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Nicholas Carey
12-15-2003, 08:21 PM
What's the magick here?

My wife was watching a household hints show on PBS this weekend. They were saying that you can polish silver by dissolving roughly equal parts Calgon brand water softener (http://homesolutionsnews.com/rbdocs/us/calgon/) (available in the laundry department of the grocery store) and table salt in hot water.

Lay a flat piece of aluminum foil in the solution and set your tarnished silver in it for a bit.

This is supposed to magickally polish silver.

We tried it and it works (does a pretty good job, too. At least a well as my mother-in-law :D — who find great satisfaction in polishing silver.)

Any idea what the reaction is?

Nicholas Carey
12-15-2003, 08:21 PM
What's the magick here?

My wife was watching a household hints show on PBS this weekend. They were saying that you can polish silver by dissolving roughly equal parts Calgon brand water softener (http://homesolutionsnews.com/rbdocs/us/calgon/) (available in the laundry department of the grocery store) and table salt in hot water.

Lay a flat piece of aluminum foil in the solution and set your tarnished silver in it for a bit.

This is supposed to magickally polish silver.

We tried it and it works (does a pretty good job, too. At least a well as my mother-in-law :D — who find great satisfaction in polishing silver.)

Any idea what the reaction is?

Nicholas Carey
12-15-2003, 08:21 PM
What's the magick here?

My wife was watching a household hints show on PBS this weekend. They were saying that you can polish silver by dissolving roughly equal parts Calgon brand water softener (http://homesolutionsnews.com/rbdocs/us/calgon/) (available in the laundry department of the grocery store) and table salt in hot water.

Lay a flat piece of aluminum foil in the solution and set your tarnished silver in it for a bit.

This is supposed to magickally polish silver.

We tried it and it works (does a pretty good job, too. At least a well as my mother-in-law :D — who find great satisfaction in polishing silver.)

Any idea what the reaction is?

Bruce Hooke
12-16-2003, 09:46 AM
A chemist could give a more detailed explanation, but I think this is basically the same reaction that causes a zinc to corrode rather than whatever more noble metal it is protecting. I believe you are basically setting up a battery where the tarnish transfers itself to the aluminum foil.

Bruce Hooke
12-16-2003, 09:46 AM
A chemist could give a more detailed explanation, but I think this is basically the same reaction that causes a zinc to corrode rather than whatever more noble metal it is protecting. I believe you are basically setting up a battery where the tarnish transfers itself to the aluminum foil.

Bruce Hooke
12-16-2003, 09:46 AM
A chemist could give a more detailed explanation, but I think this is basically the same reaction that causes a zinc to corrode rather than whatever more noble metal it is protecting. I believe you are basically setting up a battery where the tarnish transfers itself to the aluminum foil.

Art Read
12-16-2003, 04:08 PM
Seems to somebody once told me that that "Tarnex" stuff they used to advertise worked in a similar manner. It removed the "tarnish" by removing the surface of the metal itself! I believe the fine print on the label said, "Not intended for use with 'Precious Metals'." Maybe a myth?

(Did you trying weighing your silver afterwards? ;) )

[ 12-16-2003, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

Art Read
12-16-2003, 04:08 PM
Seems to somebody once told me that that "Tarnex" stuff they used to advertise worked in a similar manner. It removed the "tarnish" by removing the surface of the metal itself! I believe the fine print on the label said, "Not intended for use with 'Precious Metals'." Maybe a myth?

(Did you trying weighing your silver afterwards? ;) )

[ 12-16-2003, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

Art Read
12-16-2003, 04:08 PM
Seems to somebody once told me that that "Tarnex" stuff they used to advertise worked in a similar manner. It removed the "tarnish" by removing the surface of the metal itself! I believe the fine print on the label said, "Not intended for use with 'Precious Metals'." Maybe a myth?

(Did you trying weighing your silver afterwards? ;) )

[ 12-16-2003, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

Meerkat
12-16-2003, 04:40 PM
toothpaste will polish silver just fine too - probably by abrasion.

Meerkat
12-16-2003, 04:40 PM
toothpaste will polish silver just fine too - probably by abrasion.

Meerkat
12-16-2003, 04:40 PM
toothpaste will polish silver just fine too - probably by abrasion.

