Hey /diy/ :)
Looking for a practical method of cleaning these seashells - pic related. I want the one on the right to look like the one on the left - I assume its jadeness / discolouration is a result of some sort of chemical reaction with the salinity of the water - obviously its a bit scratched up, so it's not going to look EXACTLY like the one on the left, but I just want something to bring out the colour and disolve excess scrub.
I have tried using a file already and found it just disintegrates the shell completely. Looking for something a bit more efficient, willing to try many methods since I have many shells.
I'm looking for a method that balances cost and product quality, even at the expense of time (to a degree).
Any help would be very much appreciated!
At the moment my current plan is to soak them in hydrogen peroxide and scour them with steel wool, however, I don't know if this will work as good as I think it will.
Thoughts / Suggestions?
Woops, the picture was rotated for some reason, probably got to due with the import on my phone. Sorry about that. I want the one on the left to look like the one on the right. Thanks folks
before peroxide, soak in citric acid and baking soda in alternate sessions to get rid of anything that is caked on the surface, then peroxide, that will give you a good surface, but if it is rough by nature, there is no way you can make it like right without heavy sanding and polishing
I figured out when I was filing it down that the colouring is just on the outermost layer of shell, that is, too serious a file/sand/grind/scour will probably just remove the colour clean off. I really like the idea of polishing though, what material should I use?
any very fine sand paper aka 3000+ is probably ok for this project, it is a delicate thing and to be honest it will look better unpolished, and sanding will just make it unnatural, i guess
The shiny one has been polished. The other is closer to the natural state. Anyway, to get it shiny, I suggest this: Soak it in distilled water for a week, changing the water out daily, to remove soluble mineral deposits. Then scrub with a toothbrush and toothpaste for a very gentle polish. The shiny one in the image was likely polished with something a lot more aggressive, which wore down the texture that was there. Clean very thoroughly, and dry. Get it "bone dry" by leaving it in a warm dry spot for several days, or baking it in an oven set to just above boiling for several hours. When it's dry and cool, apply mineral oil, linseed oil, or some other oil-based clear coat to bring out the color and give it a gloss.
Abrasion caused by getting pounded by sand in the swash zone of whichever beach you found it on might have played a pretty big part in it, considering that's the environment it came from. Before I go for more destructive methods I'd be inclined to throw it into a plastic bottle with a few handfuls of sand and shake the shit out of it in 5 or so minute intervals, see if that abrades the surface down any. Skip the water, it will just make the sand clump.
I found them both just on the beach at my 'shell spot.' Likely it was just polished naturally via gentle scouring of sand and salt water. However, I want to remove the muck. I like the idea of polishing with a toothbrush and toothpaste, I'll probably do that after I've soaked it in some stuff. Yeah I'll give it a gloss with oil too, good idea.
Hmm that's what I figured. I like the idea however I feel like the one on the right has been lightly scoured through natural means for I'm assuming a few thousand, even few hundred thousand, years. Shaking in the bottle would probably give it the best look, but It would just take too long, especially considering the amount of shells I have.
FYI: Not selling my shells, going to punch a hole through them, tie some small, ropey/cord to connect them together as a single-file, vertical hanging mass, and tie them round random shit in my house for decoration.
Thanks guys :)
If you ever won't be using these for an aquarium or hermit crabs, then I would say to just cover them with some clear laquer (oil-based) model paint. Any store that sells plastic models will likely also have an assortment of the brush-on paint for them, in little jars.
If you wanted them to be safe(er) to handle you could try using some clean fingernail polish on them. That won't cure as hard as the laquer will tho.
the correct answer is a dremel buffing wheel
everything else is a guess made by childish amateurs
> I'm assuming a few thousand, even few hundred thousand, years
Nah man, way too long a time scale. The ocean is a violent place with the constant currents and abrasion from sand, calcium carbonate isn't that durable unless it's locked in sediment.
These, this is the method by which the wear happens in the first place, replicate if possible.
And how is he going to make a highly polished shell look like a not polished shell with a buffering wheel you arrogant motherfucker?