Field Cleaning

Bucket Lister

Sr. Member
Dec 20, 2023
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I'm wondering what folks pack to clean finds in the field. 🤔

I've seen a LOT of guys in videos wipe stuff on their pants; that's fine, but it's not me. I'm carrying a couple/three 12" square microfiber cloths--cheap & washable.

I also picked up a cheap set of brushes with plastic, brass, and steel bristles. I know to use the softest to avoid scratch damage to finds.

I've seen some guys in the videos use spritz bottles containing water, alcohol, lime juice(?), peroxide, vinegar, and I don't know what else, but I'm not clear on what the different solutions would be for. Anyone? 🤨

Is there anything else?

THX
 

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cudamark

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Mar 16, 2011
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If I absolutely need to know what an object is, I just use a spray bottle with water to make the I.D. Otherwise I wait until I get home to use what is appropriate for the item based on it's metal and what needs to be removed.
 

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Bucket Lister

Bucket Lister

Sr. Member
Dec 20, 2023
423
715
Detector(s) used
XP Dēus II
XP MI-6
XP WSA II-XL
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
If I absolutely need to know what an object is, I just use a spray bottle with water to make the I.D. Otherwise I wait until I get home to use what is appropriate for the item based on it's metal and what needs to be removed.
That's what I'm looking for. What is appropriate to use on which metals, and caveats?

I've got a bunch of spritz bottles, and access to:
  • Alcohol (Isopropyl) 60%-90%
  • Distilled water
  • Lemon/Lime Juice
  • Peroxide 3%
  • Vinegar(s) (several)
  • Windex

...but no idea what to use on what (if found), whether in the field or at home later. :dontknow:
 

cudamark

Gold Member
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Mar 16, 2011
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Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
You might want to look in the cleaning/preservation section here on Tnet.
 

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Bucket Lister

Bucket Lister

Sr. Member
Dec 20, 2023
423
715
Detector(s) used
XP Dēus II
XP MI-6
XP WSA II-XL
Primary Interest:
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I did--a while ago. I went back several years, but didn't find it terribly helpful.
 

pepperj

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Feb 3, 2009
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Why the need to do the restoration or anything else in the field?
Silvers are the ones that Mico scratch easily.
Pick the thickest dirt off then spray with water.
I'll dump water over to get the worse off, then put it in a kleenex till I get home.
The thumb rub is very noticeable in pictures of silver recoveries.
Some say pack the coppers in damp dirt, then deal with them at home.
Most field coppers are past the point of being handled with TLC once dug.
I might expose a date to see what era I'm getting then into the pouch slot that holds the better recoveries.
 

releventchair

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May 9, 2012
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Not that I'm overwhelmed with ancient relics...

Field finds anymore go in nailpouch.
Old or potentially old coins go in padded container in pouch. As would anything tiny/delicate.

Best way to scratch something is to be complacent on recoveries and nail it with recovery tool.
Second best way to scratch something you/I don't want scratched is to try to clean it in the field.
Oh I'll find a way to scratch something besides those top two.

Fussing with a recovery tips off on lookers too.
I can take the top off a pill bottle with padding in it one of my pouch pockets and add a coin without a big display of focus . No not the trash pocket.
But you ask what I found while you were watching?
I can show you trash. And recent era coins if any were found.

When I'm home a patient a slow examination can begin. Usually at the sink to start with the ???recoveries.
 

ironhorse

Silver Member
Oct 13, 2009
3,745
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I do very little if any cleaning in the field.
Junk and trash go in the pouch, good buttons, relics and and coins go in a foam lined box for later cleaning.
I do careful cleaning after the hunt...that's when I find out what I actually found...less drama and adrenaline plus a lesser chance of screwing up and ruining an otherwise good find.
Just how I do it.
I would suggest a coin pod or finds box for the special finds just to protect them while in the field.
 

cudamark

Gold Member
Top Banner Poster
Mar 16, 2011
13,301
14,764
San Diego
🥇 Banner finds
1
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
3
Detector(s) used
XP Deus 2, Equinox 800/900, Fisher Impulse AQ, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, Mi6, Steath 920ix and 720i scoops, TRX, etc....
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
That's what I'm looking for. What is appropriate to use on which metals, and caveats?

I've got a bunch of spritz bottles, and access to:
  • Alcohol (Isopropyl) 60%-90%
  • Distilled water
  • Lemon/Lime Juice
  • Peroxide 3%
  • Vinegar(s) (several)
  • Windex

...but no idea what to use on what (if found), whether in the field or at home later. :dontknow:
I'm assuming you're talking about potentially good finds and not just clad (which I just run through a rock tumbler for the CoinStar). I first determine if it's too valuable to clean, or, not likely to improve by cleaning. Silver and brass (not together though!) I like a 2 hour to an overnight vinegar bath in the concave end of an empty aluminum can, rub with baking soda, and rinse with water. Copper coins are a problem. Most methods on corroded coppers don't help, but, usually make matters worse. If they're pitted, nothing is going to get rid of that. I start with just a water cleaning to remove the dirt. If removing the corrosion bumps looks to improve the appearance, I use a bamboo skewer or Andre's pencils to work off that corrosion. If it's something like tar on a coin, I use acetone to dissolve that first. After cleaning the copper coin to a point where it's acceptable, I use Coin Care to coat the coin to prevent further corrosion if it's something I want to keep. Iron objects get either electrolysis, or, Evaporust depending on the size of the item and the degree of corrosion. Once clean, there are a few methods to help preserve them, from wax, to Elmers glue mixed with water, to primer and paint, to various antique preservative solutions on the market. Lemon juice can be used instead of vinegar, but, I find vinegar to be cheaper and works about the same. I don't use distilled water, peroxide, alcohol, or Windex for anything.....too expensive and the other methods work just as well IMO. Just keep in mind that once you remove detail, it can't be put back on, so, start slow and with the mildest method until you get some experience with doing this. I also use a jewelry cleaner dip like Jewel Luster/Ezest for silver and gold jewelry, silver coins, and silver and gold plated items with minor tarnish. Everyone has their own opinion as to how much cleaning/restoration that they want to do. Some want the "patina" look. Others want things to look like new. It's your item, do what makes you happy, but, cleaning can change the value of an item if you plan on selling it.....both negative and positive depending on your method and amount of cleaning you do.
 

bottlecap4u

Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2024
97
236
soft toothbrush for non-precious stuff, junk in the pouch, precious metal stuff (coins/rings) in the padded container and wait til I get home to clean those correctly.
 

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