Cleaning thuribles #catholicproblems
#1
Happy Easter!

So we had a thurible malfunction on the weekend, and discovered that it's likely been YEARS since the thurible has been cleaned (ew, I know). It has a serious case of smoker's lung. I volunteered to clean it (and maintain it from hereonin, seeing how no one else seems to be doing it). I'm a little unsure how to best approach it, however.

Does anyone have experience with this, or can point me to a good resource? It's a gold guilt finish, although the bowl itself looks like brass to me. Can I soak it safely in dishsoap or something to loosen the gunk? Scrubbing paste? Something stronger? Google is overwhelming me with weird advice that I'm not trusting.

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#2
Replying for visibility. Good luck!
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#3
How's this : How to clean a thurible

Additional thoughts :

If it's a plated thurible, don't ever use anything abrasive, even polishes, without spot testing. If you rub off the plate, you'll be sorry.

Carburetor cleaner will help dissolve the resins. It should not chemically affect any metal plating, but could affect lacquers and other things.

If you are able to use a polishing wheel on the exterior, it's not a bad idea. If you use a cloth wheel with some of the Orange Luxar polish, it shouldn't remove the plate unless you press way too hard.
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#4
(04-18-2017, 07:51 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: How's this : How to clean a thurible

Additional thoughts :

If it's a plated thurible, don't ever use anything abrasive, even polishes, without spot testing. If you rub off the plate, you'll be sorry.

Carburetor cleaner will help dissolve the resins. It should not chemically affect any metal plating, but could affect lacquers and other things.

If you are able to use a polishing wheel on the exterior, it's not a bad idea. If you use a cloth wheel with some of the Orange Luxar polish, it shouldn't remove the plate unless you press way too hard.

That one was kinda where I started, but because it's actually unknown for sure what it's made out of (I was told it was "probably" gold guilt, but now that I"m working on it I'm starting to think it's laquered brass, although the firebowl for sure is brass-brass, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to physically chip it away anyway) it's hard to know what precisely I can put on it or how vigourous I can be with my ministrations.

I do have access to a cloth wheel that another parishioner user to polish other pieces, so that's good.
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#5
(04-18-2017, 10:48 AM)PrairieMom Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 07:51 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: How's this : How to clean a thurible

Additional thoughts :

If it's a plated thurible, don't ever use anything abrasive, even polishes, without spot testing. If you rub off the plate, you'll be sorry.

Carburetor cleaner will help dissolve the resins. It should not chemically affect any metal plating, but could affect lacquers and other things.

If you are able to use a polishing wheel on the exterior, it's not a bad idea. If you use a cloth wheel with some of the Orange Luxar polish, it shouldn't remove the plate unless you press way too hard.

That one was kinda where I started, but because it's actually unknown for sure what it's made out of (I was told it was "probably" gold guilt, but now that I"m working on it I'm starting to think it's laquered brass, although the firebowl for sure is brass-brass, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to physically chip it away anyway) it's hard to know what precisely I can put on it or how vigourous I can be with my ministrations.

I do have access to a cloth wheel that another parishioner user to polish other pieces, so that's good.

Most solvents won't do any harm to brass or plated material. The vast majority of hydrocarbon (organic) solvents like lacquer thinner, carb cleaner, acetone, alcohol, toluene, xylol, gasoline, etc. do not contain any chemicals that would normally react with silver, gold, or brass. Most will strip lacquer, though.

I did see one brass thurible that had been "plated" by painting it with a high-temperature silver paint. We thought it was probably silver plated, let it soak in the carb cleaner and it came out brass.

I'd think it's probably rare to have a gold-plated thurible. A high-temperature lacquer, though. I could see that.

Thus I'd start with a nice soak of the offending parts in solvent. Then hit the worst with some carb cleaner or WD-40 in a spray can (let the pressure do the work for you). Then wash in detergent and polish up with the least abrasive stuff that will work.

Take the outside (but never a chain) to the buffing wheel. Start with Luxar white or yellow, clean your wheel, then finish with orange and you'll have a very nice shiny thurible ready for round 2.

It's worth noting that, if lacquered, once you've remove the lacquer, the it will probably need more regular cleaning.
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