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  1. As I've said elsewhere, I've just bought a new Shimpo VL Whisper RK3E. CLeaning up after throwing, my sponge ended up with black sooty particles all over it. Large black patches of the stuff. The shop said it was oxide from the aluminium alloy wheelhead. It's supposedly to help minimise corrosion and shouldn't affect fired ware. (I was told that the oxide is normally white or grey, but small particles appear black.) The thing is, I've never seen this stuff before, so don't know how how to deal with it. Is there some kind of clean up regime I should use, or precautions I should take before / after throwing? I normally clean my wheels with the sponge I throw with, but now I don't know if I should do that or not. Any tips?
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