magic milk

On my sister’s recommendation I watched ‘Magic Mike’ last night. Well, I tried, anyway. You do get to see Channing Tatum’s naked butt several times, and by several times, I mean many times. But even that couldn’t save it. Really, it wasn’t even worth having on for background noise. That bad.

You know what is magic though? Milk. I have a new milk trick, and it’s not spraying milk out my nose. It has to do with etching beads.

When you see beads that are ‘etched’, it just means that they’re treated with a strong acid that eats away at that nice shiny glassy surface. It creates a silky, matte finish that’s very tactile and smooth. Some bead designs really come alive when they’re etched, and etching totally transforms transparent colors – making them look like beautifully weathered sea glass.


When you take the beads out of the etching solution (or cream), after you wash them off with lots of water, it’s a good idea to neutralize the acid, or, apparently, it will continue to eat away at the glass over time.

Most people use a little baking soda in water, which reacts with the acid to produce stuff that isn’t harmful to you. When you dunk your newly etched beads in the baking soda solution, it may bubble, because the reaction produces carbon dioxide gas. The magic of Chemistry!


I recently read that some people are using milk instead of the baking soda solution. While milk is slightly acidic, it also contains large amounts of alkaline minerals – calcium, magnesium, and potassium… which, I guess… works. My inner Chemistry geek is a little skeptical about the exact details, but it’s been so long since I studied Biochemistry or taught Chemistry labs that I’m not that fussed about it.

Anyyyyyyway. The milk fans say that dunking the etched beads in milk makes them sooooooooooooo soft and silky feeling. I rolled my eyes when I read this, but I swear it’s true. I’m a milk convert.

Some people report that the milk curdles when they do this. I haven’t experienced that, but heads-up if curdled milk makes you want to barf. After I do the milk thing, I run the beads under water again, and give them a good scrub with a toothbrush and some dish soap. And voila! Lovely, smooth, etched beads. 

If you have beads that are etched and they’re starting to look a little dull or dusty after a while, a quick scrub with a toothbrush and some dish soap should have them looking like new.

Milk. It does a body good. Depending on your dietary preferences and food sensitivities, of course. And etched beads too!


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