Aluminium not coming out shiny

by Kirstie

Hi I have found that it takes a fair few hours to get my silver shiny and often it has small "dents" that are blackened in it after hours and hours! I find that also my water is black. I have cleaned the water and the barrel and shot to no avail it still happens! How can I stop this , the black dents and the items turning black and what can I do to restore those that have gone like this?


Stacy's Answer:

Hi Kristie!

I'm confused here......are you asking about Sterling silver or aluminum? I dont' work with or use aluminum, so no opinions there. I've never heard of nor seen black dents appearing in the numerous items (copper, silver, gold, brass and bronze) that I've tumbled polished over the years.

A rotary tumbler is great for putting a nice polished finish on some things. However, it is not the best answer for everything. Items should not require, "hours and hours" of tumbling! I also use a flexshaft and/or a buffing machine to polish jewelry. Yes, water does get black when you tumble and this is normal. If your water is thick-ish and very dark, you may be waiting too long before refreshing it. Part of the "black" coloring is from the oxides removed from the metal and part can be caused by the rubber itself. In inferior grades it can leach badly, causing a whole other host of problems.

As to the dents, not sure what you mean there. There are dents and there are dents and there's porosity, etc. To be accurate, I would really need to see the metal to get a better idea of what you're referring to and that's not easy to do via cyberspace. :-) Otherwise, I don't know that it can be fixed. If it's aluminum you're working photo necessary. It seems to pit easily. It's certainly susceptible to pitting and difficult to keep looking great in the shower and around the house!

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