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Subject: Removing old polish residue

Removing old polish residue

From: Geoffrey I. Brown <geoffrey.i.brown>
Date: Thursday, April 7, 1994
In response to Jessie Johnson's query about polish residue, I would like
to recommend one of my old standbys.  Washing the item in a solution of
Labtone detergent (prop. brand of VWR Scientific) and using a soft
plastic bristle brush to reach into the fine crevices will usually
remove all the dried polish.  Sometimes a second wash is necessary.
Labtone contains corrosion inhibitors so the metal is usually safe in
the bath, but be sure to rinse thoroughly with deionized H2O and dry
immediately with lint-free non-abrasive materials (remember the note on
Webril Wipes?).  Be ultra careful on mixed-media objects as some of the
materials may not be safe in H2O (such as wood handles, horn, etc.).
Also beware of silver domestic objects that have plaster-filled bases.
Some of these are sealed  with soldered closures and some are not sealed
at all.  In the latter case, saturating the plaster could have
disastrous effects in terms of internal corrosion,
softening/dissolution of the plaster or other problems.  These problem
pieces can usually be washed and rinsed locally without immersion.  Good

Geoffrey Brown
Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:71
                   Distributed: Friday, April 8, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-71-001
Received on Thursday, 7 April, 1994

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