How to Clean Silver Bands

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dino

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Jul 9, 2011
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Dino, does your Flitz polish require less effort than the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads or using fine steel wool when cleaning up old estate pipes? Currently I soak the stems overnight in Oxiclean, then use the Mr. Clean pads to scrub the stems. The scrubbing can be pretty time-consuming. Thanks!
mau1, as I've said on another thread, for cleaning of stems with oxidation, I do all the cleaning by hand. First, scrubbing with a piece of Magic Eraser, then polishing with Flitz, and finishing with Obsidian oil. The amount of time and elbow grease depends on how tough the oxidation is. (Upshall stems are a bitch to clean and keep clean.)
I have been very pleased with the results, and, some of the guys in my pipe club have commented on the success of "before" and "after" projects I've shared.
 
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mortonbriar

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Oct 25, 2013
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Jewellers cloth.

I am a jeweller too (down in New Zealand). Four years ago I took a break for my wrists and eyes sake, and have been building houses. I am thinking about getting my studio set up again for the sake of my knees, elbows, back and feet!

Isaac.
 

madox07

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Dec 12, 2016
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What exactly do you guys call a jewelers cloth? I don't think I can buy it around here under that name. Can you describe it? Some other methods that do not involve a jewelers cloth have been mentioned though ...
 

sablebrush52

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What exactly do you guys call a jewelers cloth? I don't think I can buy it around here under that name. Can you describe it? Some other methods that do not involve a jewelers cloth have been mentioned though ...
It's a very soft cloth with a bit of jewelers rouge embedded in it. Costs about $6 on Amazon. They are usually two toned, beige and dark red in color. They work perfectly for keeping polished metals polished and getting rid of light oxidation.

For really heavy oxidation, like years and years built up, then I used other methods, like simichrome. And, of course, there's cyanide, which I used to bring to a boil in a copper crucible, when I really needed to clear out the soldering flux or other grime, or keep in a jarred solution for normal cleaning. But that's probably going a bit overboard for most of you.
 
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cosmicfolklore

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What exactly do you guys call a jewelers cloth?
Amazon.com: Element Jewelry Sunshine Polishing Cloth- 5" x 8" Double-Sided: Garden & Outdoor - https://www.amazon.com/Element-Jewelry-Sunshine-Polishing-Double-Sided/dp/B00U2JDWXQ/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=jewelers+cloth&qid=1568736143&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-8-catcorr

The white inside of the cloth has a fiber made out of micro abrasive, which removes the tarnish quickly, and without overdoing it and removing too much of the metal. The darker outer fabric has a microcrystaline wax that helps to slow down oxidation.
 

cosmicfolklore

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I use one to wipe down my stems every evening after cleaning them, and it will remove the oxidation on stems also, but with a bit more elbow grease.
 

instymp

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Jul 30, 2012
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I use silver polish. Wipe it off & then with a damp paper towel.
I have a jewelers cloth but forget I have it.
Only time I do that is when I want to see shiny, not that often.
 

madox07

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Dec 12, 2016
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Well fellas ... I did try to use a cloth similar in texture to what you have described as a jeweler's cloth with tooth paste. As I rubbed ... to my surprize it finally came off. I used one of my classic methods: boiled water in a bowl lined with aluminum foil and baking soda. The results never fail to amaze, as can be seen in the pics below. However ... the silver ring is so thin that I got it bent a bit with my finger :( Would any jeweler guys around here be so king to teach me how to make it perfectly round again? That's the whole reason why I never meant to take it off in the first place, but now that the rabbit is out of the hat ... I might as well learn how to do this as well.

25312532
 
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frozenchurchwarden

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Mar 1, 2014
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I feel like I wish the silver would just pop off of all my silver banded pipes, so much easier to deal with than treating it on the pipe.
At that point I’d probably just do a yearly electrochemical treatment and never worry about nasty fingerprints and such.
 
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smudgersmissingleg

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Jun 9, 2018
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I've been using a Goddard's Silver cloth that's supposed to prevent tarnish but I have to use it weekly as the tarnish comes back within days.
I might give one of these jeweler's cloths the guys have recommended a try.

Chris.
 

cosmicfolklore

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Sterling has a tad bit of copper in it that is very reactive, meaning that it reacts to chemicals in the air. Sulfides cause the most reaction, and sulfides are a class of byproduct of tobacco combustion. (internal combustion engines also give off sulfides).

On jewelry, the oils from wearing them next to our skin slows down most tarnish, so the more you wear it, the less it will tarnish. But, on a pipe, it's just going to tarnish, regardless. a microcrystalline wax, like Renaissance Wax, is great for temporarily preventing tarnish... until it wears off with wear. But, as soon as the wax wears, the tarnish will come.

I have been replacing sterling bands for guys at The Briary for a few years, with bands that have a texture to them. Texture makes the tarnish interesting as it wears off of raised parts and stays in the recesses, giving an antique look with interest. But, other than using gold... there's not much you can do that will permanently prevent tarnish.

But, to fanatically keep a band polished on a very thin band, will wear it away quicker than you'd think. Better to try wax, or just polish the bands when they have tarnished to an icky point. IMO.
 

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