Bakelite test at Sassy Classics:

Testing Bakelite versus Celluloid:

Bakelite test:

1. Purchase some 409. And, no. Comet or Ajax or other cleaners will not work and they will destroy your bakelite and give false results. So, get the 409. I no longer use Dow Scrubbing Bubbles because it is too caustic and takes the shine off some pieces. I also no longer use Simichrome for testing because it too often gives a false positive test. However, it is great for polishing your Bakelite. It may leave a very slight yellowish or a rich peachy or brownish color on your cloth but that does not mean it is Bakelite.

2. Clean the bakelite by wiping it off very well with a damp cloth so that it is clean. Do not get water on any metalic surfaces.

3. Saturate a Q-tip with 409

4. In an inconspicuous spot (and away from any metal) rub the Q-tip on the Bakelite for 30 seconds. It should turn a bright lemon yellow if it is Bakelite. If it does not turn bright yellow, then it is not bakelite. EXCEPTION: black bakelite does not always turn yellow.

Celluloid test:

1. microwave 1 cup of water.

2. dip an inconspicuous edge of the item into the water for 3 seconds only. Immediately smell the piece. If it has a smell of camphor, it is celluloid.


Book Suggestion to tell the difference between all the plastics:

 Warman's Jewelry 2nd Edition by Christie Romero, page 261

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