Elastic band marks

Questions on polishing, restoration, conservation + manufacturing techniques
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:58 am

Elastic band marks

Postby jmaps23 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:53 am

Hi everyone,
i was wondering if any one has a method of removing elastic band marks , I've purchased some rather nice Scottish spoons online and sadly arrived grouped with an elastic band, this has left some rather unsightly marks on the handles. Managed to remove the heavy tarnishing but the outlines of the bands remain and have dulled the area . if any one knows a method of removing them i would b very great full .

Thanks James

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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:47 am

Re: Elastic band marks

Postby AG2012 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:48 am

Rubber bands contain sulfur. Sulfur and silver exposed to air react to make tarnish deeper than usual, normal tarnish. I suppose the spoons are sterling, meaning less copper in the alloy, therefore easier and safer cleaning of tarnish.
Try this first:
Wrap spoons in aluminum foil, not too tight but use a lot of foil for larger surface area. Every spoon should have contact with the foil.
Dissolve sodium carbonate, easily available and cheap, in hot water and leave it for a couple of hours. Unwrap, rinse, polish and repeat the process. Marks will eventually disappear; tarnish could not have penetrated too deep.

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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Elastic band marks

Postby Bahner » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:01 pm

Hello, to use aluminium foil can work quite well if the tarnish is just superficial and there are no fatty residues from former use. If there is actual corrosion, not just tarnish, it might work not that well. Plus, something which is generally overlooked: the method is detrimental to the environment as part of the aluminium is dissolved and gets into the drinking water. It is very difficult and costly to get it out of the drinking water again. And Aluminium in drinking water is considered a health risk. In Germany silversmiths use something else. But this is for pro's only: concentrated ammonia. It dissolves corrosion well, all that is left to be done is polish the pieces - if wanted - to remove the dull specks corrosion inevitably causes. Ammonia can be detrimental to a person, don't breathe it in, dont let it touch your skin or eyes. It is not detrimental to the environment, there are bacteria all around us who can detox it easily. Again - be really careful, don't use it if you are not 100 % sure what you are doing ! Regards, Bahner

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