Pearls are beautiful and elegant. However, the layers of nacre of which a pearl is made of are very soft by jewelry standards and easily damaged. Since it is an organic compound, pearls also are easily dulled or even eaten away by chemicals and alcohol. Wash cultured pearls in very mild, soapy water and nothing else. It's also a good idea to bring your cultured pearls in for restringing every couple of years, especially if you wear them often.