Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Cleaning after polishing


#1

Please can someone tell me what is the best way of removing compound
residue from intricate pieces after polishing. I am finding that the
ammonia works well if I scrub with a brush into the nooks and
crannies but this ends up ruining a previously mirror finish. Should
I invest in an ultrasonic cleaner? How well do these work with
gemset pieces - does it depend on the cleaning solution? Are there
any big no-nos?

This is my big bugbear at the moment!!

Thanks, Mel


#2

Hi, Mel,

I also cannot afford an ultrasonic, and many stones can’t go in one.
I was sent a sample of Citrisolve to try, and I find that soaking
pieces for a while (from a few minutes to overnight, usually an hour
or less) removes shmutz almost as well as an ultrasonic, if slower.
HTH!

–Noel


#3

However well you think you have cleaned a piece, a few seconds in an
ultrasonic bath will remove visible amounts of dirt. Most dirt on
jewellery is soap based detergent in water is the best medium.

Check out ebay. there are a number of small ‘personal’ cleaners at
the moment which are going for less than $50.

Bill Bedford


#4

Someone on Orchid earlier mentioned that Simple Green works well to
remove polishing compound, and indeed it does! Thanks to whomever
sent that idea in! Try it with a very soft brush, to remove compound
from crevices. Or, can someone suggest something besides a brush for
manual removal?

Judy Bjorkman


#5

Try Mr. Clean loquid soap, it works great after the tumbling process
and after polishing with Red Ruge and ser. Oxide and Zam.

Yours Billy Sl Bates
royalminiatures.com


#6

I find that very hot water, some kind of soap and a generous amount
of ammonia helps. The ammonia breaks down the fats in the polishing
compound. I still often end up using a soft toothbrush, but with
filigree, it gets stuck in between the wires.

Jeanne
http://www.jeanniusdesigns.com
Jeanne Rhodes Moen
Kristiansand, Norway
http://www.jeanniusdesigns.com


#7

I keep a container of a strong simple green solution on my polishing
bench and drop the pieces in it as I finish polishing them. An
electric toothbrush with an old soft brush head gets into crevices,
but for large flat areas I use a clean piece of old soft flannel
with simple green.

Janet Kofoed


#8

I would recommend Simple Green, available at Costco, etc. If you
heat the concentrate in the microwave and then soak your piece in it,
the compound is gone. Great cleaning solution for all metals.

Reba


#9

Hi Noel,

If you can’t afford an ultrasonic cleaner, may I offer an
inexpensive alternative? The Braun/Oral B motorized toothbrushes can
be had at a reasonable price, offer many of the advantages of an
ultrasonic without the dangers that often come with them, and can be
used quite effectively with good old Windex or Formula 409 (glass
and surface cleaners, for those of us outside the US borders). As
far as that Citrusolve is concerned, please be careful if using it
full strength? If I’m not mistaken, it’spH level can wreak as much
havoc on the surfaces of Peridot and some other materials as Sparex,
if leftin contactlong enough. Hope this helps “spare” you some
grief.

Warmly,
Doug

Douglas Turet, G.J.
Lapidary Artist & Designer
Turet Design
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
@doug


#10

Thanks for the warning against using full-strength Citrisolve. I am
using it diluted as instructed, and mostly on metal only, but I had
not realized it could be a problem. I drop things in a jar of
diluted cleaner and shake it, then let it soak a bit.

Someone on the forum suggested an espresso machine as a cheap
stand-in for a steamer. I bought one on eBay two nights ago for $15
($1 for the machine, $14 for shipping!) So, as soon as it arrives,
I’ll try it out. I’ve never used a real one, but I have a Tom Herman
ring I wear pretty much 24/7 (sorry guys, I know it is hard on it,
but it is my wedding ring. I do take it off to lift weights, to
weld, and to put on lotion) and all the tiny pierced areas are VERY
cruddy. I can’t quite bring myself to pop my gold-and-diamonds into
hot lye! So I will be very happy if the espresso machine can blast
the junk out. And I do drink a cup of coffee every few weeks.

