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Removing Rust


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In the past few days I've been making notes of some of the rust-cleaning advice I've seen.

  • Bar Keepers Friend has been suggested often, with Bon Ami once suggested as a less abrasive alternative to that.
  • Dustin/Mordiskul said Coca-Cola and a Q-tip work well.
  • Steve/SplattmanSS said "If rust stained or heavily crudded, CLR works too...cut it 50/50 with water and soak 'em for a bit...Then get a toothbrush...repeat as necessary.."
  • Someone else said to try toothpaste.
  • William Marbles said, "They are glass, so wash them like dishes.....soak them with denture tablet.....use a jewler's sonic machine"
  • Galen has also put in a good word for the sonic jewelry cleaner.
  • Some more manual suggestions were an "exacto knife with a brand new blade" and "triple 0 steel wool".
  • Finally, I remember someone somewhere suggesting a very specific brand of white bath soap ... but I haven't found that reference again.

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Wow...looks like there's lotsa various ways...I tried the Coke, it didn't do so well, then tried the toothpaste with a q-tip and they are nearly rust-free!! They're even shinier and my hands are minty fresh (chuckles). Thank you so much!

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  • 5 months later...


I'd read once somewhere that there was one type of glass marble which suffered from being soaked in cleansers. At lom today Rick had this to say about glass marbles and limeaway and toilet bowl cleaners.

neither product will hurt the marble...it is glass.

Just don't ever do that to a Pelt Tracer..........bye bye WHITE RIBBONS

I think that was the example I saw before. I thought I remembered it being some kind of pelt.

... wonder what it is about the tracer ribbons which makes them dissolve in chemicals ... ???

edit: When it rains it pours. a couple hours later on a search for words beginning with "chalk" I accidentally stumbled across the reference I probably read before. It mentions the tracers and some Champions:

Examples from the Champion grounds usually have a hard-water stain. If you run across such marbles, do not use CLR or similar products because this will burn the yellow swirls right off the marble. The yellow swirls on certain Furnace marbles will also turn chalky white when treated with the same chemicals. It has been noted on this board that Peltier Tracers will also suffer damage when cleaned with Lime-Away or CLR. Their defining white ribbons will disappear!


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  • 5 months later...

I used to use toilet cleaner.  I don't use it now, after having had some marbles show surface damage afterwards. I am not sure why this happens, and it is sure rare. Now, I just try a good wash with water, and leave on whatever doesn't come off that way.

In fact, the experience has made me think that the best cleaner for marbles is distilled water, particularly if the marble has any damage.

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  • 6 years later...

If it's rust you need to remove then I suggest FOIL and WATER.

1) FOIL (The better the brand the stronger and will last longer)


Take a new piece of foil about the size of a small sponge and fold it in half.

Dip it in the water and then use the wet foil like a sponge and scrub the rust off in that motion. You should only have to scrub gently if the foil is well saturated. This technique is usually used to remove rust off of chrome but I find it works well on other things.

It may or may not work but it won't hurt to try. :)

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  • 2 years later...

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