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tline3open  Those little black specs...

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Author Topic:   Those little black specs...

Posts: 224
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 08-28-2018 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any way to get rid of those little black specs on silver ? No amount of rubbing with silver cream and soft sponge applicator will get them out. I've been told that professional buffing may remove them but that's more than I want to get into with some items.

Anyone have a "home remedy" or method for removing those pesky, annoying, stubborn, value-dropping little black specs... ?

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Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 08-28-2018 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If they disappear at certain angles, they aren’t black, but pits. I’ve encountered this. Buffing is the only way to remove them and I DON’T recommend that.

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Posts: 2022
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-29-2018 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would look at the spot with a loop to see what is going on and usually it is some type of pitting.
I have used Wendol on spots like that successfully. Wendol of course buffs away more silver than something like Wright's Silver Cream and I would not want to use on the whole piece.
I just used a cotton swab with a little Wendol and rubbed it directly on the spot. They do go away. The result is that instead of a black spot you now have a spot the is shinier than the surrounding area. You can choose what you like better.

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Posts: 224
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 08-29-2018 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the replies. I'll try some Wendol to see how that works.

Someone recommended "Pickle" to clean the spoons off well and then see what remains. Have some spots that are definitely pitting, but others that are on the cusp which might be able to get blended back from blackish/dark gray to silver. Made the mistake early on of buying some spoons with marks thinking that they would clean off - but they don't using silver cream.

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Posts: 824
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 09-03-2018 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just had a thought, brought about by conversation about the use of thiourea (silver dip). I am not mentioning names because the subject is so "fraught"! But the long and the short is that for cleaning gilding it does have a usefulness and research is being done on the actual harm to silver in terms of loss. The thing I learned is that if it is used to rinse very well (multiple times).
For the little black spots it struck me that one could apply a drop of dip to just the spot, rinse and then perhaps rub with a wood match stick and polish to bring up a shine.
It might be worth trying.

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Posts: 224
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 09-03-2018 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmm... interesting idea. I may try that on a melt item to see how it works. Using a matchstick is the type of thing I was hoping to learn about and I've been trying to think of slightly more abrasive tools progressively above a foam pad to see what works as far as working out a pesky black spec. The matchstick is small and allows you to focus on a small area. Thank you very much.

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Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 09-07-2018 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob, I have tried that method--using dip JUST on the little spots--and although it seems to remove them when you do it, they eventually come back as sort of dull gray spots.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-07-2018 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's because the dip doesn't remove the sulfur it just transforms it. After the Q-tip/dip use a q-tip and rouge based polish to remove the transformed sulfur.

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Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 09-07-2018 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silver dip needs to be treated with great care if you decide you must use it. On a practical level you do not want any of it to get near any of the nooks and crannies of your silverware since it will remove the tarnish there which is removing decades or centuries worth of patina and make it look like it was made yesterday. For most people that is not desirable. On another level you should understand that the active ingredient, thiourea has been determined by the State of California to be a cancer causing chemical. That it not to say if a drop touches your skin that tomorrow you will wake up with skin cancer on that spot, but rather it carries a risk that in some people they may develop cancer from thiourea getting on their skin or splashed in their eyes or being inhaled. It is nasty stuff and most people would rather try other methods of cleaning a polishing silver or just leaving a few specs of pitting as part of the silver's patina and proof of its age.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 09-24-2018 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
sometimes i can remove the little black spots with simichrome and elbow grease.

for more stubborn ones, i use extremely fine grit sandpaper. it dulls the overall surface more than giving it a sanded appearance. then i take one of my months- or years-old silver cloths and hand-polish it until i am satisfied with the result. however don't try this for the first time on a good piece! practice on junky or common pieces first until you are comfortable with the process.

i purchase silver polishing cloths to maintain the luster on my pieces and sometimes to utilize with simichrome. over time, the repeated polishing turns the cloths black with tarnish, polish, and probable microscopic traces of silver. once the cloths have reached this stage, they do the best job of polishing vintage/antique pieces and leaving just the perfect finish that is lustrous without being too shiny or buffed looking. the cloths also have enough juice to bring the aforementioned finely sanded items to the perfect luster. i don't throw them away until they start getting holes in them.

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