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Cleaning tourmaline

Mreader

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
2,049
My new tourmaline is beginning to look hazy and when I have cleaned it with mild soap and water it almost seems worse. When I loupe it, it almost seems like there’s water spots on the stone. I am impatient because it’s not completely dry. But starting to get kind of worried. I have Blitz jewelry cleaner. It says not to use with porous or delicate gems and tourmaline isn’t porous (right?) but it’s soft so I haven’t used it but does anybody know if that would be safe? Or any suggestions to get the shine back if I can’t use Blitz?

eta pics - the basket setting makes of tougher to clean. The 2nd pic
image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Efleon

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
424
My new tourmaline is beginning to look hazy and when I have cleaned it with mild soap and water it almost seems worse. When I loupe it, it almost seems like there’s water spots on the stone. I am impatient because it’s not completely dry. But starting to get kind of worried. I have Blitz jewelry cleaner. It says not to use with porous or delicate gems and tourmaline isn’t porous (right?) but it’s soft so I haven’t used it but does anybody know if that would be safe? Or any suggestions to get the shine back if I can’t use Blitz?

eta pics - the basket setting makes of tougher to clean. The 2nd pic
image.jpg
image.jpg

@Mreader I’m not an expert so I hope they chime in but I’m pretty sure tourmaline is somewhere around a 7 on the mohs and not porous so I think you could put it for a few seconds in the ultrasonic with warm water.
I clean my rings almost everyday because I know how much it bugs us.
It should knock the gunk out but let’s check with the experts first.
Btw, it’s gorg!
 

Mreader

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
2,049
@Mreader I’m not an expert so I hope they chime in but I’m pretty sure tourmaline is somewhere around a 7 on the mohs and not porous so I think you could put it for a few seconds in the ultrasonic with warm water.
I clean my rings almost everyday because I know how much it bugs us.
It should knock the gunk out but let’s check with the experts first.
Btw, it’s gorg!

I’m paranoid bc they say don’t do ultrasonic. I was worried I’d already scratched it or something because it looked so darn cloudy. So after doing some research I put a drop of the blitz cleaner with some warm water. I swear when I did just mild dawn and water the soap just stuck to it and left it looking cloudy because the blitz cleaner gave it its mirror finish back! Crisis averted!

BB094C87-8A70-4126-9850-633487211BB2.png
 

2Neezers

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,542
My tourmalines need to be cleaned everytime I wear them or they lose their brightness and sparkle. A mostly closed basket makes it harder to scrub the pavilion too.
I’m glad the blitz cleaner worked for you!
If you want to try something else, this was recommended by a PSer and it seems to be gentle and works very well.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,916
Tourmaline is fine to clean with soap and water. I think the issue is that it’s a very enclosed ring gallery, and pastel stones get hazy from oils and dirt more easily. To get around that, rinse under very hot running water to make sure all the residue is washed away and let air dry. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid, which contains ammonia. I would not use that in porous gems. I also use a soft toothbrush to get in the gallery to try and get the soap under the stone.
 

Efleon

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
424
I’m paranoid bc they say don’t do ultrasonic. I was worried I’d already scratched it or something because it looked so darn cloudy. So after doing some research I put a drop of the blitz cleaner with some warm water. I swear when I did just mild dawn and water the soap just stuck to it and left it looking cloudy because the blitz cleaner gave it its mirror finish back! Crisis averted!

BB094C87-8A70-4126-9850-633487211BB2.png

I hope you didn’t have that scary heart-dropping moment when you think you scratched it.
The worst feeling.
Soooo glad she cleaned up so nicely.
So now we know she simply requires a lot of attention….and she’s worth it!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 19, 2013
Messages
3,698
Tourmaline is fine to clean with soap and water. I think the issue is that it’s a very enclosed ring gallery, and pastel stones get hazy from oils and dirt more easily. To get around that, rinse under very hot running water to make sure all the residue is washed away and let air dry. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid, which contains ammonia. I would not use that in porous gems. I also use a soft toothbrush to get in the gallery to try and get the soap under the stone.
Which dawn are you using that contains ammonia?

glad you got it worked out @Mreader. Gorgeous ring!
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Which dawn are you using that contains ammonia?

glad you got it worked out @Mreader. Gorgeous ring!

I stand corrected, it does not contain ammonia. Many dish liquid soaps do, so I assumed. In any case, that’s what I use, and it does the trick.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
1,741
I’m paranoid bc they say don’t do ultrasonic. I was worried I’d already scratched it or something because it looked so darn cloudy. So after doing some research I put a drop of the blitz cleaner with some warm water. I swear when I did just mild dawn and water the soap just stuck to it and left it looking cloudy because the blitz cleaner gave it its mirror finish back! Crisis averted!

BB094C87-8A70-4126-9850-633487211BB2.png

My spinel does this, it can look hazy on the table.
I just make sure to use a paper towel to shine it up after dawn/toothbrushing until all the soap is gone/good hot rinse. Every once in a blue moon I'll give it a swipe down with a one of those yellow sunshine cloths. It works pretty well.
 

CSpan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,059
Tight galleries are the bane of my existence. I have a war with my pala tourmaline, I can’t ever dry it sufficiently.
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
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1,396
I think thats just because its a pastel. A lot of pastel and lighter coloured stones can show up water marks or a tinny bit of grime much much faster than otherwise
expected.

