how to clean navajo pearls

Navajo pearls are traditional Native American jewelry made of sterling silver and often adorned with intricate designs. Cleaning and maintaining Navajo pearls is essential to preserve their beauty and prevent tarnishing. Here’s how to clean Navajo pearls effectively:

Materials you’ll need:

  1. Mild liquid dish soap
  2. Warm water
  3. Soft-bristle toothbrush or jewelry brush
  4. Soft cloth or jewelry polishing cloth
  5. Jewelry cleaner (optional)
  6. Small bowl
  7. Soft towel

Cleaning steps:

1. Prepare a cleaning solution:

  • Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild liquid dish soap. Mix the solution gently to create a soapy mixture.

2. Soak the Navajo pearls:

  • Submerge the Navajo pearls in the soapy water. Allow them to soak for a few minutes to loosen dirt, oils, and tarnish.

3. Gently scrub with a soft brush:

  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a jewelry brush to gently scrub the surface of the Navajo pearls. Pay extra attention to any intricate designs or details.
  • Be very gentle to avoid scratching the sterling silver.

4. Rinse with clean water:

  • After scrubbing, rinse the Navajo pearls thoroughly with clean, lukewarm water. Ensure all soap residue is removed.

5. Dry the jewelry:

  • Pat the Navajo pearls dry with a soft towel. Be gentle and avoid rubbing vigorously, as this can cause scratches.

6. Polish the silver:

  • Use a soft cloth or a jewelry polishing cloth to gently buff the sterling silver parts of the Navajo pearls. This will help restore their shine.
  • You can also use a commercial jewelry cleaner designed for sterling silver if you prefer.

7. Inspect and reassemble:

  • Examine the Navajo pearls to ensure they are clean and free of tarnish. Reassemble any components if necessary, such as clasps or hooks.

8. Store properly:

  • Store your Navajo pearls in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. You can also place them in an airtight jewelry bag or container to prevent tarnishing between wears.

Additional tips:

  • Avoid exposing your Navajo pearls to harsh chemicals, perfumes, or cosmetics, as these can accelerate tarnishing.
  • If your Navajo pearls have gemstones or beads, be cautious not to submerge them in the cleaning solution for an extended period, as prolonged exposure to water can affect certain materials.
  • Regularly cleaning and wearing your Navajo pearls can help prevent tarnish buildup.

By following these cleaning and maintenance steps, you can keep your Navajo pearls looking beautiful and maintain their cultural and aesthetic significance.

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