How do I clean dops?
There are several ways to clean dops.
For starters I usually leave the wax on the dop(s) unless dirty or I have over heated the wax and I think it has lost it’s temper (bubbled/smoked it).
I leave the wax on because it is easier and faster than re-waxing the dop fresh every time, and it saves wax. Also, if the wax on the dop is bonded to the dop well, it helps keep the stone doped. Sometimes, especially with a clean dop, the wax comes loose from the dop itself, not the stone.
Another thing is that wax bonds to itself better and easier than to anything else. So all I really need to keep clean is the part of the dop going into the quill. For this I usually wipe it carefully with alcohol, not getting any on the wax.
If I want to clean the dop all the way, I soak it in a jar of alcohol over night and then with a clean lint free rag I wipe it off.
Note: If your dop is a little tarnished and sticking in the quill use a polish cloth to polish it up.
Polish clothes are available from almost any jewelry supply store for around $4-6 dollars each.
There are various types, but the one I recommend that you get is the one that looks like two clothes sown together on one side. Usually a red/brown side which is impregnated with a jewelers rouge (a polishing compound) and a yellow side which is used for buffing (no compound). When you rub the dop with the compound side it will clean the tarnish and dirt off , then use the buff side to make it shiny. Now the dop will slide in and out of your quill without a problem.
You can also use a Q-Tip and alcohol to clean the inside of the quill without taking it apart if necessary.