Tip on iron items in salt water…

digi-shots

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Aug 6, 2022
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I’m fairly sure this might have been mentioned in previous threads but when you need to flush out salt or mineral deposits one of the easiest ways is something everyone has in their house…

Their toilet tank.. yep, I recovered a cannonball many years ago from salt water and after treating with reverse electrolysis I soaked the cannonball in the toilet tank for quite a few months. With every “flush”of the toilet, fresh water is introduced and your object is continuously ”flushed”. Just don’t forget about it if you should move!
 

ARC

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I’m fairly sure this might have been mentioned in previous threads but when you need to flush out salt or mineral deposits one of the easiest ways is something everyone has in their house…

Their toilet tank.. yep, I recovered a cannonball many years ago from salt water and after treating with reverse electrolysis I soaked the cannonball in the toilet tank for quite a few months. With every “flush”of the toilet, fresh water is introduced and your object is continuously ”flushed”. Just don’t forget about it if you should move!
Huh... not a bad idea i guess... AND... you save on water ! ! !
 

villagenut

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actually, the proper way to leech out those nasty chloride ions is a long repeated baths in distilled water. Distilled water is absent of the chlorides or salts that is found in our everyday tap water....that being said, the absence of it allows for a leeching process where chloride salts are released into the "available space" that the distilled water has. Tap water is already full of it so there is no leeching room for the artifact to give its salts....hope it makes sense, perhaps research the process and see.
 

Clay Diggins

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Yeah tap water is a no no for preservation. If you really want to go pro use the British Museum washing method. Gently change the water while alternating warm and cold baths. It's about 5 times faster than just changing a water bath and will clean anything safely from 3,000 year old papyrus scrolls to that rusty cannonball.

Distilled water is best and safest if you don't have the knowledge or tools to prepare a mineral free bath with the proper pH for the object. For some metal objects a drop of Lissapol N in the first bath (only) will do wonders for breaking up organic crud.
 

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digi-shots

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Aug 6, 2022
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Some great responses!

The cannonball is still in great shape… it was recovered in the early 1970’s…. I think the reverse electrolysis probably did the most to keep it intact.

At the time, there was no internet available… most methods of cleaning was word of mouth and deep library research. Luckily what was done must have worked… no cracking or corroding.
 

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digi-shots

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Aug 6, 2022
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Virginia
Here’s a photo of the cannonball. You can see what looks like old pitting. The ballast stone on the right was given to me.

I’m not sure if a light coat of oil would help… maybe renaissance wax or a wiping or rinse of distilled water.
There is a very light coat of rust… but looks just like it did 50 years ago when it first came up.
 

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