Polymathematica The Cleaning and Preservation of Metals - Treatment


Think toxic! Not in terms of getting the nastiest chemicals available but in terms of care for your surroundings - yourself, your furnishings, small mammals (children and pets) and the immediate environment. The usual health warning: when used correctly nothing and nobody gets hurt. Lax attention can cause all sorts of grief - hopefully formic acid in a small cut serves to be the worst event to push home this point.

A list of useful nasties and not-so-nasties is given in the Quick and Cheap Chemical Kit in the Resource section. The section here is more concerned with the handling, rather than the listing.

The first rule of chemical cleaning is don't. Quite frankly, mechanical cleaning should always be your first process: it requires that you look at the project under the Binocular Microscope which guides you to a more informed decision. Chemical cleaning is often harsh. You need to get to know when a chemical agent will attack the deposit but leave the underlying metal unharmed. Quite often good removers of corrosion product are good removers of metal. Having said all that, chemical cleaning is an essential part of your armoury.

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Last Update, 1-July-96