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How to Polish Alabaster

Updated July 20, 2017

Alabaster is a fine-grained mineral found in many home decor-items like lamps, vases, statues and knick-knacks. Alabaster resembles marble, but it's much softer. Alabaster can be scratched by a fingernail, so owners of alabaster items must be precise and careful when polishing and cleaning.

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  1. Dust alabaster with a very soft and dry cloth to remove any dust, dirt or grime.

  2. Dip a sponge into soapy dishwater,squeeze out excess water and wipe alabaster to remove all leftover dirt and grime.

  3. Once the alabaster is clean, allow it to dry. Wipe with a cloth that has been soaked in acetone-based nail polish remover. Acetone-based nail polish remover will remove any heavy stains or discolouration due to excessive dirt or cigarette smoke.

  4. Moisten another soft cloth and dip it into borax, a mineral that dissolves very easily into water.

  5. Gently polish the alabaster, being carful not to apply too much pressure because it may damage the alabaster. Rub the borax solution into the alabaster.

  6. Allow the alabaster to dry completely before returning items to a shelf or table.

  7. Warning

    Do not use water to dust, clean or polish alabaster. Water can ruin alabaster's appearance. Also, never use an abrasive cloth or an abrasive sponge on alabaster. It can permanently scratch alabaster.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloths
  • Sponge
  • Soapy dishwater
  • Nail polish remover
  • Borax

About the Author

Based in the Philadelphia area, Rachel Costello has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her areas of expertise include philosophy, literature, education, food and wine. Costello has worked for several marketing companies and her articles have been hosted by many blogs and websites. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University and graduated as a distinguished Paul Robeson scholar.

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