No, quartz will not dissolve in vinegar.
In the article that follows, you’ll learn more about quartz and what quartz will (and will not) dissolve in.
Does Quartz Dissolve In Vinegar? (EXPLAINED)
Quartz does not dissolve in vinegar, which is a weak acid, because quartz is an extremely hard mineral.
The Mohs scale of hardness rates quartz at seven, while diamonds rate ten, and pure gold grades between two and four, depending on the purity of the sample.
For example, if you were to put a rock on top of a plate of vinegar it would take millions of years for even one percent of its volume to dissolve in the vinegar!
Most likely your rock will break long before it has a chance to dissolve in the vinegar.
Remember that rocks are made up of minerals.
A small fraction only of these minerals would ever have a chance of dissolving in water or any other solvent with a pH less than nine.
Therefore, quartz most definitely will not dissolve in vinegar.
What Does Quartz Dissolve In?
Quartz dissolves readily in hot hydrofluoric acid, though the mineral is generally stable in cold acids.
So this means that if you were to put a quartz rock in an extremely concentrated sulfuric acid, it would eventually dissolve.
You might not want to try this at home because not only are these chemicals dangerous, they aren’t easy to get your hands on either.
Needless to say, there are different types of vinegar you can use to clean objects.
For instance, distilled white household vinegar has a pH of two, which is much less acidic than sulphuric acid.
But nonetheless, vinegar will still take forever (or maybe even longer) to eat through your quartz rocks.
The hardness of quartz also makes it resistant to natural acids in the environment.
Quartz, which is silicon dioxide (SiO2), is one of the most abundant minerals in the earth’s crust.
This means that quartz is extremely resistant to weathering and other processes that tend to break apart rocks.
So when you put it all together, not only will your rock take forever to dissolve, but even if it did, what are the chances that a small piece remains after millions of years?
Lastly, though it isn’t recommended to anyone to try this at home, there is evidence to suggest that vinegar can remove tension from quartz crystals.
What happens is that as these tensions release they build up electrical charges within the crystal.
According to researchers like Robert Durant and Barbara Hendel, the charges within the quartz are so intense they cause the crystal to literally explode.
While there aren’t too many cases of this happening, it wouldn’t be surprising if the same thing occurred with other crystals.
Now that you know why not to use vinegar on your quartz rocks, let’s discuss an alternative method.
How To Clean Quartz Rocks
Consider using ultrasonic cleaning with water and non-iodized sea salt.
Examine all crystals carefully placing them in the bath; crystals that have been damaged from being exposed to heat or being processed with chemicals should be kept in the solution only for a short time.
In some cases, it may take several days for rough-fractured edges and surfaces of crystals to become polished after ultrasonic cleaning.
This is a much safer method because neither water nor salt are going to dissolve your quartz rocks.
What Types Of Crystals Dissolve In Vinegar?
The types of crystals that dissolve in vinegar are:
When you put these materials in vinegar, they immediately dissolve because of the acid in the vinegar.
This only goes to show how quartz is one of the most chemically stable minerals on earth.
Every time you alter the integrity of your crystals (unless it’s by light sanding) you’re going to end up with a few chips and fractures.
This is because quartz and some other crystals are super hard and do not like to be cut by anything, even chemicals.
It is recommended to use an ultrasonic cleaner with water and non-iodized sea salt.
This is the best cleaning method.
What Chemicals Could Be Used To Dissolve Crystals?
The following chemicals can dissolve crystals:
Nitric acid: is a colorless corrosive liquid and has a sharp, suffocating smell like burnt matches.
It easily dissolves metals and causes most organic materials to burn or disintegrate.
Nitric acid can explode when it comes into contact with organic chemicals such as alcohols or acids.
It also reacts violently with some other chemicals like sodium or alkalis.
Hydrochloric acid: is a strong, colorless corrosive liquid. It has an irritating effect on the nose and throat if inhaled.
Hydrochloric acid forms when hydrogen chloride gas is dissolved in water.
The reaction is exothermic, so the solution gets very hot.
This reaction also produces enough heat to turn water into steam which can erupt out of the container, causing serious burns.
Sulfuric acid: is a very strong mineral acid, once known as oil of vitriol.
It was first made by alchemists in the 13th century and was called Aqua Fortis or concentrated acid.
The words originate from the Latin word sulfuricum, which means sulfur (the element).
It is widely used in industry to make other chemicals or plastics, soap, dyes and pesticides.
These are extremely dangerous chemicals that need to be handled with care.
None of these acids are found in vinegar.
Vinegar is just acetic acid, which isn’t all that great for dissolving quartz crystals.
It’s not recommended to soak stones for extended periods of time because they could become too brittle.
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