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Soap for tumbler

I would appreciate about what sort of household soap or
product I can use with steel shot in my tumbler to burnigh a few
dozen sterling silver pieces. I have made a major move and can’t find
my commercial (bought) soap. There are about 70 boxes it COULD be
in-- (scream!!) There are no shops within 200 miles and I have an
emergengy order.

Thanks, Joyce


Household soap leaves residue unlike the jewelers ultrasonic
solution.(Concentrated Soap).

There are chemicals that have been specially formulated for cleaning
jewelery. Moreover household soap is about 20 times less
concentrated that the Jewelers.

At about 12 to 16 dollars a gallon the Ultrasonic solution is a

Order from your favorite supplier.

Kenneth Singh
46 Jewelry Supply
46 West 46 St
New York, NY10036

I would appreciate about what sort of household soap
or product I can use with steel shot in my tumbler to burnigh a few
dozen sterling silver pieces 

I use pure borax (20 Mule Team brand), from the grocery store
laundry detergent department. 2 tbs per load in my 1-quart tumbler.


You want to use something you would use in an automatic dish washer.
This will be alkaline and shouldn’t foam. You can safely store steel
shot under water in an alkaline ( basic ) solution… You don’t need a


If your tumbler barrel is rubber, then don’t use any soap with
citrus in it. (Lemon-scented, etc.) The citrus oils attack rubber.

I use Simple Green. I used to use Ivory dishwashing liquid. I’ve
heard that other people have good luck with Dawn.

It’s worth noting, however, that most of the time my tumblers are
washing cutting lubricant off of jump rings rather than burnishing
finished pieces. But I still think it’ll work for you. :wink:


Use “Simple Green” spray cleaner in your tumbler. It’s great! And
not nearly as hard on your hands as the commercial stuff. You may
never go back. Buy it in any grocery or hardware store.

I standardly just use a squirt of my liquid hand soap - I think my
current brand is Dial although that probably makes no difference. It
seems to work fine and I can use the money spent on special polishing
compounds on other things, like tools and classes :-))

BBR - Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co

We use it for the ultrasonic. Two parts water and one part Simple
Green. Great for compounds. It’s also great for clogged acetylene and
air Smith torch tips in the ultrasonic.


School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854

Loved the Simple Green idea… our contractor suggested using it as a
pre-wash spot cleaner on greasy stains on clothing, and it’s been a
wonder in the wash. I buy it by the half gallon. Will have to try it
in the next tumbled batch. However, in the past, I was taught to use
ammonia… and occasionally I’ll add a tiny bit of Cascade to that.
Cleans up pieces quite nicely.

I found that the best two for me are Palmolive and Dawn for dishes!
Works great! But be sure your shot is stainless steel!

Have a nice week

Soap for a tumbler: the shop I work in regularly uses a Coke or a Dr
Pepper (1/2 soda 1/2 water). We don’t do much work in silver, but I
know it works great on gold. And its always handy in our vending


I want to thank the many Forum members who came through for me on the
varieties of tumbler soap I could safely use to burnish my sterling
silver(with steel shot). I used 2 drops of Dawn with a schosh of
Borax for 25 mins. in one and a half cups of water in my rotating
tumbler. Perfect. I got my order out today on schedule.


This cracks me up…

I bought a gigantic plastic jar (like the ones used for hefty dill
pickles) of burnishing liquid years ago. I have been using it and
using it with great results. I have always thought the smell was
kind of familiar but just couldn’t seem to think of what it
was…Well, I took my fellow orchidians advice and got out the
"Simple Green" when my pickle juice (as I call it, NOT really pickle
juice) ran out. Viola! It worked great and the smell was identical!!!
Have I been tumbling in Simple Green for all these years? Same color
too! Thanks guys!

Peace and Love to all…
Hoping everyone has a fantastic $EA$ON!