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Looking for some advice on cleaning agates. I usually just wash them in warm water and a mild detergent, which is fine for dirt. But I have many specimens with rust staining and algae that the detergent won't touch. I've read a little about using an acid bath but am unsure of the type of acid, dilution and soak time. Any pointers will be appreciated.

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Try full strength CLR. is should clean off the algae (calcium) and the rust (iron). There should be no effect on the agates.

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I use muriatic acid. You can find it in the paint section at the hardware store. Cut it 50/50 or maybe a little stronger depending on how much build up there is on the stone.

Get a 4-5 gal pail to keep the acid in. Get a smaller pail with holes drilled in it that will fit inside so you can dip the rocks and wash them off easily. Take the metal handle off the small bucket and use rubber gloves.

Label your acid bucket and don't get any on ya.

Oh and ... post pics of your treasures grin

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