View Full Version : New member - basic questions...

08-04-2008, 11:12 AM
Just introduced myself on Jewellery forum, but I have a couple of questions that I thought 'Beaders' might be able to help with.

What is the chalky stuff in the holes of some beads & do I need to clean it out - I was making a necklace last night & the white stuff was getting on the leather thong...?

Also, so far I have only bought beads online which is fine but there is nothing like being able to browse a shop. Does anyone know of any bead shops near me - I live in Plymouth ...?

Many thanks,

Bowed Over
08-04-2008, 11:22 AM
Sorry can't help on the beading front but someone will be along soon who can.

Welcome to the forum.




08-04-2008, 11:43 AM
Hey welcome to the forum :D

If you are using glass or ceramic or sometimes the pearlised glass beads they do tend to give off a residue from drilling the holes. You could wipe the beads or the cord over with a slightly damp cloth before threading but I would test the cord first incase it leaves a mark.

You will probably find that handling the cord alone should be enough to remove it.

Hope that helps :)

08-04-2008, 11:50 AM
It is the cement that holds the glass bead to the rod whilst it is being made. you can get a tiny bottle style brush for teeh which helps or thread on to coarse string a few at a time and run that through.

08-04-2008, 01:46 PM
but beware if you have bought cheap beads, remove the dust and they break! this has happened to me several times with the low price mass produced glass beads.

08-04-2008, 06:14 PM
Hi Isis

Yes as Goldy said it's the bead release that is put onto the mandrel to stop the hot glass sticking to it. You could try putting the beads in a little luke warm water (not hot or stone cold as if the beads haven't been annealed they could break) and use a pipe cleaner to remove most of the residue.

09-04-2008, 11:00 AM
Hi Isis,

Welcome to the forum!

As others have said, the white powder in the bead holes is annealing powder, to stop the molten glass sticking to the rod when making lampwork beads.

I can't remember where I read this, but if you are going to clean it out, ALWAYS do it in water, as the powder can be harmful if it is inhaled. I have had a couple of cheap beads shatter on me when I've cleaned them, my solution was just to buy better beads, but if you're careful, most beads will be fine with gentle cleaning.


10-04-2008, 10:38 AM
Yes I agree, the chalky stuff, is 'bead release' used in their making

Better quality lampwork beads are pre-washed, and kiln annealed (slowly cooled down in the kiln) which makes then very hard and practically shatter proof.

I always check before buying in Lampwork beads how they are made, and only sell 'kiln annealed' ones.

The little brushes you get from the dentist for cleaning between your teeth, are good for cleaning out the holes on lampwork beads.