The History of Suiseki
Japanese History
Chinese History
Korean History
Common Classifications   
Japanese Classifications
Chinese Classifications
Korean Classifications
Japanese Terminology
Chinese Terminology
Korean Terminology
Collecting Suiseki
Where To Collect
Tools & Gear
Evaluating Suiseki
Ten Views of a Rock
The Science of Suiseki
Preparing Your Suiseki
Using Acid
Drying Stones
Stone Cutting
Developing A Patina
Caring for Suiseki
Displaying Your Suiseki
The Daiza
The Suiban
The Tokonoma
Other Displays
Overall Design

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Preparing Stones: | Cleaning | Using Acid | Drying | Stone Cutting | Developing Patina | Care

Cleaning Stones

After finding stones in nature, the first step is to clean the stone. There are several widely practiced methods of cleaning -- some very simple, and some methods such as acid cleaning, which require important safety considerations.

Cleaning stones on the spot
Since stones are usually soiled when found in nature, you should clean them on the spot:

  • clean with chopsticks
  • brushes with short hard bristles
  • paintbrushes
  • wash in water when possible

    Cleaning stones at home

    1. wash with strong water jet or high pressure cleaner
    2. put in plastic container filled with water add several drops of soap and mix
    3. soak for 5 - 20 minutes
    4. examine stone
    5. clean with plastic brush
    6. for heavier soil, soak for several days
    Cleaning with brushes
  • use steel, brass or needle brushes for heavy dirt
  • test on stone before using (on non-visible areas)
  • re-wash stone after brushing

    Using rotary wire brushes for heavier soil
    When more cleaning is needed, rotary wire and hard nylon brushes can be used, or machine brushes with drills or milling machines. Be sure to test on non-visible areas to determine whether the process will damage the stone.

    Safety protection
    To avoid injury from thrown loose pieces, practice safety:

  • wear goggles
  • wear leather work gloves
  • clean stones outdoors
  • wear mask to prevent inhaling dust and small fragments
  • work in well-ventilated areas when working indoors

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