Dirty shot and brassy silver. Yikes!
by Wilhelmina Merci
crystal quartz chains, rutilated quartz nugget black spines and blue topaz
Can I use baking soda to polish my shot? or is flat Coke better? I tumbled some heavily tarnished pieces with some I had just forged and the new ones came out with a yucky heavy "brassy" cast. Also-how do I clean the yellowish silver-do I have to polish each with baking soda or will the yellow come off in the tumbler when the shot and barrels are cleaned?
Stacy's Answer: Hi. Wilhelma. First, I'm sorry for the very late reply...don't know where your question disappeared to. By now, you've probably solved your problem but, if not, here's my answer.
As to your first question, I've never heard of using baking soda for tumbling jewelry...only as an additive to prevent gas build-up in the barrel when tumbling stones/rocks. While I know of people who use flat Coke as a shot cleaner, I've never tried it myself. I use a professional shot cleaning solution purchased from Rio Grande.
The "brassy" cast to your silver could be caused by an agent in the low quality rubber used in some tumbler barrels. However, sometimes when you're tumbling heavily oxided items with bright metal items, the bright metal gets accidentally oxidized. The yellow should come off with no problem after less than an hour in a clean tumbling solution.
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