How to Clean Glass Beads the Right Way

3 min


Beads come in many different forms. There are plastic beads, wooden beads, metal beads, glass beads, and stone beads. Stone beads are made from different types of minerals and can be found in nearly every shape, color, and size imaginable, making them a great option for jewelry with the proper care.

Why Are Stone Beads a Great Option for Crafts?

There are many different types of stone beads, which allow you to find exactly what you are looking for when it comes to your crafts.

Exceptional Value: Precious stone beads may be more expensive than semi-precious ones but both do provide exceptional value. Rough cut diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds allow you to incorporate real stones into your work without having to spend a fortune on faceted and cut stones.

Wide Variety: Between the options of semi precious and precious gemstone beads, you can find a wide variety of shapes and sizes. If you are looking for the most variety, opt for semi precious ones since there are some semi precious stone beads that can come in every color of the rainbow. They can come in green, pink, blue, red, white, clear, and every other color you can imagine.

Uniqueness: If you are looking to have a craft that is completely unique, you may want to consider freshwater pearl beads. Even though these are considered stone beads, they aren’t really a stone at all and instead are organic in nature. There are ones that are round and look like a classic white pearl but there are ones that also come in unusual colors and shapes. Each one is unique, which adds some flair to your craft.

How Can I Clean My Stone Bead Jewelry without Damaging the Piece?

How you clean your stone beads is going to be dependent on the type of stone bead you have. Most gemstone beads can be cleaned with a solution of mild soap, such as Ivory dish liquid, and slightly tepid water. Use a cotton cloth to dip into the liquid and then be sure to wring out any excess water. Use a circular motion with the cloth over the full body of the bead in order to remove any buildup or dust on the exterior. If you are cleaning a piece that has a lot of heavy buildup then you may need to disassemble it in order to clean the beads thoroughly.

Even though you can safely clean stone beads, the best care for the beads is to take precautions while wearing the stones. The best rule of thumb is to add your jewelry as the last item when you are dressing and take it off as the first item in order to prevent any accidental or environmental damage. The use of commercial cleaning solutions isn’t recommended since these solutions can remove coatings on beads.

Freshwater pearl stone beads need a little more care. These beads actually thrive when worn since they absorb the moisture and natural oils from the skin. However, you want to avoid chemicals. You also want to avoid soaking these in any water since these can actually dissolve if you do so. These beads should be stored in a non-airtight container with a soft pouch in order to avoid any chance of damage and drying out. If you want to clean the pearls then rub them with a cloth that is slightly damp to remove debris from perspiration, makeup, and perfume. Be sure that you dry the strand completely before restoring to make sure you avoid thread deterioration and make sure the stone is dry as well. When stored and cared for properly, pearls can retain luster to provide you with quality beads that can be passed down for generations.

Many times, these beads seem to fall into disrepair because they just need a good cleaning. It is surprising what some cleaning can do for a stone you thought was lost beyond repair.

While these cleaning tips work for most stone beads, you want to double check which type of stone you are using. For example, porous stone beads, such as emerald, onyx, turquoise, and opal, shouldn’t be immersed in water and you should avoid using any large amounts of liquid. Hard and non-porous beads, such as sapphire, amethyst, ruby, tanzanite, tourmaline, and diamond, can be immersed in water without causing any damage. However, it’s best to use cold or lukewarm water. Many gemstones have been heat-treated and if you expose them to hot water, it can cause their color to fade.

If you have done a cleaning on the beads and they still aren’t right then you can repurpose them instead of just discarding the piece. If stones have been damaged with chips or scratches, you can remove the stone from the setting and try to improve the imperfections by polishing the stone. After polishing the stone, work to find a new setting since some of the volume may be lost from the polishing. You can also recut the stone to remove any damaged sections. When the stone has a new shape, find a new setting and create a new item of jewelry. When you are able to repurpose the stone beads, you are giving them new life and you are able to enjoy them for much longer.

Where Can I Buy Authentic Stone Beads for Jewelry Making?

If you are looking for authentic stone beads to use in your jewelry making, shop at Woman Shops World. As a family owned company, you can rest easy knowing the stones are responsibly and ethically sourced.


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