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Cleaning Shells

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by Gabriel, Aug 23, 2006.

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  1. Gabriel

    Gabriel Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Hi. Does anyone know how I could go abaout cleaning the 1-2" abalone shells in the picture. I have them next to a bigger abalone that I cleaned and you can see the difference.
    The bigger one I use steel wool, but the little ones are a problem, as it is almost impossible to get the steel wool in them, they are so little, and I have hundreds I need to clean for projects.
    Maybe there is something I can put them in to clean them?
    It is a white powdery film like calcium....but I don't really know what it is. Any help would be appreciated. thanks.:)
     

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  3. Diamond Geez

    Diamond Geez

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    Dont know for sure, but if it is calcium of some sort, what about using vinegar/lemon juice or something acidic like that?
    Just a suggestion, may work or not.
     
  4. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench

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    Wouldn't using something acidic damage the shells?

    I'd suggest a soft wire brush of some kind.
     
  5. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    Soak them in CLR for 5 or 10 minutes. Then use a soft toothbrush you have laying around. ( we always save our old ones for odd cleaning jobs ) Repeat if necessary.:D
    ( CLR is amazing stuff and I always have a bottle of it stashed away )
    PS: Wear rubber gloves.:eek:
     
  6. Diamond Geez

    Diamond Geez

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    JEB thats what I was worried about and only suggested mildly acidic natural products.(y)
     
  7. Gabriel

    Gabriel Account Closed Thread Starter

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    OMG...The lemon juice totally cleaned the little shell in one minute:eek:
    You have no idea how easy this is going to make my worklife for the next few weeks:D
    Thanks so much Diamond.....

    Jeb...I am going to use a tiny soft brush with the lemon juice to get the little grooves....the brush is a gret idea too:)
     
  8. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench

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    You might want to try Wimpy's idea too if it really is a calcium buildup. CLR is like the cleaning equivalent to WD-40. Works on almost anything. (y)
     
  9. Diamond Geez

    Diamond Geez

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  10. Gabriel

    Gabriel Account Closed Thread Starter

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    OK Thanks...I will get the CLR too.....

    JEB...did you get my PM?
     
  11. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench

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    Yep.

    And the CLR will come in so handy you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. ;)
     
  12. Diamond Geez

    Diamond Geez

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    BTW Gabriel, are you aware that the dust from abalone shells can lodge in the lungs and cause a sort of asbestosis :eek:

    You take care.(y)
     
  13. Gabriel

    Gabriel Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Thanks Diamond...yes, the dust is very bad for your lungs. When I drill abalone, I put kerchiefs, and dust mask on...and do it outside.....oh, and goggles:eek: ...then I shower afterwards, and the clothing I wear goes in the laundry.
     
  14. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench

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    Mind if I ask what you use the shells for?
     
  15. Gabriel

    Gabriel Account Closed Thread Starter

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    These shells will be used to decorate leather pouch fronts, as dangles on fringe for some of the wall hangings I make, and on leather clothing...particularly doll dresses.....:) or small womans tops
     
  16. Gabriel

    Gabriel Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Also the larger shells...the 3" and up ones for people that burn sage. It is like a little smudge bowl.:)
     
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