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Disposing of pickle

How do you dispose of excess pickle?


Janet, I thoroughly neutralize it by slowly adding baking soda until
the solution stops fizzing when I add more baking soda. At that
point, it should be a bright blue or turquoise color, is of neutral
pH and it is safe to dispose of down the drain.

A word of caution – DO NOT BREATHE THE FUMES that are given off
while the neutralization is happening. They are nasty and will choke
you – probably do some damage, too.

Now, I should mention that I use pH minus (pool chemical) as pickle,
but I’ve been told that the same process applies to Sparex or the
other common pickles.

Karen Goeller
Hand-crafted artisan jewelry

The “fumes” are carbon dioxide and airborne particles of the liquid
caused by the fizzing. Put the pickle in a big bucket and add the
bicarbonate slowly. Then leave the liquid in the bucket to evaporate.
What you have left is a powder you can quite safely dispose of in the
trash. It basically sodium sulphate.

Tony Konrath
Key West Florida 33040

How do you dispose of excess pickle? 

i’ve always neutralized it with baking soda then poured it down the
drain, maybe i’m wrong but that’s what i was taught

For ferric nitrate: THEN some table salt (sodium chloride) in excess
in the stuff . Silver chloride will precipitate out as an
insoluble white powder. Let it settle out and the liquid can be
diluted and put in the garden or in the drain. jesse

What I generally do, is dilute it and distribute it around my azalea
bushes and the other acid loving plants in that part of my yard. My
bushes are currently throwing a lovely fall bloom flush (I generally
get 3-4 a year). As trace mineral poor as the oversized sandbar
that is FL is, the local Ag extension tells me that small amount of
metal oxides in the quart or so that I dilute out is actually
beneficial (I’m a hobbyist, so I doubt that I use a gallon of pickle
a year).

The baking soda neutralization is valid as well. I use the pool
chemical as well, it seems to work better than actual Sparex, to

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR


I have said this before (several times) but for the benefit of those
recently joined, the safest way of getting rid of unwanted liquids
like pickle is not use a solution of bicarbonate, but to pour the
fine powerdry solid into the pickle. It will fizz and bubble like mad
but just leave it until it stops. Use plenty of bicarbonate - it is
cheap enough - then simply get the residue into the rubbish bin - it
is completely harmless.

However if you don’t fancy the idea of using all that bicarb,
neutralize the pickle with the bicarb until it stops fizzing, then
pour it into a tray containing sawdust or kitty litter, then when it
has dried by natural evaporation, dispose of it in the usual way.

Finally, you can simply pour it down a drain connected to the sewer
(not an outside drain) and forget it. What have you poured into the
sewer? sodium bisulphate containing a very tiny amount of copper
sulphate. And what does the supermarket or hardware store sell you
for cleaning lime encrusted toilet bowls, showers, wash basins and
baths? Why sodium bisulphate of course, only they call it something
like ‘Harpic - cleans round the bend’

And (yes I’ve really almost done) When I was responsible for
laboratories, students would drop bottles of concentrated acids
which smashed on the floor, some of them half gallon bottles of
lovely stuff like fuming nitric acid, so what did we do? No we
didn’t pick out the glass with tweezers. There were wide mouthed
bottles of 3 kilos of sodium bicarbonate easily available for just
that need - the bottle was simply emptied over the mess, then
presently swept up (glass 'n all) with a dustpan and brush and
dropped in the bin, perfectly safe. Putting the damp solid in
parcels of thick newspaper would have been preferred - but we never
had any.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ

1 Like

I used to neutralize my pickle with sodium bicarbonate, but I would
have to purchase large amounts of it and it tends to create a great
deal of foam which can run over the top of my five gallon bucket no
matter how careful I was. I now use pieces of limestone (calcium
carbonate) to do the job. I use gravel of about 3/4 to 1 inch in
size and place enough to cover the bottom of a five gallon bucket.
When my pickle is spent (about one gallon per batch), I pour it in
the bucket and let it do it’s thing. The smaller surface area (i.e.
larger chucks) react slower and this helps to prevent foam over.
Just leave it to finish neutralizing over night, then pour off the
liquid portion into another five gallon bucket which I leave to
evaporate and dispose of the solids in the trash. Check to see that
the first bucket still have adequate limestone gravel to cover the
bottom and you are ready for your next batch of pickle. As an added
bonus, limestone is cheap and sometimes even free if you happen to
live near a quarry (which I do).

Best Regards,
Jim DeRosa

Baking soda doesn’t seem strong enough. I used Red Devil Lye, but
added too much and then had excess lye granules to dispose of.

Jim’s method (limestone) seems the safest. Thanks!


    Baking soda doesn't seem strong enough. I used Red Devil Lye,
but added too much and then had excess lye granules to dispose of. 

Just my opinion but Lye (sodium hydroxide ) is very hazardous and
much more dangerous to your health than the pickle and while baking
soda (sodium bicarbonate) is slow and makes lots of foam it is safe,
You can eat it. So I would not use Lye to act as a neutralizer.
Limestone is a good alternative if you can find it.

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
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