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Alumn pickle

I use alum exclusively for pickling in our studio. No acids or
other toxic chemicals. It is very simple and safe to use

-you must have a stainless steel pot or a copper pot -put the 1
tsp. of alum in the pot with about 3 cups of water -if you have a
stainless steal pot you must put a few grams of copper in the
pot -you then put the pot on a burner and bring to a boil for
about a minute or two.


Are you saying that the alum/water mixture heated in a crock pot
will not work? Why do you need to put copper in? Further
explanation would be greatly appreciated.

Neda Nassiri

Dear Neda,

I know of jewellers who use alum in a crock pot without any
problem. I myself prefer to use a pyrex dish on a heat proof mat
on an electric burner, because I hate fishing for things in a
crock pot and I like to see the piece that I want to take out,
whilst I leave the last one I worked on, to clean. Quite frankly,
when you considered how cheap commercial alum is, ( there is no
point in buying high qualtiy stuff). ( I pay about Aud $18 for
two kilos. One Australian dollar is worth 56 US cents.) I am
quite happy to use it and change it every week , or sooner if
necessary. Besides which “hole free” clothes are are less

Best wishes

Felicity Peters in sunny West Oz.

You need to put copper in the stailess steel pot as the process is a
reverse galvanic reaction. If you have a copper pot you need not do
this as the copper molecules plate the inside of the copper pot.