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The time now is Aug 21, 2019 02:23

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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Cleaning Nifontovite
  
  Index -> Conserving, Preparing and Cleaning Minerals
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Linus




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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2019 14:37    Post subject: Cleaning Nifontovite  

Hello all!
I have a very large, handsome Nifontovite cluster from Charcas. Some of the individual crystals are quite large and prominent. I believe the entire cluster is Nifontovite including the matrix. There is a greenish - greyish dusting on the crystals that I would like to remove but of course I dont want to diminish the luster. As nifontovite is soft (3.5) I hesitate to attack it physically. Any thoughts?



20190617_122811[1].jpg
 Mineral: Nifontovite
 Locality:
Charcas, Municipio Charcas, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
 Dimensions: 17.5 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  1269 Time(s)

20190617_122811[1].jpg


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kushmeja




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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2019 14:53    Post subject: Re: cleaning Nifontovite  

I would try using a high-pressure water gun, but on a lower pressure. I've used water guns on calcite specimens many times without any issues, and calcite is softer at roughly a hardness of 3. Just make sure that you use a lower pressure to start, start spraying at a good distance from the specimen, and also test it out on the back side or another area that is away from the main display area. If the specimen itself and/or the individual crystals have a lot of fractures, you may have problems, but if the specimen is solid with cleaner crystals, it should work well.

Aside from that, your could also try an ultrasonic cleaner if you have access to one, but if the coating that you are trying to remove is really stuck on, that may not work nearly as well as the water gun. An ultrasonic cleaner would be much more gentle on the specimen though.
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2019 14:53    Post subject: Re: cleaning Nifontovite  

Nice specimen!

You have several options.

Option 1 is do nothing, leave it as it is. Which is what I would do.
Option 2 is just a gentle swish thru soapy water containing a small splash of bleach, followed by a good rinse.
Option 3 is a very gentle treatment with a hi pressure water gun on the very lowest setting, a pressure misting so to speak. Also followed by a rinse.

It is not an option, in my opinion, to use any other chemicals to try and clean that specimen. BOB
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2019 22:03    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

Hey Linus...I've cleaned a number of these. You have to be very careful because Nifontovite is very fragile and easily cleaved, plus it is attacked by almost anything outside of near-neutral pH. I soaked mine for 20 minutes in a bucket of clean water with a few drops of dish soap, then sprayed them (carefully as others have indicated) with a high-pressure gun, followed by a soak in demineralized water.

The pale tan bakerite crusts tend to come off with this approach...but some are inclusions in the nifontovite and will not budge. A good look under magnification will tell you what should and what won't come off.

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R Saunders




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PostPosted: Jun 18, 2019 04:49    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

You write about using a high/low pressure water gun. Do you mean a dry cleaners spot water gun. Used to clean minerals? Around $100-150. I have read that they are finicky, what is a prefered brand? Thanks.
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Jun 18, 2019 06:38    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

Yep, dry cleaners gun...the Chinese versions can b bought off bay for under $50.

They can be finicky, but usually it is because they don't get properly lubricated and the impeller gets gummy or the main spring either binds up or breaks. This is why they come with extra springs and impellers.

The pros so outweigh the cons that every collector should have one

Remember to wear a rubber glove on the hand that holds the specimen...the pressure is high enough that you can tattoo yourself with your cleaning solution...painful and potentially infectious

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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jun 18, 2019 06:40    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

R Saunders,

Yes we are talking about a textile cleaning spot remover gun.
They are commonly available from those dealers carrying mineral collector supplies at most larger mineral shows. You might also find a new one at a dry cleaning store.
The prices range from about $70 to $125. I would not buy a used one.
Their quality is +/-. All are made in China. Many "brands" are available and every year dealers seem to have different ones in stock. I use a Litize (sp?) which I bought 10 years ago and it still works! But I don't use it that often.
The thing to look for is a nozzle that helps vary the spray from a hi pressure mist to a very narrowly focused hi pressure spray. Never let this spray come into contact with your skin; it will be very painful!

Hope this helps. Bob
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Linus




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PostPosted: Jun 18, 2019 13:28    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

Thank you everyone, and Peter too! - nice to see that a variety of responses pretty much echo the same ideas.
I am a regular spot gun user and have over the years tended to go with the "Goof Gun" brand - yes they are all made in China, but the Goof Guns seem to be a bit more reliable...
I will advise how the cleaning goes...
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2019 20:00    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

Rock Currier used to tell me that after the Chinese cloned the $300 Italian guns, he would buy them by the gross...use them until they died and then use another.

Given the price and simplicity of keeping them alive (versus the Italian guns that were REALLY finicky and ate springs every half hour) this made sense. But the mechanics are really dead simple and once you understand the things it is easy to extend their lives.

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Linus




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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2019 20:20    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Nifontovite  

They always seem to go out the night before showtime! I agree with Rock and usually keep a spare on hand...
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