Cleaning Quartz Crystals
When you dig new crystals from the mine. The crystals are found in clay pockets.The crystal clay was forced into the cracks and crevices of the crystal clusters during the growth period.The crystals will also have different iron and mineral stains on them. You need to place the crystals in the sun light to let the clay dry, harden and shrink so that you can wash it out with the water hose. This may have to be repeated several times before they are clean enough to go into the oxalic acid.
I have built my self a work area but I never seem to have enough room.
When you dig the quartz crystals they are full of clay, dirt and different types of mineral and iron stains.
The larger and heavy crystals, I place on pallets on the ground.so that they don't break my screens. The cluster on the bottom left is full of wet sticky clay, it will sit in the sun for a few days to dry and shrink the clay. Then, I will squirt it off with the water hose. I may have to repeat this process a couple of times to get all the clay out from in between all the points and crevices . On the right, it is now ready to go into the oxalic acid to get off the iron stains.
Below is what freshly dug crystal points usually look like. It doesn't take as many days in the sun to get them ready for acid
Here are small points, You need to be carefull that you don't squirt them all over the place. The small points bottom left have all the dirt and clay removed from them. It is time for them to go into the oxylic acid. The acid comes in a powder form. One pound makes 2 and a half gallons of solution. I place small crystal points in a crock pot outside. cover them with the solution, bring the solution almost to a boil, turn the heat off and let them sit for a day or 2. When the crystals are clean, rinse them off with the water hose being sure to get any reside out of the cracks and crevices.
Always wear gloves when using the oxyalic acid, it will burn your hands especially if you get it on a crystal cut. Do not get it in your eyes. You can use the acid more than once, 3 or 4 batches maybe, depending on how much stain the crystals had on them.
Always neutralize the acid with baking soda before disposing of it. The points in picture below on right are now clean.
Now it is time for my Helper and i to take a break and work in the crystal garden.below on right is one from my personal collection.
It is a huge Arkansas, natural smoky cluster that is shaped like an Eagle
The Neighbor kids love to come help and they love to wash the crystals off. MY Favorite little next door helper. They always get crystals to take home
Crystal cleaning area at my new house.
Feb 27 2012, time to get ready for digging at the mine.
Here I am, setting up my first time in tucson, starting at the Bottom. Snow in Sedona, My truck is empty, Heading home to Arkansas to go digging.
If you have any questions, please contact me.