How to Clean Lampwork Glass Beads

by Amanda Austin


  • Lampwork glass beads
  • Diamond tip bead reamer
  • Water
  • Clean, empty butter tubs
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pliers
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Once your beads have gone thru the full annealing cycle it is time to clean them, this is how they look fresh out of the kiln.

    Step 2

    Remove the beads from the steel mandrels by using a pair of pliers to grip the mandrel and twisting the bead off the end of the mandrel. Don't expect this part to be very fun.

    Step 3

    See the residue left inside the bead, this is what needs to be cleaned out.

    Step 4

    Step 5

    Place the beads into a glass jar with a lid, add a little bit of soap.

    Step 6

    Step 7

    Add some hot water to the jar.

    Step 8

    Secure the jar lid down tight onto the glass jar.

    Step 9

    Step 10

    Pick up the jar and swirl it around for a bit, shake it up, they are strong little guys.

    Step 11

    Shake, shake, shake, twirl, twirl, twirl!

    Step 12

    Unscrew the lid and pour the beads and soapy water into a plastic container, like an empty butter tub.

    Step 13

    Ready to ream them!

    Step 14

    Fill a shallow plastic container with fresh warm water.

    Step 15

    Put your bead reamer together.

    Step 16

    Ready to ream!

    Step 17

    Put on some gloves, unless you enjoy prune fingers.

    Step 18

    Pick up a bead from the soapy water and start scrubbing out all that leftover bead release residue using your bead reamer.

    Step 19

    I couldn't get a photo of me using the bead reamer, I only have 2 hands :(

    Step 20

    They have all been cleaned out, ready for a nice freshwater rinse!

    Step 21

    Step 22

    Toss them into a colander and rinse them off.

    Step 23

    Step 24

    Let them hang out to dry someplace. It's ok to just sit and stare at them for a while.

    Step 25

    Lay them out onto a paper towel to dry them completely.

    Step 26

    Step 27

    Step 28