Using a Tumbler - Polishing

See the tabs below for all products and tools used in this technique, plus any additional tips that may be helpful to you!

If you have beads, clasps, bead caps or other sterling silver or gold-filled findings that have become oxidized over time, a tumbler is your new best friend! Use a rock tumbler filled with stainless steel jewelry polishing shot to remove tarnish easily and give your pieces a beautiful gleam.
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Tip 1Do not over tighten the bolt. It may cause the inner lid to distort and leak.
Tip 2If you are using the tumbler for the first time, run the barrel with the shot, water and Dawn for 30 minutes to clean the inside of the barrel.
Tip 3Do not tumble jewelry containing stones. The steel shot may damage the stones.
Tip 4Read the Tumbler FAQ before you begin.
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Step 1

Fill the barrel of the tumbler with about a pound of stainless steel shot.

Step 2

Pour in several tarnished findings.

Step 3

When using Shinebrite®: Mix 1/2 teaspoon to 2 cups of water. When using Dawn - original: Pour in 2-3 drops of Dawn dish detergent to 2 cups of water.

Step 4

Fill barrel with 2 cups of water. Make sure the findings and shot are covered with an inch of water.

Step 5

Put the inner lid on.

Step 6

Press the inner lid down until it is firmly resting on the inner lip of the barrel.

Step 7

Put the outer lid on.

Step 8

Press the outer lid down until it is firmly resting on the outer lip of the barrel.

Step 9

Place the washer on the bolt.

Step 10

Screw the nut down onto the bolt.

Step 11

Tighten the nut until a little of the bolt shows. Do not over tighten.

Step 12

Place the barrel on the tumbler. Plug the tumbler in. Tumble for 15-30 minutes.

Step 13

Once finished, unplug the tumbler. Unscrew the nut. Remove the washer. Remove the outer and inner lid.

Step 14

Pour all of the contents into a fine mesh strainer.

Step 15

Rinse well.

Step 16

Pick out the findings and dry them off completely. Let the stainless steel shot dry completely before storing.

Step 17

Your findings are now clean and polished!

Findings before being polished

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Fusion Beads Inc, Beads, Seattle, WA