I’m going a little nuts right now making custom child silhouettes.
Most are brushed finish, but a few customers like a polished piece.
The pieces are about 1" x 1" and flat, out of sterling silver. My
problem is that I’ll do thorough surface prep, sand to 1500 grit,
then prepolish and polish. Everything is good to that point and I get
a nice shine. Then I try and clean any compound off of the piece with
a polishing cloth (2 piece rouge/polishing, or sunsheen cloth, as
received, clean and new) or paper towel, or piece of clean flannel
and immmediately it seems as if I’m putting horrible little fine
scratches into the piece.
So my question is, what material/cloth/paper/etc should I use to do
final cleaning of a piece? Is it possible that everything I own is
contaminated with grit (If you’ve seen my house, the answer is
probably yes)? How do you guys clean off the piece after polishing,
removing fingerprints, etc?
After final polish with rouge, I use warm water and dawn dishwashing
liquid(using my fingers, not a cloth) to get the compound off and
then pat it dry with a very soft dry, clean cloth…I never rub it,
just pat it dry. I wouldn’t use paper towels, they will scratch your
piece every time.
Nick- 100% cotton, (preferably flannel), cloths only! Anything with
any polyester or wool will scratch. Also paper towels and Kleenex
will leave scratches.
When my flannel sheets get old I cut them up and use them, When I
used to work as a liturgical silversmith I would buy yards of plain
cotton flannel material, (usually on sale in colors no one would
wear), and use it to dry and handle finished goods. Always wash and
dry, (no dryer sheets or fabric softener), before you use it.
You know what else you can do is get an ultrasonic (use very hot
water and cleaner) to get most of the polish off and then steam it
for a final clean. Then gently pat dry and your good to go. I use
the little Jewel Jet steamer and it works well for me and is only $99
instead of $500 like most steamers.
After final polish with rouge, I use warm water and dawn
dishwashing liquid(using my fingers, not a cloth) to get the
compound off and then pat it dry with a very soft dry, clean
cloth...I never rub it, just pat it dry. I wouldn't use paper
towels, they will scratch your piece every time.
Try a steam cleaner. Works much better than all that.
Try Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap on a Tampico platers brush, rinse,
then spray off with an air compressor. Zero scratches.
We remove polishing compound from polished pieces by suspending them
in a sonic cleaner. After the cleaning cycle, the pieces are removed
and rinsed with running water. Then they are placed in a jar with
enough alcohol to cover the piece. Finally the object is put in a
wooden box half filled with medium grain sawdust and the box is
shaken to allow the piece to settle into the sawdust and for the
sawdust to fill any cavities of the object. The sawdust absorbs the
liquid droplets on the surfaces of the piece so that it will dry
I use the little Jewel Jet steamer and it works well for me and is
only $99 instead of $500 like most steamers.
I happened to be at Aldi today in Iowa and found a Hand Held Crofton
Steam Cleaner for 14.99 discounted from 19.99. It includes about 6
different nozzles, one of which curves down. It holds a cup of
water, has brass fittings and heats up very fast. #4294-08 Model
MSS-588. It’s similar in shape to the one shown at this link but the
cap is shaped more like the cap on the jewel jet steamer. Hawkeye
colors- black and gold.