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Searching for information on cleaning various rock and mineral specimens.  Anyone have recommendations for good reference books?  Need to learn  about  the does & don'ts .Been signed up here for a long time as a ( lurker ), Bills name for me. Learned much from  reading daily posts.   TIA

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If you know what mineral specimen you are working with you can do a quick Google search for each one and can find the answers, if you dont and do want a hard copy boon for reference this is an okay one John Sinkankas book Field Collecting for Gemstones and Minerals 

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Thanks for the info guys. I have a few specimens I didn't want to  mess up. It's amazing how many special rocks I find while working ground for Gold. Still looking for that chunk of quartz laced with gold 'tho.

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Really it all depends on the specimen. Most are fine with a stiff nylon brush and water. Others you’ll want a soft brush. Some are so fragile you won’t want a brush at all. Others are water soluble and you won’t want to get them wet. And some (like ulexite) are fine with cold water, but will dissolve in warm water. 

Edited by d_day
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d_day, this is exactly why I wanted to search for reference material, hoping to find some books I could have available as needed. It appears like the Internet will be my best reference on an as needed basis.  I appreciate all on Bills forum who take time to offer help when needed....JRD

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http://www.johnbetts-fineminerals.com/jhbnyc/articles/minclean.htm

It is my understanding Super Iron Out is now that safest and most universal cleaning agent - followed by Oxalic Acid - but this requires a little more effort/materials.

When it comes to doing a quick test on a minerals sensitivity to acid - i suggest finding an obscure spot on a specimen and trying a small drop or dab with a Q-Tip of Vinegar or Lemon Juice. Be very careful with your calcites, fluorites, and other carbonates and evaporates. Most quartz and pegmatite minerals are ok with Super Iron Out. 

Finally - be aware of caliche - it will react to acids - which is good as you want to remove it - but you have to watch closely to ensure the minerals underneath can withstand.

-Dave

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