I used my ionic cleaner on a sterling silver necklace with a very fine chain. It worked very well but it left a black discoloration on the chain near where I attached the alligator clip. I only kept it in the solution for 5-6 seconds. Anyone know how to remove this mark? I tried cleaning that part again. Also tried scrubbing with soft toothbrush. No go. Ideas?
Have you tried repolishing? That’s where I would start first, that mark shouldn’t be any more than surface deep, we have an ionic cleaner at the shop but hardly ever use it, we always use ultrasonic, hope this helps,
Its also possible that there may have been too much dirt in that exact spot maybe it has to do with how the machine uses electrolysis, but that is supposed to remove dirt…that probably shouldn’t have happened though, but like I said we just usually use ultra sonic for everything except emerald and other fragile gemstones
Thanks, Thomas - It actually wasn’t dirty… I just wanted to remove some very light tarnish before photographing the piece. I’ll try with a polishing cloth. (Duh…why I didn’t think of that night, I’ll never know!
There was one time that i was electroplating a 14k white gold engagement ring with rhodium plating solution and I had black marks where the metal connection was on the inside of the ring, I know that i cleaned it properly, there was not dirt on it, the voltage was right around 3 volts (where it should be) and I know the solution was not depleted yet… I took it out and repolished and cleaned and tried again. It worked like it should. Never figured out why that happened i just tried again and moved on LOL.
My 2 cents… I have a Speed Brite Ionic Cleaner add-on unit (not pictured) for use with my L&R Ultrasonic cleaner. My instructions are to attach the alligator clip either to a stainless steel rod from which pieces hang or a stainless steel basket that can hold multiple items, both of which are submerged in the special solution (see attached images). The clip does not have to be submerged and not sure if that is recommended or not. I have seen images where the tip of the clip is touching the solution, but not with the clip fully submerged in the solution or with the clip attached to THE ITEM to be cleaned. As long as everything is touching the SS rod/basket, the process should work. Maybe the current was too much when directly clamped to the silver piece, rather than dispersing through the rod/basket. I am certainly not an expert on the science and have only used the rod/basket method to hold the items to be cleaned…
Hope it’s useful info…:O)
Sharon in Iowa
I have one of these Speed Brites cleaners and one of the warnings they give about silver chain is that you have to avoid letting the chain bunch together or else you will get these marks, which is I think the electrical current arcing from one piece to the next through the electrolyte cleaner. I am guessing your connection with the alligator clip was not very solid metal-to-metal contact, causing the arcing.
Note that this does not affect karat gold, only silver.
Abrasive polishing is required to remove the discoloration, since it is on the metal itself. In a way, it is almost like firescale, but not as deep into the metal.
Thanks, everyone - At the time, I didn’t have an appropriate basket and I couldn’t hang the necklace on that bar, so I clipped it directly on. But now I have a basket, so hopefully I’ll avoid this in the future. It makes sense that it will require some abrasion to remove the marks. The chain is so fine I’m not sure how to do that without wrecking it. Since this is one of my samples I think I’ll just switch it out.