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Mold removal!

Posted by Mark Hammond  
Mark Hammond 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???
Rock Currier May 16, 2012 10:12AM
Could we see a picture of the specimen?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Ralph Bottrill May 16, 2012 10:52AM
Could it be a sulphate rather than a mould?

Alan Barnes (2) 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..........

Franklin Roberts 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.

Paul Brandes 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!
Doug Daniels 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.
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