a thorough, safe cleaning. Never clean pearls with a steam or ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Both of these methods are likely to damage the outer layer of the pearl.