View Full Version : Cleaning a Rock.. any ideas ?

23-09-2008, 02:38
I have a nice natural rock in my pocket that I picked up somewhere. I can see shades of mauve through the outer crust. The shape is interesting as well. What I am wondering is if there is any way to clean off that outer crust to see the stone beneath.

I do not have a tumbler and it would ruin the interesting shapes of the rock.

Is there an acid or a grinder or something to just take off the outer surface ?
I presume that outer surface is just wear and tear over the years.

23-09-2008, 02:44
You could get a grinding tip for a Dremel and carefully sand away the grime and then buff it out with a buffering tip.

23-09-2008, 07:03
I wondered about that I will check them out tomorrow. Thanks very much so I will need the two tips ? Or maybe they come as a set.
I almost bought a sandblasting thing to etch glass when I was doing stained glass. I think I could use a Dremel Tool. Memries

23-09-2008, 07:19
PM Morticia Monroe....she was telling one of the other members how to clean stones they got from a quarry... she had this whole method... I can't remember what it was all about but it involved a toothbrush and some solution. Sorry I can't remember more but she is your got to gal for Rocks and crystals. :heart:

23-09-2008, 08:23
I was just thinking the same thing. I often use a toothbrush to scrub some of my local stones. It loosens all the dirt and stuff encrusted on it, and let's you see the beauty beneath. A lot depends on the stone, itself, and how hard it is or what is on it. I never used any solution...just lukewarm water. :)

23-09-2008, 10:25
Thanks very much I will PM her tomorrow or check the threads first. I was looking at it again today and I think it is partly a fossil.

So soap and water for starters for sure.

23-09-2008, 11:09
I've got a bag of these stones - they look like fossils. I got a tumbler and bought a few bags of rocks and one that is polishing up looks liek fossils... it is pretty though... we are getting to the end and the polishing steps.... they do get much smaller than originally!

I would polish it for you memries, no worries! I did pull a few of the raw rocks out though and decided to keep them as is because they are beautiful in their natural state. :)

23-09-2008, 13:16
That is kind of you Franniee. I know some are just so lovely as they are you wish you could just brighten them up a bit and look into them more.

It is funny because this darn rock is in my jean jacket pocket and I wear it when I pick up the children so feel in the pocket and there it is.
So I sit in my car and wait and look at the rock while I listen to Rush Limbaugh ! Plus I have my Tim Horton's coffee !!!! LOL

morticia monroe
24-09-2008, 11:49

Sounds like yu've found a lovely rock that you want to clean up, yet keep it au naturel? I know what you mean,,,I LOVE my tumbled stones, but like Franniee, I also keep some in their natural form, and others are lovely half-tumbled, which brings out the underlying layers of color and pattern without taking away their shapes and personal quirks,,,,

I'm only really "Up on" how to clean quartz, but that's never stopped me from cleaning any other dirty little stone I find when I want to see what kind of special beauty it's hiding.

First I do a little test to make sure water won't hurt it (there are a select few that don't take kindly to water). Once I know it's ok, then like Hearth Cricket I use a toothbrush and gently scrub away the surface dirt. Once you start scrubbing, you'll be able to tell how firm of a hand you can use with the brush.... I have also found that automatic dishwasher detergent does a great job on them because it is not harsh, and the sheeting agent in it also tends to polish and shine the stone a little.

So polish that puppy and take a pic! I know I'm not the only one who's waiting to see it. :)

24-09-2008, 14:18
Hello Morticia... I shall try this first and tomorrow ! Since I have a toothbrush and dishwasher soap ! LOL

It is not very large but it has its own little hills and valleys. I think it is fossil set in some mauve and can't tell the back yet as that is smooth and

Yes I will post a picture I am having trouble with my Easy Share site but am going to try to get it going again as I miss it.

Thanks for answering me and I am very happy you got home again after your awful experience and are able to carry on.

28-09-2008, 17:03
Dremel are bit too high speed for most things. You can just get some dremel polishing accessories and chuck them into a regular drill or even a cordless drill.
Tool stores will sell sandpaper cartdridge rolls little 2 and 3 inch sandpaper disks that you put on little plastic holder that chucks into drill. You can also get various things that look kind of like abrasive sponges that will polish. They will also have very fine steel wool. Not like the kind you see at the grocery store.

28-09-2008, 23:39
Thanks Hephasteus... I can see I have lots of things to check out. Got sidetracked but this week will visit the proper stores and check it all out.
I will post a picture eventually.