If youre feeling particularly agrieved I'd try grabbing one of those cans of compressed gas/air that people who are super into tinkering with the insides of their electronics use. Blast it with that and you should be fine.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
4,658
I would not use compressed air as qubitasaurus suggests. The reason is that if there's dust (which contains quartz particles), the compressed air will exert a force that could make the dust grinding against the tourmaline and abrade the table. Warm soap and water make for less friction between the dust and tourmaline, so that's what I would personally use.
 

Mreader

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2018
Messages
2,049
Thanks for the tips! Again soaking in a dash of dishwasher liquid and water seems to make it cloudier but I guess I couldn’t get it rinsed properly. The teeny bit of Blitz and water worked perfectly. I realize I’m touching my hair (which has the Keratin treatment) and I think it gets on my rings bc they (and my phone) feel downright greasy!!! It’s fun to see the before and after though. I wanted to try to do one of those side by side shots but didn’t want to download yet another app to do it so just posting the pics will have to suffice:

3C1E522E-665A-42B5-8A04-C10EF2362B15.jpeg 077A74FF-CE5D-4B47-8238-D4EBD1CCFB86.jpeg
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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What mild soap/dishwasher detergent are you using?
Is it clear or milky/pearly looking?

Final rinse with distilled water maybe?

I understand the compressed air thought, but I think there’s a difference between using from a few inches out or right against the stone/setting.
I’m not experienced with it though? I’d be neurotic about getting it too close that the absolute coldness from the spray is the issue then.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,916
Every time you wash your hands, touch your hair, use lotion, and just do day to day things in life, gems get dirty. Even just touching the table of a gem can make it look dirty.
 

Mreader

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
2,049
What mild soap/dishwasher detergent are you using?
Is it clear or milky/pearly looking?

Final rinse with distilled water maybe?

I understand the compressed air thought, but I think there’s a difference between using from a few inches out or right against the stone/setting.
I’m not experienced with it though? I’d be neurotic about getting it too close that the absolute coldness from the spray is the issue then.

I was using dawn (blue color forget what it’s actually called!).
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
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I would not use compressed air as qubitasaurus suggests. The reason is that if there's dust (which contains quartz particles), the compressed air will exert a force that could make the dust grinding against the tourmaline and abrade the table. Warm soap and water make for less friction between the dust and tourmaline, so that's what I would personally use.

Actually if you want to clean something with a hardness softer than quartz like optical lenses, then you often use air to blow the dust off first to avoid scratching due to rubbing the abrasive particles in with a cloth. If you're lucky enough to be cleaning something with a mohs hardness higher than quartz you can be a bit more oblivious. I think tourmaline in the lucky category =)2(https://www.gemsociety.org/article/hardness-andwearability/#What_Does_Gemstone_Wearability_Mean?).

But truth be told I wouldn't have bothered with the gass personally, I just use a microflece blanket I have, it gets things shinny (everything sticks to that blanket!) and given I don't worry about my rings excessively I figure this isn't really my biggest issue :wall:.

Mreader have you tried an oil cleanser? I use locitane almond shower oil a lot with a toothbrush, it nicely breaks down the sticky oil and sunscreen residue I tend to have all over my rings at the end of every day. I also wonder about leaving it in micellar water for a bit, might help break the film apart (I honestly have no idea though. I just know people clean makeup brushes this way sometimes, so I wonder if it'll work with residue from your hair products.)
 
Last edited:

CSpan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,059
I think thats just because its a pastel. A lot of pastel and lighter coloured stones can show up water marks or a tinny bit of grime much much faster than otherwise
expected.

If youre feeling particularly agrieved I'd try grabbing one of those cans of compressed gas/air that people who are super into tinkering with the insides of their electronics use. Blast it with that and you should be fine.

Good idea. I also have a cold setting on my hairdryer that isn't as frosty. I only have two ring that have closed galleries and they both drive me nuts. The cleaning isn't the issue its the drying every time.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
8,135
I clean my rings (and earrings) with a half a cap of d-limonene and a few drops of Dr bronners Sal Suds. I mix them together and use a toothbrush(itty bitty baby one) to remove any grime on the rings. In a pan I run tepid water and rinse the ring really well. You can use warm or hot water but must really rinse well. https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Orange-D-Limonene-Degreaser-Deodorizer/dp/B07T8N8LZX thats what I currently have but any of the same type will do.

Sal suds. Sometimes Target will have it but mine has been out for nearly a year....
https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bronners-Suds-Biodegradable-Cleaner/dp/B00016QTYO

with d-limonene you do have to be careful if you have cats (don't let them get in this stuff)

After I rinse I swish in a small amount of 91% alcohol which helps to rid of any water spots, then I turn the ring upside down on a microfiber cloth to dry.

I don't do this every day, maybe once a week at most when I'm wearing my rings.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
4,506
I would not use compressed air as qubitasaurus suggests. The reason is that if there's dust (which contains quartz particles), the compressed air will exert a force that could make the dust grinding against the tourmaline and abrade the table. Warm soap and water make for less friction between the dust and tourmaline, so that's what I would personally use.

I don’t think air + dust will abrade stone… else how do camera lenses survive cleaning?
 
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