Cleaning

At the end of the soaking process, tablets are cleaned by brushing to remove any excess residue left on the tablet surface. Depending on the state of preservation of the tablet and the type of materials encrusted on the tablet, tablets may also need to be soaked in distilled vinegar (acetic acid), for example to remove calcium carbonate salts deposited on the surface. After soaking in vinegar, tablets are placed back in the water bath for one day to remove any residual acidity. Upon removal from the water, tablets are dried on a counter covered with wax paper to prevent sticking. Prior to being photographed, tablets are brushed again with a soft-bristle brush; a metal dental pick is also used to remove encrusted soil from the tablet surface to maximize the readability of signs.