I have been using oakite # 90 as a way to boil-out jewelry that is
very dirty for quite some time. It is about the best thing I have
ever used next to lye. My question is what do some of you use to
boil-out jewelry that is really dirty. I am considering using
something that is less dangerous to use. I have heard some people
use Tide washing detergent, but I have not tried this. Any
suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
My question is what do some of you use to boil-out jewelry that is
really dirty. I am considering using something that is less
dangerous to use.
For quite some time, in our shop, we used TSP in the boilout. That’s
gotten a bit harder to find, so taking a clue from Fred Fenster’s
modification to prips flux, I tried Cascade dish washing powder
detergent, in which TSP is, I believe, a major constituent. It seems
to work fine. Not as active, of course, as Lye or Oakite, but no
nasty fumes, won’t dissolve your fingers, etc etc… And you can get
it just about anywhere. The green box… I don’t know that it’s any
more effective than our ultrasonic cleaner, just different. We like
it especially for cleaning things before repairing them, when, for
example, stones may still be very loose, or the item otherwise still
fragile. Some things, as we all know, simply shouldn’t be left to
sit for long times in an ultrasonic. (stones loosen or fall out,
finishes can be damaged on soft metals, etc…) So far, with the
Cascade, I’ve yet to see anything damaged at all by it. No doubt,
there are some stones or other materials that wouldn’t like it, so as
always, common sense should rule.
When I worked in a trade shop long ago, we used the granular form of
Spic and Span, about 2 tablespoons to a pint of water, kept at a low
simmer. I do know that product is a little difficult to come by, but
the main ingredient was a phosphate, so I suspect trisodium phosphate
might work. Try not to just pour it down the drain, as phosphates are
problematic when they get in the water supply, causing overgrowth of
algae, which chokes out other aquatic life.
David L. Huffman
I’ve used oakite all of those years. Really dirty things would boil
for a few hours, ultrasonic, reboil and then that’s it.
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, Ga. 30328
What is Oakite?
Oakite is a brand name for a whole lot of products. You need the
number that goes with the term Oakite to really describe the
product. See: http://www.oakite.com/