Hello all you great Pierce guys. i have a question on how to remove 75 years or so of heavy tarnish from my series 36 German silver radiator shell..i have tried most of the standard stuff but nothing will cut it. if i scrape it i see silver. any ideas….thanks Ed.
Barkeepers Friend works great on brass, hopefully it will work on German silver. I use the liquid. Even Walmart has it. Be sure to shake it well, and be generous with it, using an old terry towel or washcloth. Good news is, it doesn’t seem to hurt your hands, and you can rinse it off with water. After drying, polish with brass polish.
Good luck! Miles
Try Alumi-brite in non diluted form (available from Amazon)to remove
the tarnish then polish with Wenol metal polish (available on eBay).
Also works wonders on older nickel.
I’ve used Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, ‘The Works’ TBowl cleaner and also CLR: [Calcium,Lime, Rust remover]. I’ve used these cleaners with 0000 steel wool, as well as just a cloth towel. Really filthy nickel plating that is rough, black, and looks like old gray-black latex paint on the nickel plating will clean up to nickel in a few minutes with 0000 steel wool.
I believe that German Silver is actually very close to ‘White Brass’. and therefore softer than nickel plating. So I would NOT RECOMMEND using the 0000 steel wool on the German Silver. You could try it on some inside areas that are not normally visible.
Follow the cleaning with a good washing with soap and water, then polish with Wendol, SemiChrome or similar brass/nickel polish.
Let us know what works for you.. And some before and after photos would really be appreciated.
Has anyone tried the feed molasses for rust removal? Would it also work on the tarnish? The best price I have found on line is around $26 for a 5 gallon bucket (cut 9 to 1 with water) plus around $20 for shipping.
I had a similar problem with a badly tarnished radiator shell on our 1920 Moon. For what it’s worth, this is how we handled it. First make sure your piece is German silver and not some form of plating. German silver is a nickel-brass alloy and is very hard, so polishing it is a bit of a chore. After trying all kinds of polish, I resorted to wet sanding, working down to about 1200 grit. This gave a mat finish, but no more brown tarnish. Then used Wenol, a very fine polish like Simechrome. It’s available from Restoration Supply. An electric buffer polisher is very helpful at this stage. When you are dome, it will shine like a mirror. It is not quick and easy, but the results are rewarding.
This is great i,m starting to get some good ideas..as far as i know it is German silver that is what Pierce advertised it as. the crust is very hard it will wear off slowly with steel wool. but i will rubbing for a year. if i can find something to cut the crust away that would be real helpful. Ed
Start wet sanding with 400 paper, and work it down with finer and finer paper. Work in straight line strokes, not circular, and you will cut through the crusty corrosion. Lots of elbow grease needed, but it will work.
Perhaps not for this particular problem but there are other ‘wools’ out there good for softer metals and oxides including copper wool and bronze wool and they are available in different grades. Check on e bay.
I have tried all of them. The best I have found is Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths for German Silver & Brass.
Try white scotch-brite with a mild polish to polish the surface. Scotch-brite comes in different grades, differentiated by color. White is one of the finest grades and will not harm soft metals. I have used white scotch-brite to remove oxidation on the bare aluminum skin of antique aircraft and the results are amazing with a mirrored finish.
thank you for all of the input i will let you guys know what works best. it may be a few weeks…thanks again…Ed.
Hello, i just wanted to let everyone know i have most of the top of the Rad. clean of tarnish. what i found that worked the best was CLR, i used ZEP brand from Ace hardware and OOOO steel wool. i had to work a little at it but it was 20 times faster then and thing else. now i will use a fine polish to bring out the shine. Thanks to all who helped me out…Ed