Type of soap for vibratory tumbler

Hi all. I have a Raytech vibratory tumbler…LOVE!! And I don’t want to use the soap suggested because it contains cancer causing substances (we deal with enough crazy substance in our field, can I have a non-confrontational soap for my tumbler please?:joy:) Anyway, I read tons of posts and decided on Ivory soap. I can see, however, that this could become a headache. I recently detected a very slight film on my jewels (could be that I used too much soap, but, a film is going to happen no matter how much or little, I suspect). I’m sure it will only get more prominent the more I use the soap. I have read a couple of posts where blue Dawn was the soap of choice, and that the users had great results. So, I’m curious about what others use and swear by that’s not going to yuck up my tumbler or my jewels. Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone swear by any particular soap?


are you also incorporating a fliw thru system to circulate your solution?…ie: a bucket, pump, hoses, riser for oump to elevate it above the sediment…?


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Julie has a good question, I don’t have a pump or hose system for my tumbler. Most people that I’ve read or heard use blue Dawn, any Dawn will do, it doesn’t leave a residue, it’s what I use and it’s great. Blue Dawn is more powerful than your standard Dawn, it removes substances, grease, film, dirt, grime, any cleaning or polishing compounds you’ve used on your pieces, etc. So the thing about Ivory, Dial, etc., they cause really bad soap scum buildup, especially the bar soap versions. Like bad. Great soap for the body, not so great for your tumbler. They have a lot of junk in them that’s meant to deposit substances and moisturizers onto your skin. I use Dial bar soap for washing up. When it causes soap scum buildup in my sink, you know what I use to get rid of it? Blue Dawn lol. There are tumbler solutions out there on the market that aren’t so caustic, but honestly Blue Dawn seems to be everyone’s go-to that I’ve personally heard of, and it works really well for me. Not a lot, mind you, you don’t want a bunch of bubbles, they just use a very little amount because, again, Blue Dawn is more powerful.


Oooooh, not at the moment, but my machine has the capability, so, I will look into it! Thank you for this.

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Thank you for the confirmation. I am on my way to get some blue Dawn. I think I’ll run the machine without jewels to get rid of any scum that may be in there (I don’t think it’s bad enough for flat Coke at this point). In school we just used a capful of the industrial soap, so, I’m assuming the amount may be the same. I’ll stick to Dawn. It’s easier (and cheaper) than industrial soap, and I won’t worry about chemicals being absorbed into my skin. When I read about the hazards of industrial soap for tumbling, I thought of allllll of those days I plunged my hands into the school tumbler without a thought. Ugh. THANK YOU. Your advice is fabulous!

all soaps will scum in hard water. Soaps are medium free fatty acids. Soap scum is calcium and magnesium in hard water being chelated by the acid end of the fatty acid. Detergents, like Dawn won’t scum. Detergents are very similar to shampoos. They can be cationic, anionic or neutral…most of the ingredients in Dawn are the same as in shampoos like sodium lauryl sulfate, an anionic detergent. Unless you are using highly softened water devoid of calcium and magnesium or distilled water, you will inevitably get soap scum… avoid using soap. Ajax is cheaper than Dawn and is just as effective.

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You know, I didn’t think to mention that, I do use distilled water in my tumbler just because it seems like a good idea. The tap water where I live and work actually has arsenic in it, and I drank it for seven years and wondered why I was sick as a dog and almost on my deathbed. The doctors I visited endlessly apparently never bothered Googling my symptoms because when I finally figured out all the different symptoms I had were connected and typed them all into Google TOGETHER, the first hit was ‘arsenic poisoning.’ Ugh. Arsenic is also really common in the top soil where I live. Seven years of doctors and specialists, and they never figured it out. Arsenic is really bad to build up in your cells, bones, and really loves to hang out in different parts of the brain. So I’m going to be full of arsenic for the rest of my life, and who knows what cancer that’ll cause later down the road. Anyway, that’s an aside, I keep distilled water around now and use it for everything (including drinking) so it probably does make a big difference in your tumbler, washing up your pieces, stuff like that. I haven’t even tried tap water.