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Old 11-08-2020, 10:20 AM
somevermontdude somevermontdude is offline
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Default Cleaning Ordinary Relics

Hello!

I'm still relatively new to metal detecting (with relic hunting being the primary goal), and as I start to get some relics in, I am wanting to start cleaning some of them. I've been doing some research - in this forum, youtube, etc. - and am finding that a lot of it is geared toward either coins or "durable" relics, cannonball fragments, etc. I'm not finding a lot on smaller, more fragile relics though that to most people don't seem to have a lot of value, but is my (and my family's) primary interest.

For example, in the attached photo, I have a buckle or some other kind of ring, four probably table knife ends (two are fused together), and a very fragile broken spoon. I just found all these yesterday and haven't done anything with them yet - even a basic clean. I'd like to clean some of the major rust growths and generally see if I can bring them to resemble what they used to look like at least a bit more.

From what I've seen, there seem to be three options. One is vinegar, the 2nd is coca-cola, and the third is electrolysis. I have some experiments going with vinegar and coca-cola on some junk metal. I'm hoping to not have to use electrolysis as I'm not mechanically or electrically inclined. Someone here posted a youtube video on Gempler's rust converter but it appears to turn things black. With all that said, I have the following questions:

1) Any other thoughts on options?
2) For the vinegar recommendation, I haven't seen much about whether you should use apple cider or white vinegar and have seen people use both. Which should you use?
3) For vinegar, what is the recommended length to soak it?
4) Same question for coca-cola

I'm not sure I want to do anything with the spoon with it being so fragile but wanted to get thoughts.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:40 AM
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VA-REB VA-REB is offline
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Evapo-Rust would do a very good job on those iron items.

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  #3  
Old 01-10-2021, 09:03 AM
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EmuDetector EmuDetector is online now
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I mainly use electrolysis for my iron, but a lot of small items like those buckles will be rusted through and will break apart once you do anything to them. If I'm not using electrolysis, just water and different tools like soft brushes, hard brushes, wire brushes, picks, etc. If I'm cleaning just dirt I'll often let things dry then pick at them. It's really item dependant and what it needs.
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:29 PM
rx8driver rx8driver is offline
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Sound info again Thanks
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:44 PM
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If you really don't want to get into electrolysis yourself, but want something done, let me know. I've helped other members with their stuff. Just cover shipping to and from me and I'll get it done.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by EmuDetector View post
If you really don't want to get into electrolysis yourself, but want something done, let me know. I've helped other members with their stuff. Just cover shipping to and from me and I'll get it done.
You're the best!

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Old 01-11-2021, 03:09 PM
Country Dirt Kid Country Dirt Kid is offline
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How about a soak in simple green, then blast with a dental irrigator and then scrub with an old tooth brush and maybe some baking soda mixed with water. Just enough to make an abrasive paste. If you keep detecting you might find some better stuff that is easier to clean. The stuff you posted is never going to display well. It would be nice to find a nice solid axe head or something substantial. Good luck

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