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Layman-friendly Essential Tips to Clean Abalone Shells Properly

Essential Tips to Clean Abalone Shell
Abalone shells are loved by many due to their iridescence and colors. They can be used for making jewelry and decorative items. Like other shells, they need maintenance to retain their luster. Know how to clean abalone shells in this HomeQuicks post.
Sharmistha Sarkar
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Note of Caution
Abalone shell should be protected from scratches and hard blows as it is not very robust.
The dust from abalone shells should not be inhaled as it is toxic to humans and animals.
Abalone are marine molluscs that belong to the class Gastropoda. They are found in North America, New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Japan and many other places. They have a flattened oval shape shell. They occur in different sizes, are quite durable and so can be used for various purposes. A row of respiratory holes runs along its shell exterior.

They have been used since many centuries in jewelry, decorative items, buttons, buckles, musical instruments and others. Abalone shells are also used as gems since they are known to enhance one's creativity and mind power by eliminating negative energies. Well-known for their iridescent and pearlized color, the abalone shells look beautiful when cleaned and polished. The shells come in many shades like black, white, blue, green, pink, and red. The flesh of abalones is widely used as raw or cooked food in many countries. They can be expensive to buy. Other names of abalone shells are ear shells, sea ears, muttonshell, ormer, and pāua. Mentioned below are some useful tips for cleaning and maintaining abalone shells.
Tips To Clean Abalone Shells
Abalone shells
◆ Soak the abalone shell in water. This will loosen out the seaweed and other growths on the shell.

◆ Scrub off the exterior surface of the shell with a wire brush to remove dirt, sands, algae, sponges and other organisms. Wash it off with water.

◆ Place the shell under running water if any dirt or particulates are retained in the shell. This should help one get rid of maximum debris.
◆ Once cleaned and dried, apply some muriatic acid over it. Wear gloves, breathing mask and goggles while doing this. To prevent the acid from etching the pearl inside the shell, plug the shell's holes with clay or apply Vaseline to the inside of the shell. The acid will dissolve more of the remaining debris, remove the hard concrete, and calcium-based substances and bring luster to the shell.
Abalone shell and brush
◆ Scrub the shell with a toothbrush for further cleaning. A new layer is seen on the shell. Wash it off again with water.
◆ Now remove the clay or Vaseline, and rinse the inside of the abalone shell in cold water. Remove the barnacles and clams inside the shell by scraping it with an abalone iron or any such substance. A tweezers can be used to pick out worms within the shell if there are any. Wash off with water.
◆ Following this, apply mineral oil to the abalone shell. Wipe it all over so the oil will cover all the crevices and holes in the shell. This will enhance the color and iridescence of the mother of pearl.

◆ Hang the shell and allow the applied oil to dry in the outside air for a few days before touching the shell.
Abalone jewelry
Abalone shell rings, earrings, necklaces and other jewelry should be cleaned with warm water and soap solution when soiled. Otherwise, it should be wiped with a damp clean cloth each time after use. Dry the jewelry well. They should be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Also, wearing your abalone jewelry more often will maintain its gorgeous look due to the natural oil in your skin which protects the shine of the material.