Cleaning guide

Please post all your topics related to cleaning your metal detector finds here.
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gixer08
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Cleaning guide

Post by gixer08 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:12 pm

Is there a definitive cleaning guide on this section that I'm unaware of or can't find ? Would one be helpful to members ? Proven and disproven theories on what actually works and what doesn't as I've found some theories on cleaning don't work .You could have the best cleaning processes for each item i.e. Copper coins or artefacts ,silver coins or artefacts and if your lucky enough to find any Gold 😂 . Personally I think it would be a good reference point instead of searching through various threads relating to what your looking for .
Regards Gixer



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sweepstick47
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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by sweepstick47 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:09 pm

Hello 'gixer08', To include a 'definitive' guide to anything is almost certainly going to be a contentious work, as the subject matter is very much a specialised one. The general recommendations provided by academics and knowledgeable conservators,is usually leave well alone. Perhaps the reason for this is largely due to the following:-


1. Invariably some of the required cleaning processes include the use of extremely dangerous materials/chemicals.

2. If an inappropriate method is used to clean an item, there is the distinct possibility that it will be irrevocably damaged as a result. One may consider the possibility that subsequently, the item is identified as a 'piece which is considered to be of archaeological/historical significance or even (let's not go there) - national importance!

Even with the few examples mooted above, I think it's clear to see that the subject, although well intended, would possibly be fraught with other complexities.

Many thanks for sharing the subject. It will be interesting to see what others have to say. ::g
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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by Steve_T » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:23 pm

My advice is to leave well alone unless you know 100% what you are doing is right, guidance from an FLO is possibly best. But even experts can get it wrong, there are a few guides where people have been very successful in methods of preservation, it may not work for various reasons for others.

He or she who dares wins............or looses, its a tough choice easily got wrong

A good starting point here https://finds.org.uk/conservation/index

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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by Koala » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:47 pm

101 answers. Everyone will have there own opinion.

There's also a difference between conservation and restoration.

The FLO prefer as dug condition

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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by thefiggis » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:23 pm

A good idea in principle but in practice there are so many variables which come into play that all a guide could usefully do would be to list the methods commonly used.

Cleaning finds is probably a topic best left open to discussion; there are plenty of threads here describing members' results using various methods and these are far more enlightening than a guide could be.
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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by Koala » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:30 pm

There is one done on a different forum.

But there a danger with most methods

http://www.metaldetectingworld.com/clea ... coin.shtml

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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by Roberts » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:50 pm

For market coins and numismatics: taking the patina off a coin will reduce its numismatic value by 90%.
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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by Easylife » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:32 am

Hi Gixer, If only it was as easy as that, but it is actually more on a case by case basis due to metal composition and level of deterioration. Very different methods depending if you intend to mainly preserve, clean or even just want to get maximum detail out of curiosity before consigning to the scrap bin.
Cleaning depends on the condition of the item as detail can be removed by even the most mild cleaning method depending upon metal condition. Any acid no matter how mild will irreversibly etch the surface of the metal unless gold. I think a lot of us here have previously experimented with most of the many cleaning methods on certain finds and now if anything just give them a soak in water to remove the soil and have generally found that less is better. The thing is not to be too hasty to clean any find until you know it's significance. On insignificant copper finds like coins I sometimes give them a short ultrasonic zap (5 secs) to free the ingrained dirt to reveal better detail, but sometimes longer (10 secs) can be too much and remove some detail if in poor condition, brittle pewter is the same.
Minimal cleaning is best, I think most have learnt this by ruining the look of some finds by overcleaning. Waxing finds prevents oxidization and can bring out more detail but you should leave them in a natural condition if significant or being recorded by your FLO as it will alter the patina. As said there are multiple experimental cleaning concoctions and methods out there, but with hands on experience you should evaluate your particular finds on a case by case basis as to what cleaning method if any would be beneficial to them so a definitive guide is not really possible, but a comprehensive understanding of chemistry may help to achieve any desired chemical effect.
A better bet might be to just post a picture of a particular item with what outcome you wish to achieve, I can guarantee you will not be short of opinions though most will say to leave as is. :D
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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by gixer08 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:00 am

sweepstick47 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:09 pm
Hello 'gixer08', To include a 'definitive' guide to anything is almost certainly going to be a contentious work, as the subject matter is very much a specialised one. The general recommendations provided by academics and knowledgeable conservators,is usually leave well alone. Perhaps the reason for this is largely due to the following:-


1. Invariably some of the required cleaning processes include the use of extremely dangerous materials/chemicals.

2. If an inappropriate method is used to clean an item, there is the distinct possibility that it will be irrevocably damaged as a result. One may consider the possibility that subsequently, the item is identified as a 'piece which is considered to be of archaeological/historical significance or even (let's not go there) - national importance!

Even with the few examples mooted above, I think it's clear to see that the subject, although well intended, would possibly be fraught with other complexities.

Many thanks for sharing the subject. It will be interesting to see what others have to say. ::g
Regards ss47
Thank you ss47 for the reply , I hope you don't mind me saying and I'm certainly not having a go at what is a very well run and informative forum but what is the point in having a cleaning section without advice on cleaning that actually works . What my post was aimed at was the possibility of a sticky guide to cleaning for anyone new to metal detecting so instead of posting up i.e. How to clean a copper coin and getting various answers , some of which will work to a degree and some that will totally destroy a coin . My idea was to use the forum members wealth of knowledge so you could avoid destroying anything. It wasn't my intention to open a can of worms with a " should an item be cleaned or not " type of post so if it a contentious subject please feel free to delete it .
Regards Gixer

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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by gixer08 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:36 am

Koala wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:30 pm
There is one done on a different forum.

But there a danger with most methods

http://www.metaldetectingworld.com/clea ... coin.shtml
Many thanks for the link Koala and exactly what I was looking for 👍
Regards Gixer

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Re: Cleaning guide

Post by cammann » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:13 am

Koala wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:30 pm
There is one done on a different forum.

But there a danger with most methods

http://www.metaldetectingworld.com/clea ... coin.shtml
Many thanks Koala.
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