Mindat Logo

Mold removal!

Posted by Mark Hammond  
Mold removal!
May 16, 2012 09:05AM
I just opened a box containing what was a rather nice Jamesonite specimen from Zacatecas, only to find (to my dismay) that it was almost completely coated in a white mold!!!! How and why the stuff was living on it, i have no idea.

Any bright ideas on how to remove it from such a delicate mineral???
avatar Re: Mold removal!
May 16, 2012 10:12AM
Could we see a picture of the specimen?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Mold removal!
May 16, 2012 10:52AM
Could it be a sulphate rather than a mould?

Re: Mold removal!
May 16, 2012 12:06PM
I'm with Ralph on this one and wondered whetehr it might be melanterite formed by oxidation of pyrite. Is there any pyrite on your specimen? I know that melanterite hasn't been recorded from Zacatecas but it could have formed if the specimen has been kept in damp or humid conditions. If it is melanterite then the easiest way to remove it is to carefully add your specimen to bath of water containing a couple of drop of household detergent (to lower the surface tension of the water which should help a lot in preventing delicate jamesonite crystals from being 'knowcked off' the specimen). If its mould then that's a bit more tricky. Just a thought..........

Re: Mold removal!
October 11, 2012 04:36AM
If it is mold, try brushing it lightly with an antifungal cream such as Nizoral. I've used that and feminine anti-yeast creams in the past to remove tenacious molds with moderate success.

avatar Re: Mold removal!
October 17, 2012 12:39AM
LOL Franklin; I'm sure you just made every female poster to Mindat cringe with fear, for obvious reasons.....

Ralph is very correct in that it could be a sulphate coating the specimen as a result of pyrite decay. If it is then follow Alan's advice. If it is mold, I have heard that Dow Scrubbing Bubbles works well on specimens to clean them up. Of course, test an unwanted sample first to see what will work.

Good luck!
Re: Mold removal!
October 17, 2012 03:12AM
If it is mold, possibly a dilute solution of Chlorox ("chlorine bleach"), with the usual caveat to test an unwanted sample first. I would think something like Scrubbing Bubbles might generate agitation that could dislodge the needles/crystals.


  • Valid attachments: jpg, gif, png, pdf
  • No file can be larger than 1000 KB
  • 3 more file(s) can be attached to this message

Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically. If the code is hard to read, then just try to guess it right. If you enter the wrong code, a new image is created and you get another chance to enter it right.
Mineral and/or Locality  
Search Google  
Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
Current server date and time: December 18, 2014 14:28:38
Mineral and Locality Search
and/or Locality:
Fade toolbar when not in focusFix toolbar to bottom of page
Hide Social Media Links
Slideshow frame delay seconds