Leon Steyns
12-16-2003, 04:47 PM
From what I remember in chemistry class long ago, it's electrolysis. You know, the potato that fires a little light bulb?
The same process is used in batteries, but also to produce hydrogen. It's an amazing, wonderful world of ours, isn't it? :D :D :D

The same concept was used in a movie (forgot which one) to smuggle gold with a chemical bulk tanker.

Greets, Leon Steyns.

Leon Steyns
12-16-2003, 04:47 PM
From what I remember in chemistry class long ago, it's electrolysis. You know, the potato that fires a little light bulb?
The same process is used in batteries, but also to produce hydrogen. It's an amazing, wonderful world of ours, isn't it? :D :D :D

The same concept was used in a movie (forgot which one) to smuggle gold with a chemical bulk tanker.

Greets, Leon Steyns.

Leon Steyns
12-16-2003, 04:47 PM
From what I remember in chemistry class long ago, it's electrolysis. You know, the potato that fires a little light bulb?
The same process is used in batteries, but also to produce hydrogen. It's an amazing, wonderful world of ours, isn't it? :D :D :D

The same concept was used in a movie (forgot which one) to smuggle gold with a chemical bulk tanker.

Greets, Leon Steyns.

Ian McColgin
12-17-2003, 07:18 AM
Or maybe a McIver rerun.

Not all toothpastes are created equal. The abrasive in Crest is a bit finer than valve grinding compound and will actually restore a nice surface to plexiglass.

By the by, the old formula of Coca Cola was about the only thing that will take a linseed oil stain out of fibreglass. I don't know if the current version will still do that.

Ian McColgin
12-17-2003, 07:18 AM
Or maybe a McIver rerun.

Not all toothpastes are created equal. The abrasive in Crest is a bit finer than valve grinding compound and will actually restore a nice surface to plexiglass.

By the by, the old formula of Coca Cola was about the only thing that will take a linseed oil stain out of fibreglass. I don't know if the current version will still do that.

Ian McColgin
12-17-2003, 07:18 AM
Or maybe a McIver rerun.

Not all toothpastes are created equal. The abrasive in Crest is a bit finer than valve grinding compound and will actually restore a nice surface to plexiglass.

By the by, the old formula of Coca Cola was about the only thing that will take a linseed oil stain out of fibreglass. I don't know if the current version will still do that.

Frank Wentzel
12-18-2003, 09:58 PM
Nicholas

Virtually any electrolyte will serve in place of the Calgon. I generally use baking soda. One or two spoonfuls to a bowl of water. (Don't use and aluminum pan, it will turn black.) Get it good and hot in the microwave then add aluminum foil and the silver to be cleaned. The black silver sulphide (tarnish) is turned back to metallic silver. I don't think the reduced silver is strongly bonded to the base material but no more metal is removed than any other cleaning process. Basicly you have a surface layer of silver sulphide that is the actual tarnish. All cleaning methods will remove this metal but abrasive cleaning techniques will also remove additional metal as well.

/// Frank ///

[ 12-18-2003, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: Frank Wentzel ]

Frank Wentzel
12-18-2003, 09:58 PM
Nicholas

Virtually any electrolyte will serve in place of the Calgon. I generally use baking soda. One or two spoonfuls to a bowl of water. (Don't use and aluminum pan, it will turn black.) Get it good and hot in the microwave then add aluminum foil and the silver to be cleaned. The black silver sulphide (tarnish) is turned back to metallic silver. I don't think the reduced silver is strongly bonded to the base material but no more metal is removed than any other cleaning process. Basicly you have a surface layer of silver sulphide that is the actual tarnish. All cleaning methods will remove this metal but abrasive cleaning techniques will also remove additional metal as well.

/// Frank ///

[ 12-18-2003, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: Frank Wentzel ]

Frank Wentzel
12-18-2003, 09:58 PM
Nicholas

Virtually any electrolyte will serve in place of the Calgon. I generally use baking soda. One or two spoonfuls to a bowl of water. (Don't use and aluminum pan, it will turn black.) Get it good and hot in the microwave then add aluminum foil and the silver to be cleaned. The black silver sulphide (tarnish) is turned back to metallic silver. I don't think the reduced silver is strongly bonded to the base material but no more metal is removed than any other cleaning process. Basicly you have a surface layer of silver sulphide that is the actual tarnish. All cleaning methods will remove this metal but abrasive cleaning techniques will also remove additional metal as well.

/// Frank ///

[ 12-18-2003, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: Frank Wentzel ]