Noel


#11

people -

came across this ‘recipe’ for cleaning oils, dirt, etc. from jewelry
in one of my ancient reference issues of some gemstone publication
(from the 50s):

2 parts glycerin, 3 parts ammonia, 4 parts castor oil. mix all parts
in ‘roomy’ glass jar & close tightly until ready to use. soak
jewelry for one half (1/2) of an hour & WITHOUT rinsing, put into
another container of 1 part ammonia & 4 parts water. here it got
hazy about soaking time but i’d keep an eye on it for a few minutes,
if the piece hasn’t melted into a "kinetic, free flowing, energetic"
blob, remove & gently brush crevices with a baby’s hair brush, a
mushroom brush (what! no mushroom brush?? get thee to a kitchen
emporium!) or a water color paint brush - the only brushes i know
soft enough to not scratch metal. rinse. rinse. rinse. buff dry
and/or place on a towel spread on the floor in front of the
refrigerator (even some newer model refers can dry tennies overnight
if placed on side with top towards refer) suggestion: train other
inhabitants, biped or quadruped, to jump over spread towel.

good luck -
ive

people - you’ve lives, use them, share them, take them seriously by
living with great humor.


#12

These are all great ways of cleaning the pcs. You can also try a
polish with not as much grease of oil… We use a peach rouge very
dry and easy for removal

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
Sales/ Tools and Technical
Stuller Inc.
337-262-7700 ext. 4194
337-262-7791 fax
Andy_Kroungold@Stuller.Com


#13

I use a mixture of simple green and turpentine. Rub it in with your
fingers and then rinse off. Use a soft toothbrush if need be.

Most polishing compounds are bound with a wax, the turps dissolves
this very fast.

Tony Konrath
Key West Florida


#14

Andy, Tell us about the Picasso Blue Rouge #47-3246 $15.72 Got the
ad in the mail today.

Julia


#15

Richard,

   Andy, Tell us about the Picasso Blue Rouge #47-3246  $15.72  
Got the ad in the mail today. 

I worked with this polish at Vegas on platinum all I can say is
w.o.w. it worked excellent of it as a final finish. It was a great
polish on gold as well . I would give it a try and the clean up is
excellent. Hope all is well and if you need the tool guy I am here
and ready to help.

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
Sales/ Tools and Technical
Stuller Inc.
337-262-7700 ext. 4194
337-262-7791 fax
Andy_Kroungold@Stuller.Com


#16

Well I am finally accepting that it is actually important to clean a
piece before soldering, doing a patina, etc…

CitraSolve
Simple Green
Ammonia and soap

Which is best in your opinion? This thread was aimed at cleaning
after polishing, but I am adding a twist. I am going to patina and
want to make sure that none of these products would interfere or
leave their own troublesome residue. I am leaning towards
citrasolve because I am under the impression that it would be the
least toxic/nasty to breathe.

Thanks,
Tracey
redsaturn20@gilanet.com


#17

Please try Rio Grande’s Buffing Compound Remover, 1 quart of
concentrate makes 2 gallons. Item # 336-086. $9.95. page 446,
current tools catalog.

It works, really, really well. After you try it, you will say to
yourself, why did I waste all that time and money on things like
Simple Green, when the most ideal product already exists?

It takes off the buffing compounds like magic. You will love it.

Usual disclaimer.
Elaine
Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#18

Tracey,

I use Mr. Clean Summer Citrus mixed with water (Ratio of
approximately 2 to 4 ozs. Mr. Clean to approximately 10 to 15ozs. of
water). I use this mixture in my Ultrasonic and it work very well. I
finish by rinsing in clean water.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com
Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry


#19
I am going to patina and want to make sure that none of these
products would interfere or leave their own troublesome residue.

A generous rinse usually takes out Simple Green. I can’t say that I
have used the others.

I am leaning towards citrasolve because I am under the impression
that it would be the least toxic/nasty to breathe.

Simple Green in routinely used in the scuba industry to clean life
support equipment (tank valves, etc.) for use with pure oxygen
(partial pressure blending, etc.). However, inadequately rinsing
after using it does leave small amounts of it around (e.g. with scuba
your normally tasteless/ odorless tank gas now has a distinct taste).
Considering the liability concerns of the recreational scuba industry
I would assume that small residue from Simple Green is generally
regarded as safe, otherwise it would not be used. However, I do not
know what this would do when you attempt to patina the piece.

Rudy Bescherer, Jr.