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MOLD all over sharpening stones...can i soak stones in bleach??

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crizq0

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Hey all,

Well I packed up all of my stones in a plastic container since last december. Today I pulled it out and opened it and all my stones were covered in mold!! I'm guessing the stones weren't completely dried before storing.

So today I cleaned flattened all stones with a diamond plate. But im sure there is mold inside the plastic base of the suerika. I was wondering if it would be okay to soak all the stones in a bucket of water with some bleach in it.

Thanks
 

crizq0

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Well gave it a good cleaning with a brush and water.

BTW...how would bleach damage/harm the synthetic stones?
 

tk59

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I'm not exactly sure. It would depend on exactly what the stone was made of. You want to test it? I'd be interested in the results. Bleach is a fairly strong oxidizing agent and it's pretty basic. Maybe you can break off a little chunk and throw it in bleach and see what happens. :idea:
 

crizq0

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Haha....that's okay. I'll let someone else test it out.
 

cmatic84

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I've done it on my cheap king stones with no ill effects. Never tried on my other stones tho.
 

Craig

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Give them a good cleaning, a good flattening, and a good cleaning. Leave the stones in the sun until they're bone dry, and you should be good to go. Mold can't live without food and water, so a good sunbathing to dry free from any foods should solve the problem.
 

mikemac

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... I was wondering if it would be okay to soak all the stones in a bucket of water with some bleach in it.Thanks
I say - go for it!
tk59 gave us a "definitely not" - but the reasoning was ???

At this point, if the mold were to keep coming back then the stones are ruined. If you soak the stones in a bleach & water solution for, oh, an hour, and dried them out whats the worst that can happen? They could be ruined? I would think a 1:10 solution would be more than strorg enough.

I actually have a small King 1000 finger stone, and a piece of synth. nagura - both broken - I'd happily soak them tonight if you want a test dummy advance run...
 

fowlero

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I posted a similar thread a week or two ago. I gave a Bester 1200 a soak in a 25% vinegar solution and checked on it regularly. It soaked over night and most of the mold was gone though there was some minor discoloration left. I rinsed it, then soaked it overnight in water before using it on a Masamoto white #2 petty. The performance of the stone was not affected that I could tell, though I am no expert. The mold I experienced was from putting the stone in the box before it was completely dry, however, not leaving it soaking for so long.
 

JohnnyChance

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I posted a similar thread a week or two ago. I gave a Bester 1200 a soak in a 25% vinegar solution and checked on it regularly. It soaked over night and most of the mold was gone though there was some minor discoloration left. I rinsed it, then soaked it overnight in water before using it on a Masamoto white #2 petty. The performance of the stone was not affected that I could tell, though I am no expert. The mold I experienced was from putting the stone in the box before it was completely dry, however, not leaving it soaking for so long.
This sounds like the best way to go. Flatten it on all sides to remove the majority, soak in diluted vinegar, rinse, soak in water, and then I would let it sit outside in the sun until it is bone dry. And remember, you arent eating it, so if you cant get every bit of mold out, I dont think it is a huge problem.
 

tk59

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I like the sunbathing idea but I'd wait until the stones were just about dry before doing it. It's a great way to kill the little guys it just won't penetrate far into the stone.

mikemac: Perhaps I shouldn't have been sounded so final in my judgement on my first post on this thread. Resin in some synthetics may degrade in oxidizing solutions (and in UV light, actually). This is probably pretty slow degradation. Some ceramics (oxides) are somewhat soluble in base (base etches glass, for example). This could change the grit and abrasive characteristics of the stone. This is probably also a pretty slow process. Nevertheless, I've never tried it and different stones are made with different binders, additives, etc. The best advice for the OP is to take a small chunck of his particular stone(s) and soak them and check for any differences. To just throw your stones in some stuff and hope for the best seems foolish to me, is all.
 

Craig

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I think the soaking in vinegar or anything else is largely a symbolic gesture. All you have to do is get it totally dry so all the mold dies, from that point on it's just a cosmetic question. A simple flattening should deal with that.

I like the sunbathing idea but I'd wait until the stones were just about dry before doing it. It's a great way to kill the little guys it just won't penetrate far into the stone.
The sunbathing is just to help the stone dry. You could probably just toss it in a toaster oven on the lowest heat or something as well.
 

