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Possible sterling oxidization agent


I ran into an interesting thing recently. I was looking for a
cleaner to clean our tile. There was a product called “Kaboom
shower, tub and tile cleaner.” The warning label mentioned “Do not
let formula stay on metal-may discolor.” An inquisitive mind asks
what would it do to sterling silver? I sprayed some of the stuff on
some scrap silver and let it sit overnight. In the morning I had a
very black coat of oxidization on the silver.

According to the label the formula contains organic salts,
surfactants and fragrance. Contains no phosphorus.

The label warns to not mix with bleach, mildew stain remover or any
other household chemicals as hazardous gases may be released. It is
an irritant to skin and eyes. But then all oxidization agents are
much more of an irritant to eyes and skin.

Kaboom as an oxidization agent for sterling silver might be worth
further investigation.

Lee Epperson


It is a urea comound and the coating you get is the same sulfide
coating you get with liver of sulfur ( phosphorous polysulfide) jesse


I ran some tests on Kaboom shower, tub and tile cleaner with
copper, brass and with new very shiny sterling silver. With the
materials wet with the cleaner at room temperature there was NO
black patina formed. Copper and brass were stripped of oxide,
and the sterling surface was depleted of copper leaving the white
color typical of fine silver . The silver surface lost the shine.

Immersion for 24 hours didn’t change much if any. Water rinsing
and immersion in fresh Kaboom did not show much if any further
copper depletion after a further 24 hr test. The solutions were
tested for copper pickup with ammonia.with a definite blue copper
complex color on he first solution and no apparent color change on
the second immersion solution.

New copper and clean brass was brightened immediately. As tested
Kaboom seems to work as a copper tarnish remover as well as a tub
cleaner. I wouldn’t use on plate or sterling unless desperate.
Leaving a piece of silver with the solution to dry on it left a
light green deposit typical of a copper chloride compound-- no
black sulfide color…

There are lot of these “magic” cleaners on the market some are
just surfactants like the citric terpine ones, some contain
phosphoric acid, some sulfamic acid, some glycolic acid etc. etc.
They usually do not include contents on the labels.

I would recommend NOT mixing any of them with bleach.

Sterling in my daughters house a little more in the country starts
to yellow then go to black quickly. In mine about 10 miles close
into the city center and near a major highway hardly changes–
doesn’t even yellow over several years. ??? I would expect mine
to be worse. ???




I think we have unraveled the problem differences in the use of
Kaboom cleaners to patina silver.

The sample pictures that Lee sent me are very interesting . The
parts are black to the eye but the camera sees things differently.

There are apparently two Kabboom products that appear to be similar
but are really very different chemically. The original post
specified “Kaboom shower, tub and tile cleaner” and this is what
I found at the market. The MSDS gave no indication that it would
work but it apparently did…Simple trials were negative as would
be expected but Lee got a partina. ???

I played through the stuff sold with a Kaboom trade name and found
this one for “Kaboom all surface stain remover”:

This should blacken silver!!! It contains:

Sodium metabisulfite about 3-4 %

and Disodium sulfite at 1-2 %

This NIH data base doesn’t seem to show the bath and shower

The blackening tarnish of silver and copper is a reaction with
sulfur and sulfur compounds it is not a reaction with oxygen.

Kaboom seems to be just a marketing outfit that doesn’t make
anything. I tried to get them to furnish MSDS’s ( required by
law) but can’t get a reply. Maybe they are selling two different
substances with the same label. ???

Checking cleaner labels at the store shows that many do not
disclose contents at all… I’ll try to find some “Kaboom All surface
stain remover” but > It shouldn’t be hard to mix up a batch…