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Cleaning/whitening ivory

Was digging through one of my boxes of junk razors and noticed another with ivories I hadn’t caught before. They are thick like bone scales which probably made me not take a second look....but they are just thick ivory it seems. Really beat and in sad shape but thick and not cracked. Some really bad splotchyness and staining that seems to penetrate into the ivory. Blade must have been loose at some point and they have been beat up near the wedge from closing poorly. Probably ugliest ivory I have seen. Tried to catch the schregar lines in the last pic but hard to do.

How can one whiten and clean ivory?

What is a good filler for ivory?

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Can't tell what that might be, don't think its ivory thou. Ivory will "patina" with age and is something I at least value in vintage ivory...
 
Doesn't look like ivory to me.
Ivory will have fine curved lines (Schreger lines), with cross-hatching. Bone is porous and will have pitting when magnified.
If you sand it, it will smell like your own tooth being ground by a dentist.
If you burn it with a hot needle, it will smell like burnt hair.
As for filler...I don't know, but how are you going to match the colour to begin with?
I don't see Schreger lines in yours, but the photo detail is inadequate.
Seek out sharp, close-up pictures of real ivory scales to compare yours to...
 
There are no Haversian canals and loaded with shregar lines. I have multiple razors with ivory scales as well as other tusk ivory pieces. I’ll try and get better pics tomorrow. Wasn’t actually asking what they are but don’t blame any of you for saying bone like I did originally too. But in your hand it would be easier to see. But the staining is terrible as you can see. Was wondering if any of you ever had to bleach ivory in some way. Whitening toothpastes are using peroxides as the bleaching agent I think, but have any of you actually done this before? Bleaching bones can make them brittle and likely ivory too, so was wondering if anyone had first hand experience.
 
I've no first-hand experience, but I've read that a white rubber (eraser) will remove surface soiling and discolouration. It must be rubbed delicately.
A 50/50 mix of baby shampoo and water, applied damply with cotton or a cotton-tip will get below the surface but don't get the ivory sopping wet. Wipe dry immediately.
The strongest cleaner is a 50/50 solution of ethyl alcohol damply applied with cotton or a cotton-tip and wiped immediately. However, this carries the risk of enlarging any crack or fissure.
As for bleaching, good results have been reported using lemon juice, rubbed on the ivory and left to dry, repeated if necessary.
Some advocate leaving the ivory in the sun to dry, but this carries the risk of cracking, especially in strong sunlight and thus should be avoided.
Bleach, toothpaste and peroxide are far too dangerous and you shouldn't touch them.
However, there is a product at your local chemist's that sounds perfect for the job. It's called...IVORY SOAP!
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
I own a number of ivory razors, ranging from pristine white to, well... Ivory colour. I've never encountered any that stained. Even the mamoth ivory things I own are not that yellow.

I would assume the staining goes kind of deep. Hit it with some 1500-2000 grit paper, and if that doesn't lighten it, call it patina.
 
I must have tried more than 50 times to get a decent picture. I can’t at all capture what I see. This is about the best one but still not like looking at it.

Thanks for the responses on whitening ivory so far. That’s really what I was wanting to learn. And Legion, yes this is by far the ugliest staining I have ever seen which is why it was in the junk pile. They staining is more similar to fake tortoise dying than just stain. They are so bad I reckon I can’t mess them up much worse.

1DC7BAB9-D544-414D-8351-6A5325BE106F.jpeg
 
I own a number of ivory razors, ranging from pristine white to, well... Ivory colour. I've never encountered any that stained. Even the mamoth ivory things I own are not that yellow.

I would assume the staining goes kind of deep. Hit it with some 1500-2000 grit paper, and if that doesn't lighten it, call it patina.
What he said....But If you want to refinish then I would go lightly with 600 grit through 2500.
 
I would leave it be but I have cleaned up over a dozen ivory’s with W/D starting at 600 thru 2000 and hit it on a wheel with white compound for luster. This was done only after they were broke down for maintenance
 
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