Can borax be used in a rubber rock tumbler barrel without damaging the rubber barrel? The theory is to clean the rocks as they tumble and to remove excess dirt, etc.
According to this article it is ok to use it. The author used Ivory soap. rocktumbler.com/
I would check with your tumbler's customer service department before using anything in it, especially if it has a warranty. Using unapproved products can damage the equipment, potentially cause a fire, and invalidate the warranty.
If the number isn't on the box, it is usually an easy find with Google.
Are you making jewelry with your tumbled rocks? Would love to see pix if you are! I did my first rock tumble way back in the late 1970s and it was fascinating at a museum display. It was WAY cool!
If you are talking about using Borax in the initial stages of cleaning your rocks, then the answer to your question is no - you have to use special grit for the the stages of cleaning your rocks.
If you are talking about using Borax for the extra step of polishing/burnishing (instead of shaved Ivory soap) (after all cleaning steps have been completed) then the answer to your question is, yes you can, but Ivory soap shavings are highly recommended.
Here is a link to the history of rock tumbling just in case you are interested in learning about how all of this started and continued through today.
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Does anyone know the best way to glaze or polish Petoskey stones? They have been through a rock tumbler and are smooth, but I'm not sure how to shine them up.
By Angela M.
My son used to love tumbling rocks he found in the woods. After tumbling (and with Mum supervision) he would 'paint' his prizes with cheap clear nail polish. It made the rocks look wet, very glossy.