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Kaigun Shosa

cleaning bullion embroidery, I cracked the mystery!

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Maybe rinsing the piece with water that has diluted baking soda in it would nullify any remaining acid?

Then rinse with clear water last step?

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I thought I might as well just clean the entire wing.

Here are the before and after shots.

I rinsed them in water and then water with dissolved baking soda and then clear water to rinse last.

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To All,

 

I just wanted to reiterate the purpose of this post is to pass along some good information to fellow collectors on an alternative way of cleaning bullion. Also note, this was meant for those that want to restore the luster of bullion. For those that want to preserve the patina and tone of your bullion collection, just ignore this thread. Again, it's simply here as an alternative way of cleaning bullion.

 

The best thing about the forum is the participation and encouragement of members to provide information and to encourage alternate views of discussion, however, I do take umbrage to those that want to inject false narratives, speculation and conjecture within a discussion merely to throw negativity to a helpful solution.

 

To clear up some facts. I stated the use of "Cream of Tartar" not the use of pure Tartaric Acid. There is a difference. Tartaric acid had a concentrated pH of around 3.5, HOWEVER, "Cream of tartar" has a concentration of around 5 pH. This is the fact that "Cream of Tartar" also has potassium hydroxide or what is commonly called bicarbonate which reduced the acidity of the compound. When combined with water to form a paste, the acidity is significantly reduced.

 

Also, in one of the last steps I mentioned cleaning using running water and a "soft" bristle brush, this is to reduce any residual that may be on the bullion. Any buildup of tartaric acid from the "Cream of Tartar" will be extremely miniscule. We are talking on the microscale here.

 

The damage to your bullion and cloth will be about the same as the natural environmental factors such as air, storage conditions, the surrounding environment and handling it with your fingers.

 

Bottom line.....this posting was only intended for those looking for an alternative means to cleaning bullion if they choose to do so.

 

 

 


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Bottom line.....this posting was only intended for those looking for an alternative means to cleaning bullion if they choose to do so.

 

 

We've had some long chemistry lessons posted in regards to this and my brain hurts from trying to keep up with them. I think there's universal agreement so far that this method does clean bullion - as noted in one chemistry lesson post:

 

"The original poster posited that Cream of Tartar was a safe, natural, effective way to clean bullion. I don't dispute the effectiveness as the photos themselves demonstrate fairly dramatic results."

 

That was followed with:

 

"Can anyone here assure us of the long term results?"

 

If anyone saw the image I posted of care instructions for US Navy bullion, GEMSCO - the maker - straight out us tells us:

 

"All gold bullion and gold braids WILL EVENTUALLY TARNISH."

 

So it stands to reason that cleaned bullion will get tarnished again, whether it was cleaned or not.

 

Most of the tarnished bullion I see is on Naval officer uniforms and it looks bad. Now, mind you, certain uncommon things such as bullion wings and patches maybe should be left as is, but more mundane shoulder boards , for example, might benefit from a cleaning without much risk.

 

It would be interesting to do some testing to see if there any noticeable long-range impacts. I don't have anything bullion these days, otherwise I'd try a test.



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"It would be interesting to do some testing to see if there any noticeable long-range impacts. I don't have anything bullion these days, otherwise I'd try a test. "

 

Hi Bob. Thats what Im doing with the bullion wing in post #52 and #53.

 

Its on a shelf in plastic and Il post it next year to see if there is any effect.

 

Some may think its terrible that I cleaned it but personally Im happy with how it turned out.

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