Tumbling silver

I have a new tumbler. I have tumbled some silver pieces using shot, barreling compound and water. The water has turned brown and my silver is tarnished. Why?

Stacy's Answer:

There are numerous causes for brown water and tarnished metal. Yours is a frequently asked question here. Some culprits causing this could be: contaminates leaching from the rubber barrel, or not enough dish soap added, too long in the tumbler, the "barreling compound" - not sure what that is but it could also be the problem. If you're using steel shot vs. stainless steel shot, rust from the steel shot will turn the water brown and also affect the silver.

The successful tumbling mix I use is:

1. A quality tumbler with high-quality rubber barrel
2. Stainless steel shot (NO steel shot!!!!)
3. Water to cover items in tumbler
4. A "squirt" of dish-soap of choice (Dawn and Ajax - any kind) have all worked great! Doesn't seem to matter as long as there is no bleach or fine pumice (scrubbing granules) in the dish-soap)

Also, refresh the solution after a couple of hours by rinsing everything and loading again when tumbling heavily oxidized items. Otherwise the gunk can get redeposited onto your jewelry.

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