Proper care of pearls is not difficult if you remember that they are organic and produced by a living thing. Pearls are soft and delicate, but when cared for with common sense, they will maintain their lustre for centuries. The pearls should not come in contact with cosmetics, hairspray, perfume, chlorinated water, or other harsh chemicals. To keep them clean, let them be the last item put on when dressing, and the first item taken off at the end of an evening. The best way to maintain their lustre is to wear the pearls often, and wipe them down with a soft cloth afterward–pearls absorb the oils from skin, which helps keep them moist. Pearls should be stored in a cloth pouch or jewelry bag, separated from other jewelry to prevent nicks or chipping. Periodically, pearl strands should be restrung since the silk thread used to tie the pearls together breaks down over time.