Home / How To / How to polish pyrite crystals

How to polish pyrite crystals

Pyrite, or Fool’s Gold, is a common crystal found all over the world. Pyrite crystals can be covered with dusty chalk, but you can polish them so that they become shiny and metallic. You can clean and polish your crystals with objects you already have around your house, or you can take it a step further and use oxalic acid to make each crystal shine.


[[[[Edit]Cleaning of pyrite crystals

  1. Run the pyrite under lukewarm water to remove dust. When you first get your crystals, they can be dusty or dirty. Run them under lukewarm water to get wet and remove the outer layer of dirt.[1]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 1.jpg
    • The first cleaning does not polish your crystals, but it does remove most of the outside of dirt and chalk.
  2. Dip one toothbrush into liquid detergent. Pour 2 to 3 drops of mild detergent into a bowl. Run a clean toothbrush under warm water and then dip it in the detergent.[2]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 2.jpg
    • Try using a new, clean toothbrush with hard bristles.
  3. Gently scrub the pyrite with the toothbrush. Pyrite crystals tend to have many angles and hooks, so use the toothbrush to really scrape out the dirt in any cracks. Use the toothbrush over each crystal to get rid of dirt and grime.[3]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 3.jpg
    • You can see a black dust, but only the crystals protrude their outer layer.
  4. Rinse the pyrite with lukewarm water to remove any soap residue. Take all your crystals to the sink and run them under lukewarm water. Make sure you rinse off any soap residue, otherwise your crystals may dry with streaks on them.[4]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 4.jpg
    • You may need to rinse each crystal a few times to get rid of all the soap.
  5. Wipe the pyrite with a clean towel and let it air dry. Take a soft, clean towel and wipe most of the water from each crystal. Spread the crystals on a towel and let them air dry completely for 4 to 5 hours before storing them.[5]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 5.jpg
    • Air drying is much better than trying to dry with a towel, as pyrite crystals tend to have many cracks that can trap moisture.

[[[[Edit]Polishing with white vinegar

  1. Mix 2 parts distilled water with 1 part white vinegar in a container. Fill a pan or bowl with a 2: 1 ratio of distilled water and distilled white vinegar. White vinegar is mildly acidic, so it does not destroy your crystals, but it will get rid of the remaining chalk on your crystals.[6]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 6.jpg
    • For example, if you use distilled water, mix it with white vinegar.
    • You can find distilled white vinegar in most grocery stores.
  2. Immerse the pyrite crystals in vinegar for about 5 minutes. The vinegars do not take long to dissolve the remaining chalk on your crystals. Make sure they are completely immersed and then set a timer for 5 minutes and keep an eye on your crystals.[7]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 7.jpg
    • If your crystals seem to need more time, you can leave them on for up to 15 minutes. Try not to leave them for much longer than that, otherwise you may damage them.
  3. Rinse the crystals with lukewarm water. Carefully remove all crystals from the solution and carry them to the sink. Run them under lukewarm water until they no longer smell like vinegar.[8]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 8.jpg
    • You can pour your vinegar and aqueous solution down the drain when you are done.
    • When you rinse your crystals, you may notice that some of the chalk falls off.
  4. Set the crystals to air dry before storing. Wipe the crystals with a towel and then spread them out to air dry completely. This usually takes about 4 to 5 hours.[9]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 9.jpg
    • Storing wet crystals can create mold or mildew.

[[[[Edit]Use oxalic acid

  1. Mix a 2: 1 ratio of water and oxalic acid in a bucket. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Mix a 2: 1 ratio of water to oxalic acid crystals in a large bucket with a metal stirrer. Start by pouring the water and then add the oxalic acid to avoid a dangerous reaction.[10]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 10.jpg
    • For example, if you use water, pour in 0.22 kg 1/2 oxalic acid crystals.
    • You can find oxalic acid in most pharmacies.
    • Oxalic acid will make your crystals a silvery, shiny color. If you want to keep them more natural, do not use oxalic acid.
    • Always add the water to the bucket first, then the acid. Pouring water on top of the acid can boil it over and burn your hands.
  2. Immerse the crystals in the acid mixture for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Empty your pyrite crystals into the bucket and make sure they are completely immersed. Keep track of your crystals to see how they change over time. You can leave the crystals for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 2 hours.[11]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 11.jpg
    • The longer you leave them in the acid mixture, the shinier they become.
  3. Wear rubber gloves and remove the crystals from the mixture. Pull on rubber gloves to protect your hands and carefully pick out all your pyrite crystals. Try not to splash or drain any of the mixture with water and oxalic acid.[12]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 12.jpg
    • To shed your oxalic acid, slowly pour the mixture into a bucket of ice water. Then add baking powder until the mixture stops bubbling. Test the pH of the acid mixture until it reaches 5.5 and then pour it into the drain.[13]
    • Never drop undiluted oxalic acid mixture down the drain as it may damage living organisms on the water.
  4. Rinse the crystals with lukewarm water. Bring your crystals to the sink and rinse them thoroughly. Keep your gloves on at all times, as you may still be touching oxalic acid.[14]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 13.jpg
    • The amount of oxalic acid that goes down the drain at this time is minimal, so it does not hurt anything.
  5. Neutralize the crystals in a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix a 2: 1 ratio of baking soda and water in a separate bucket. Release the crystals and let them stand for about 5 minutes to neutralize the acid and stop the reaction.[15]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 14.jpg
    • If you do not neutralize the acid, it will continue to eat away the crystals over time.
  6. Rinse the crystals with water again to remove any residue. Remove the crystals from the baking soda mixture and run them under lukewarm water again. Make sure there are no residue left on the crystals before wiping them with a towel.[16]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 15.jpg
    • Be very careful with the crystals when rinsing them, as they may be slightly fragile from the acid.
  7. Spread the crystals in a layer to air dry. Place your pyrite crystals on a towel to air dry for about 4 to 5 hours, or until they are no longer wet. Enjoy your shiny, silver-colored crystals![17]
    Polish Pyrite Crystals Step 16.jpg
    • Your crystals should be shiny and pure for many years to come. If they start to get dull or dirty, try cleaning them with a mild detergent.


  • Let your crystals dry out before cleaning them to ease chalk and dirt.


  • Always wear gloves when working with oxalic acid.
  • Never empty undiluted oxalic acid into drains, as it may harm living organisms.

[[[[Edit]Things you need

[[[[Edit]Cleaning of pyrite crystals

  • Toothbrush
  • Detergent
  • Towel

[[[[Edit]Polishing with white vinegar

  • Pot
  • Distilled water
  • white vinegar
  • Towel

[[[[Edit]Use oxalic acid

  • 2 buckets
  • Oxalic
  • Metal stirrer
  • Baking powder
  • Towel


  1. http://www.gemcoach.com/pyrite-guide/
  2. http://www.gemcoach.com/pyrite-guide/
  3. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf
  4. https://www.gamineral.org/writings/cleanpyrite-anon.html
  5. http://www.gemcoach.com/pyrite-guide/
  6. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf
  7. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf
  8. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf
  9. http://www.gemcoach.com/pyrite-guide/
  10. https://www.gamineral.org/writings/cleanpyrite-anon.html
  11. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf
  12. https://www.gamineral.org/writings/cleanpyrite-anon.html
  13. https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/docs/she/acceptable-drain-disposal-procedures/
  14. https://www.gamineral.org/writings/cleanpyrite-anon.html
  15. https://www.gamineral.org/writings/cleanpyrite-anon.html
  16. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf
  17. https://www.agemclub.org/nl/2015/agmcdec15.pdf

Source link