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How do I care for wood beads?The wood used in Rainework mala jewelry is genuine wood. As such, over time it will begin to change it's appearance slightly. Some woods get darker, some will fade; these changes are part of the beauty of each piece. Wooden beads can also change in ways that are much less desireable; if they are frequently wet or left in damp conditions the wood can swell. If on the other hand they are frequently wet then dried or exposed to chemicals and/or harsh soaps on a regular basis, the wood can be stripped of it's oils and crack. To preserve your beads, when you are not wearing your wood bead mala store it out of direct sunlight. If it does get wet, make sure it has a chance to dry well and then buff the beads with a soft cloth. If you would like to wash the mala after extended use, warm water with diluted mild soap is best; just submerge the mala and run the beads through your fingers to wipe the surface. Once clean, dry on a towel and allow the piece to fully air dry. You can also treat your wooden beads with oil to keep the wood moisturized. Simply add pure essential oil to your hands and use your fingers to rub the oil into the beads. Buff with a soft cloth. Note: adding oil may in some cases cause the wood to darken. If in doubt, try a single bead. Beads that have a specific set of care instructions will always include information on the product page itself. Look for a heading that mentions 'Care' for any specific concerns surrounding the use of a material.
How do I care for stone beads?The stones used in Rainework mala jewelry are genuine, naturally coloured stones. While each stone is unique, there are some basic care instructions that apply to MOST pieces. To preserve the smooth finish of stone beads, it is best to keep your mala in a safe place out of direct sunlight and away from surfaces that might scratch the beads. Certain stones can be damaged by repeated exposure to perfumes, harsh cleaners or chemicals; if your mala does come into contact with any of these materials simply give it a good rinse and dry with a soft cloth. If you would like to clean your mala after extensive use, you may choose to use warm water with diluted, mild soap. Submerge the piece and run the beads through your fingers to clean the surface. Dry the piece, allow it to fully air dry and then buff with a soft cloth. IMPORTANT: some natural gemstones are much more sensitive than others to specific methods of cleaning, exposure to water and even to sunlight. Always look for the 'Care' section on each product page for instructions that are specific to each particular stone.
Can I wear a mala even if I don't meditate or "do" yoga?"Absolutely. Traditionally, malas are used in the practice of meditation and prayer and are therefore articles of faith, however you do not have to practice meditation or be associated with any specific faith to wear them. You may choose to wear a mala for simple ornamentation, to complete a look, because you love a certain stone or colour, to keep the energy of a stone or colour with you, for crystal healing purposes, for meditation or for any reason that draws you to a piece.
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