Lefty

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I agree with Craig. A bit of mold won't hurt anything, once it's gone.
If you want to completely dry it out, I don't think the sun is going to harm your stone. What are stones pressure baked at, does anyone know? Some sunlight won't touch that temp, I wouldn't think.
 

JBroida

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some stones are baked at about 200 degrees C and some around 1300 degrees C ... depending on the stone, they should be fine in sunlight. Some stones, however, dont do well in sunlight because the water evaporating causes cracks in the stones (think chocera). Those kinds of stones do well in a well ventilated cool place out of the sun. I would advise against putting stones in an oven... heating up the water will create steam and can hurt your stone (cause cracks or breakage). Also, resin bonded stones (the ones fired at 200 degrees C) dont do well in solutions with bleach or vinegar. Sintered stones (those fired at the higher temp) do ok, but you want to rinse them well when you're done (maybe soak for a while in fresh water, drain, soak again, etc.). Clay bonded stones (like king) should be alright soaking in a light solution, but no oven.... i've tried... they crack from steam.
 

Craig

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Yeah, no oven then.

Really all you need to do is get all the gunk off the outside then leave them somewhere dry for a few days. Sun or other heat sources are just to speed that up, but why risk it? It's not like you need to sharpen every single day, is it?
 

Lefty

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Great info Jon! Merci beaucoup!
 

shouse

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Wanted to add my own experience here for hopefully knowledge based transfer. I recently found some black mold in my bin and sides of a few stones. I left them in water too long and forgot about them.

I have a bester, Beston, and a takanako 6k stone. I followed the advice here and took the conservative route. Scrubbed, dried in the house for about 24hrs. Then outside to sit elevated on my covered porch. Probably out there 3 days. I know 2 days in they were still dying.
Came back roughly 3 to 4 days and found my takanako had hairline Cracks all over it. Long and fully wrapping the stone. Immediately brought it into ac inside environment. Wasn't sure it could be saved at this point. Let it sit. I know I checked it a couple days later and it looked the same. Fast forward another 4 days and I see zero cracks. I can't find anything. I thought that was very interesting. It looked completely dry when I brought it in. No idea how it 'healed' itself. Time will tell i think.

Moral of the story, conservative side still isn't shaded Texas summer 108f heat. I'd recommend a slower drying approach. Someone in a different thread mentioned wrapping the stone in a damp cloth to dry. That sounds like a good idea to me. I use that method for paint brushes.
 

Kawa

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What I know from stone.
It cant handle heat cycles well, especially if one side of the stone gets hotter then an other part of that stone. It needs to heat up slowly, but has to cool down slowly aswell. Thats why an attic can be a bad place to store your stones: too cold in the winter night, too warm during daytime when the sun is on the window, hitting your stones. Thrust me, I found a handfull of my bowlingballs cracked after some cold winternights 😩, costing me several hundreds of Euro's/Dollars. (even though bowlingballs arent stone, they cant handle heating up/ cooling down fast, like stone)
So, I store my bowlingballs in the living room (sorry dear, I have to :cool:) and my sharpening stones aswell.

Maybe that was the case outside? Cold in the night, warm during daytime?


If you put the stones to dry, and one part is in the sun and the other part isnt, your stone will be prone to cracking.


How it healed, I have no idea.
 

shouse

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Yea, it's possible it was hitting some morning sun unevenly as well.

What I don't understand is how it showed cracking, and now it doesn't. That makes no sense to me. I originally showed my wife the cracking (no pictures though) so I know I'm not just crazy. I see no visible cracks now.
 

M1k3

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One side was dryer than the other. Uneven drying and shrinkage made the cracks appear. Jon from JKI recommends wrapping resinoid stones in a towel to dry slowly. All stones shouldn't be left in the sun. Causes uneven heating and drying.
 

Kawa

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i flip my stones once every while during drying (30 mins-hour).
i notice the water always goes to the lowest point. I dry my stone diagonally standing against a wall, so flipping them makes sure its not one side of the stone the dries first while the bottom half is still soacked
 

shouse

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Yea i elevated mine on some thin wire on the porch. Still wasn't enough. Just too hot and dry out there right now I think.
 
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