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Cleaning Fluorite

Posted by MG  
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
August 22, 2006 09:38PM
Thank you for the advice. I will try to develope my skills on a "less important" specimen. I'll let you know how things turn out! Appreciate the time and assistance.

Very Respectfully,

Cleaning Fluorite
July 13, 2010 08:45PM
I have some fluorite crystal that I want to polish. Any ideas for cleaning it?
avatar Re: Cleaning Fluorite
July 13, 2010 09:29PM
Temperature can be a real problem since most acids are exothermic when diluted. Make sure the temperature of the fluorite and acid bath are the same. Same goes for the neutralizing solution.
G. Matthews
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
October 30, 2010 02:44AM
I have been using a 10 to 1 dillution of Muriatic acid to clean fluorite specimens, most of which are from China although some are from Kentucky. the specimens from China had a fine white coating on the crystals before I put them into the acid. the acid removed most of the coating from the crystals but it appears to have redeposited it on the matrix. Any suggestion as to what the coating is and how to remove it permanently from the specimens?
avatar Re: Cleaning Fluorite
October 31, 2010 02:33AM
Could we see a picture of a specimen that needs further attention? When you put them in the 10 to 1 dillution of Muriatic acid did the specimen bubble? How long did it take to "clean" she specimen?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
November 25, 2010 07:40AM

You could clean you specimen using a sand blaster with Calcium Carbonate as an abrasive.This won't hurt the fluorite.

Hydrofluoric should be treated with Calcium glauconate after the acid has come in contact with the skin.A doctor should measure the surface attacked and use the appropriate amount of the compound.The purpose is to provide Calcium to the organism,not neutralize the acid.

The problem is that particles penetrate all tissues,react with the calcium and the result is hypocalciaemia.Calcium has an important physiological role for the heart function,muscles contraction and nerve system.

It is possible that the patient feels no pain due to the burn,because the calcium needed to release neurotransmitters has reacted with the acid.

The gel form is used for local treatment,but a patient with a large area exposed should need an injection.

It's certainly not an acid that can be used by an amateur and not even by a professional ,if the goal isn't really important.

The cleaning of a specimen isn't important enough to put you life in danger.Health is not only a right,but an obligation!

There are professional trimmers who will clean with Hydrofluoric and the price is low compared to the danger.

Don't play doctor of chemist!You need to be alive to enjoy your specimens!

Good health to all of you!
avatar Re: Cleaning Fluorite
December 16, 2010 12:59AM
This seems like the right thread to post this question. I have an old specimen of fluorite, sphalerite, very minor pyrite, & quartz on a carbonate matrix from Illinois (Minerva #2 Mine) that I recently obtained. There is some slight iron staining on parts of the quartz that I'd like to try to remove.

If I use a Super Iron Out solution will this hurt the fluorites? I hesitate to use any acid because of the carbonate matrix, and I suspect that the piece may have been cleaned with acid in the past because the fluorite is somewhat dull already.

Best regards,
avatar Re: Cleaning Fluorite
December 16, 2010 04:29AM
Super Iron Out will not harm any of the minerals on your specimen.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Evelyn Anderson
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
March 12, 2011 10:55PM
I recently bought a nice piece of fluorite crystal at a mine near Oatman, AZ. I scrubbed it with soap and water and some of it turned white. We have oxyrocks product and super iron out. Will either of those work to clean this piece up? It has a tiny pieces of black rock onsome of it. Evelyn Anderson
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
March 12, 2011 11:51PM
Evelyn, quite often fluorite is oiled or sprayed to enhance the color (making the surface of the piece more transparent so that internal color can be seen). I can't know if this is what has happened in your case but you might try a thin coat of mineral oil applied with a stiff toothbrush to see if the original appearance can always wash it again to remove the new mineral oil.
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
January 19, 2012 08:12AM

i have tried fluorite crystals in HCL and HF but both types of acid effect the luster of fluorite very badly, so all user be very much careful in dealing with acids.
Rock Hound in NJ
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
September 30, 2012 10:49PM
I now have 2 pieces of flourite that I am trying to clean. The first one is pink and it has brown depsits on it. I tried white vinegar and oxalic acid. I also tried to physically remove the brown deposits with a small sharp knife but the brown is mostly still there and I believe I have white deposits too. should I try mineral oil?
The second piece is new and comes in the usual green/blue/purple colors. It had been stored in a rock pile outside exposed to the elements. When I purchased it my hands got all muddy so I though a simple bath would do. I soaked it in water overnight and used a toothbrush. The bowl of water now stays clean but the rock still looks like it is covered in mud. Do I go to the drug store and ask for muratic acid? I appreciate any help anyone can give me.
Lastly mineral oil is mentioned above. Does using vegetable oil cause a problem?
avatar Re: Cleaning Fluorite
October 01, 2012 12:49PM
Could we see a picture of what it is you are trying to clean?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Cleaning Fluorite
October 02, 2012 12:16AM
Muriatic acid is best had at the hardware stores (big box ones) and sold as concrete cleaner or similar in 1 gallon jugs. I have had it pit some fluorites and yet others it works great on. Always try new techniques on inconspicuous locations or small chips.

Rock is right though, a picture would really help out.
Edwina Lynn
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
February 05, 2016 05:59AM
So jus a Luke wam bath in sea salt and water is not a good way to clean my fluorite?
Same with Labradorite?
Sea salt and water......?
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
February 05, 2016 06:23AM
Edwina, what does the sea salt do that water wouldn't do all by itself?
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
February 05, 2016 06:29AM
Sea salt? It's all sea salt.
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
July 08, 2016 05:31AM
I have been reading your advice on cleaning minerals very closely. Used a cleaning vinegar (6%) on a piece of petrified wood with, what I suspect, might be fluorite (since they stayed and did not leave on application of vinegar). I had read closely your discussion on acids and am of the mind that, unless you have the right equipment, most of the other acids are a bit scary. My progress is slow, but as the blue forest wood has slowly surfaced, I also don't have to worry about accidentally murdering myself. Strangely, I just had a teacher of rockhounding encouraging the use of muriatic acid. Your posts on the use of ammonia and vinegar have kept me from making what I believe might be grave, even deadly, errors. I almost went out and bought some but came back here instead and read all your wise words again. My chemistry teacher beat into us the careful use of acid, and base, especially HCl.I just wanted to thank you all, especially the guy reminding people that there are impatient people out there who do not use chemicals daily, or perhaps ever, and to whom "don't heat it," and "wear gloves, use ventilation, cover all skin, and wear goggles or maybe a face shield" are all foreign concepts. Again, thank you.
Re: Cleaning Fluorite
August 04, 2016 03:41AM
I have worked with every chemical and poisonous gas known to man...but HF is by far the most dangerous! It will not burn your skin but it will absorbe into your skin and affect the nervous system, the one time I got it on me I had on three pairs of gloves, three aprons and a chemical mask and a full face mask..I washed with clear water first and then neutrilizor and still got it on me, just on the tip of my finger and within an hour I was in so much pain my boss took me to the hospital and they put needles up under my fingernails with out any medication to deaden it first because they had to know when the medication to kill the effects of the HF was working, they also had to cut my fingernail in half first before the if you don't know what you are doing stay away from HF!


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