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What is the best way to clean a chondrite?

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I would appreciate any feedback on how to properly clean a chondrite, particularly a Franconia chondrite :confused0013: . Thanks for any input.



There are many answers to your question. The answers will relate as to what you intend to do with the meteorites that you find. If you intend to have them classified, then it is wise to leave them as found, because any chemicals that you introduce to the specimen may hinder with the analysis. If you intend to sell them, I would only wash them off with distilled water and a stiff brush. Some dealers and collectors do not want any enhancers applied to the specimens that they buy. Franconias look really nice after they are soaked and scrubbed free of the alkali (caliche). WD40 or gun oil makes them really look wonderful, but on the other hand it is a no-no in the true collectors eyes as well as those doing research. Franconia Irons should not be subjected to any harsh cleaning agents. I use nothing more than ordinary dish soap and water, let them soak in a sealed container for several days and shake the container often, add a little sand and it will help remove the caliche by abrasion and will not damage the delicate gun metal blue ones.

Many articles are available on cleaning meteorites, when harsh chemicals are mentioned and coatings are talked about, it is mostly related to the big irons such as Canyon Diablos and the like.....

Links like the following will also give you some ideas, but be sure to understand that what you read about one class of meteorites is not a template for all classes.


I am still learning and the above is just my opinion based upon my experience. Good luck.....


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I prefer distilled water and a disposable electric toothbrush myself. :innocent0009:

Just works wonders on them little gun metal blue irons.


Stan aka Kaimi

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Thanks Jim & Stan :icon1: . I enjoyed the link, it has pointed out many things I am doing wrong with my current meteorites. In the case of my Franconia's I don't plan to classify them and will probably just keep them in my collection to possibly sell at a later date. I think I'll go with distilled water and a toothbrush (maybe electric). I mainly just want to remove the unsightly dirt and sand so I can get a nice up-close look at them. I didn't know if I should use water because I thought it may encourage rusting. (Maybe I should heat them up in the oven when I am done cleaning them...??!!).

I appreciate your responses. Thanks again.


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