Putz Alternatives

Putz Pomade Alternatives

Researchers: Claire Crews and Sam Guerin

We are seeking non-toxic and easily accessible alternatives to Putz Pomade as a metal polish for copper etching plates. Putz Pomade contains kerosene which has been found to have negative health effects when breathed in or in contact with the skin, particularly with repeated exposure. Putz is advertised as a roller and blanket cleaner but it commonly used to polish out small scratches on plates and to create a mirror finish. We are interested in a substance that polishes small scratches out of plates as well as reducing plate tone. Putz is mildly abrasive so we were seeking a similar texture. For our first phase of experiments, we used a mixture of salt + vinegar + flour, an engraver’s rubbing stone, toothpaste, a baking soda + water mixture, and 2000 grit sand paper.

We had promising results with toothpaste, so we expanded on toothpaste mixtures for our second phase of experimentation. We tried adding slightly abrasive substances to further imitate the texture of Putz Pomade in hopes for more successful polishing results. We used mixtures of toothpaste + bon ami, toothpaste + magnesium carbonate, toothpaste + water and toothpaste + vinegar + salt.

Experiment I

Experiment II

Experiment III