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Gold Cleaning Methods Needed

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Would like to hear some methods you guys may be using forgetting that bright luster.
some of my rock I have to use h.f.acid to remove rock, sometimes not always the gold
seems to have gotten dulled by this h.f.and its harder to get luster back. I have tried vinegar and salt seems to help some, is there something better maybe? I haven't tried the fabric cleaning tool, l heard that works well some of the specimen pieces are pretty delicate, don't know if gun pressure is to much for these maybe. Any advice is much appreciated thanks. Rick.

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You sure do not want to tumble that specimen gold! But that works good for placer gold as as well as the old salt and vinegar and shake it up trick.

Have you tried oxalic acid? Very cheap and safe. You can buy it by the pound here at Amazon Just add some to water and soak. Warming it speeds it up but it is slow acting so be patient. It works great on any rust staining but will not touch the gold or quartz. It is my go to stuff for rust staining but I do not think in this case it will make your gold any shinier. There must be tricks the specimen guys use after hitting it with hydrofluoric.

You can buy Whink Rust Stain Remover at most stores in the cleaning supply section. If you read the contents it comes in two types. Whink with oxalic acid. Same as the dry stuff I use but much more expensive way to buy it already mixed. Or there is Whink with hydrofluoric acid!! This amazed me after hearing how deadly HF is. One of my links below states "HF is so incredibly dangerous that it should never be used by an amateur, and therefore will not be discussed here further." But you can buy it over the counter in a grocery store! The difference is Whink is only like 1% HF Whink MSDS

I use the Whink HF formula when I want something stronger but it is still HF acid and so deserves respect. See the MSDS link above. It will etch the rock and eventually eat it away. It works the same as stronger HF solutions, it just takes a lot longer. It will actually whiten dark rock but it leaves a artificial frosty looking surface so that I do not like all that much. Still, I find it useful for more stubborn jobs.

I used to use reagent grade nitric acid back in the day but it has just got too hard to get it. I left my last stash behind when I left Alaska.

How To Work With Acids

More Information on How to Work with Acids

I am wondering about steam cleaning. That is what most jewelers do, but you would not want to blast a super delicate specimen too hard. I want one though so will buy this cheap steam cleaner and report back on it.

Lots of good ideas at these links:

Really great article at http://www.mindat.org/article.php/403/Cleaning+Quartz

Another article on cleaning http://www.johnbetts-fineminerals.com/jhbnyc/articles/minclean.htm

Another great article http://www.the-vug.com/vug/articlecleaningccb.html

Another thread on this forum


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Rick and Steve..... I use a steam cleaner that produces "dry steam". It's very hot and powerful, it does clean well, but I seriously doubt it will fix the frosted look HF can leave on some gold. It would also not be good for delicate crystal type gold.

I have had good luck with the salt/vinegar mix, but used in an ultrasonic cleaner vs hand shaking. When I first put my jewelry studio together, I had one of those $99 steamers and was disappointed with its performance...

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"When I first put my jewelry studio together, I had one of those $99 steamers and was disappointed with its performance"

This is one of those times where I get to say, "if I was a pro like you". If I was a pro like you Steve I would get a real steam cleaner. Problem for me is I do not know that I need one at all, but for $99 i will play with one. If it turns out I really need a better one I will. What model do you have?

I do have an ultrasonic. Another cheapie but it works real well at shaking grime out of crevices.

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It is actually the cheapest pro model I could find, called the Steam Dragon by gesswein tools, about $700


Next time you want to clean up a nugget, put it or them in a vial or baby jar. Put enough salt in the jar to cover the nuggets, then fill with white vinegar. Put the cover on the jar and Put that jar in a basket in your ultrasonic cleaner for about an hour. I think you might be surprised.......

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Thanks eldorado. For the information, just need to tell the wife she needs another tool.

she could maybe clean earrings and jewelry right, we will see how this transpires.

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