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Black grease on my piece when polishing

Why do I get black grease on my piece when polishing with Zam? I
clean the wheel before each use and it doesn’t help. Maybe I’m doing
that improperly.

On another note, someone recently wrote about having to move a bail
on a pendant. The way I avoid out of balance problems is to take a
fine pair of tweezers and bend the tips in toward each other. This
way when I pick the piece up the contact point in very fine and the
pendant can swing revealing whether it is balanced or not. Move the
tweezers until the piece hangs properly.


Why do I get black grease on my piece when polishing with Zam? I
clean the wheel before each use and it doesn't help. Maybe I'm
doing that improperly. 

The base ingredient is grease, so I think it’s unavoidable. Even a
brand new wheel is going to leave SOME black residue behind. Keep an
old toothbrush and a bunch of dish soap at your sink and clean it up
after. Hot water works best.

Ellen B Weiss

Since I have had 40 years experience with this problem…I will give
you my perspective:

In the Zam, or any other polishing compound, you will find a
petroleum product…it is mixed with the grinding particles. During
the process of running the “mop” or the polishing pad which has had
the polishing compound added to it…the heat will start to remove
the outer layer of metal…silver in this case that I mention.
So…the layer of metal becomes black in the polishing compound. The
black is the metal wearing away and removing fire scale if that is
the end result, or a brilliant polish.

The metal WON’T polish under the buildup of the black “crud”. I keep
a clean (to start with!!!) soft cloth at the polisher and when
there starts to be a build up, I wipe the black stuff off…it is
never ending, but by doing this you will finally get a nice polish.

As I repeat, I have had many years of experience with this dilemma.
HOWEVER, you may be overloading the polish pad with too much
compound…notice you are keeping it raked, tho. Give the soft cloth
a whirl to see if that solves the problem.

Hope this helps.
Rose Marie Christison

Why do I get black grease on my piece when polishing with Zam? 

Parson’s Sudsy Ammonia will make that stuff come off in a flash. If
doing a bunch of polishing, we often put it in the water in the ultra
sonic for added action/activity/gunk removal. A tooth brush is still
a good thing to have for those tight spots…

John Dach

Hi all,

I find that hot water with cloudy ammonia (a mixture of soap and
ammonia) works well for me. It also cleansthe grease off your
fingers after casting but not for too long or it’s harsh on your

All the best

I have a home brew which works fine for me. Mix equal parts,
ammonia, simple green, liquid dishwashing detergent. Scrub piece with
a soft toothbrush, or piece of old towel. Removes all the black
grease that I accomplish when polishing. Alma