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Neutralizing liver of sulphur on silver clay

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  • Neutralizing liver of sulphur on silver clay

    Hi

    I had a customer return a couple of silver clay charms which had "changed colour" some time after she received them. I sent photos of the charms to the lady who trained me, who said it was caused by the liver of sulphur continuing to react, and that soaking them in a solution of baking soda and water would neutralize the liver of sulphur and stop it reacting (not sure why she didn't tell me this on the course as I could have prevented this from happening had I known!) So I soaked them then sanded down the charms to restore them, but later realized that I had used baking powder, not baking soda. I asked the lady who trained me if this mattered and she said it should be fine, but having googled the difference between the two, I'm not so sure. Would be very grateful for any advice!

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    Bicarb is always the best bet for neutralising, but baking powder should contain enough bicarb to do the job, provided you used a fairly strong solution. The cream of tartar/cornflower in baking powder won't have done any harm.

    The problem has happened because of the porosity of the metal clay. The liver of sulphur is absorbed by it and it can continue to oxidise without you realising it. The same can happen with pickle, which can cause skin irritation for some people.
    george
    www.mizgeorge.co.uk
    www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
    www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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    • #3
      Thank-you George, that's good to know! So in terms of the pickle, would that need to be neutralized in the same way?
      Many thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes it would. Anything made from metal clay which has been pickled, oxidised, or undergone any other chemical treatment should always be neutralised with bicarb. Just to be on the safe side!
        george
        www.mizgeorge.co.uk
        www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
        www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mizgeorge View Post
          Yes it would. Anything made from metal clay which has been pickled, oxidised, or undergone any other chemical treatment should always be neutralised with bicarb. Just to be on the safe side!
          Thank-you, that's very helpful. Btw I was only told to pickle things that had been soldered (to remove firescale), hence I had only been pickling cufflinks but not charms. Would you agree with that or are there any other reasons to pickle?

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          • #6
            You should only need to pickle if something's been soldered, or involves sterling fittings. It's also a way to remove oxidisation if you need to.
            george
            www.mizgeorge.co.uk
            www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
            www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

            Comment


            • #7
              Have just had a customer return a charm after a few months which has tarnished presumably because of liver of sulphur that hadn't been neutralized (as I didn't know about the need for it back then!) Am going to sand off the coating and then neutralize the charm to prevent further reaction and just wanted to check about the proportions of baking soda and water, whether the water should be hot or cold, and how long to dip for.
              Many thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm not a measurer I'm afraid. I suppose it's about a tablespoon to a cup of water, I generally use hot, and if I'm really paranoid about a reaction, I'd boil the whole thing fora few minutes.
                george
                www.mizgeorge.co.uk
                www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
                www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

                Comment


                • #9
                  Many thanks

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