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Removing shellac from jewelry

Hi, could any one indicate me a quick method of removing shellac
stuck to the pieces of jewelry? One that doesn?t need ultrasonic nor
hot solutions. thanks. P.s: by shellac I understand the sort of paste
(yellowish in my case) that is used to fix the pieces when setting,
engraving or whatever.

Fernando F. Escudero, Spain.

Hi Fernando All the good methods to remove stuff like shellack involves
heat. heat is very important to speed up and even increase the action
of the chemical solutions. Lime is good to remove shellack I think in
spanish is known as SODA CAUSTICA but be careful because is caustic.
Just boil your items in a pot with it. Jonathan

Hi Fernanmdo,

Shellac is usually soluble in alcohol. Assuming there’s no amber or
other alcohol soluble items in the piece, just place the the item in
a jar of alcohol. Due to the volatility of alcohol you may want to
cover the jar. The time needed to dissolve the shellac depends on the
thickness of the shellac. Check it periodically, when the shellac can
be wiped off, remove it.


Fernando F. Escudero, Spain. If the shellac is not burnt on the
surface of the piece it can be soaked in methylated spirits. With a
cold solution it can take a number of hours if you gently warm the
solution it can be removed in a matter of minutes. When heating
methylated spirits you must be careful as Metho (as we call it) self
ignites at a low temperature it is safest to place the container for
the metho in a water jacket. If the shellac is burnt on the surface
of your piece the only method I know of to remove it is to heat the
piece to red hot and physically burn it off. John in Oz

Marcos may know better but I’d never put any silver or low carat gold
in either caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) or lime (calcium hydroxide)
as these will sometimes eat metal away.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

Lime and caustic soda are very different chemicals

Lime is Calcium oxide - usually slaked with water to form calcium

Caustic soda (drain cleaner) is sodium hydroxide.

You stand a good chance of ruining silver and low carat gold if it’s
placed in either of these!

Tony Konrath Gold and Stone

dear sir

use denatured alcohol,i use an empty film canister, poke a hole in
the lid, add alcohol, add jewelry piece, close lid and place into
ultra sonic

for about 10 or 15 minutes. good luck. lisa