When I was first starting out in the jewelry trade, nearly a quarter
century ago, I worked for a bench man who did service for the trade.
Every article we worked on, we cleaned, if it was possible. We kept
a one quart sauce pan full of water with a couple tablespoons of
powdered “Spic and Span” cleaner in it at a low boil, just barely
simmering. We would suspend the articles on wire hooks in the
solution. You could see the crud foam out of the piece in seconds.
I believe it actually cleaned better than an ultrasonic, which we
didn’t have. Certain articles were not safe in this solution,
however. The following weren’t submitted to this proceduRe:
pearls silver lapis, turquoise, tanzanite, peridot, and other very heat
sensitive stones inlay of any sort any article we suspected heat and
alkalinity might adversely affect
Now, Spic and Span is mostly made up of various phosphates with a
little fragrance added. I suspect any high-phosphate cleaner would
work to one degree or another.
David L. Huffman