I don’t have a professional steam cleaner for jewelry. I normally just clean the stubborn polishing compounds off with ammonia.
But I have a piece I’m finishing up that has a yellow sapphire (heat treated) and has a lot of clarity so I thought I better ask if those can get cloudy or react to ammonia?
I also have 99% IPA but my memory is that nothing chemically removes polishing compound as easily as ammonia. Do you have any suggestions please? Thank you.
I use ammonia all the time, probably about a 10-15% solution (maybe more - I am a ‘bucket’ chemist ) with some dish washing liquid added in hot water and never had a problem with any gemstone, including sapphires. Having said that I am careful with pearls, opals, other porous stones and oiled filled emeralds.
agree with vandammieke… dishwashing soap and ammonia works great on dishes, glass and gemstones. organic stones like pearls, amber have to be treated with care and I would not use strong alkaline or especially acid cleaners on them… oil fracture filled emeralds have to be treated with care as oil and grease cleaners will remove some of the oil filling. opals are also quite delicate.
corundum stones, quartz, garnets and all other hard stones can be cleaned well otherwise.