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Does anyone else's pickle pot do this?

I make my own pickle with salt and vinager, and as you can see there is much white build up , I just Changed out pickle with fresh solution and right away it started building up again

I wish I had an answer. I use Rio’s pickle but I’ve been having a somewhat similar issue lately. A layer of dense bluish crystals forms in the bottom if the liquid gets low, and pieces start coming out yellowish-grey scummy instead of bright white. I’ve emptied and scrubbed the pot a few times and it stops for a short time but then happens again. I’m starting to think I should replace the pot. The ceramic surface is kind of etched after three or so years of daily use and I wonder whether that’s contributing.

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I doubt it has much to do with the pot. You say this happens when the liquid gets low? That means water is evaporating and the solution is getting more concentrated. Eventually the solution becomes totally saturated, holding as much chemical (sodium bisulphate for rio and most company brand pickles) as possible. Lose more water and the chemicals will crystallize out of solution onto the pot surface. The cure is simple. Add more water. And if this is a common problem, mix the pickle less concentrated. Either more water or less chemical. The blue color, if present, just means the pickle is doing its job and dissolving copper oxide from your metal. That results in copper sulphate in the solution. It will tint the solution, or the crystals if they form. Harmless.
And to the OP, same basic answer. Its not your pot. Use less salt, or don’t let the level of liquid drop so much.

Peter Rowe


Salt and vinegar together makes a dilute Hydrochloric acid, why not use muriatic and dilute it to the concentration you want?

HCl by itself do not attack copper but it do dissolve copper oxide.

Whenever the blue crystals form, add some more water and if neccessary some more acid.

Its cheap, but keep the jar closed so it don’t evaporate into the room.

Just my two cents.

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Going back decades to High School, and a chemistry term paper, I know what this is. Most not all things will form a crystaline type structure on a very small to large crystal. what has happened over time with your pickle pot is microscopic seed crystals are for lack of a better term, welded to the surface down low where the concentration is most concentrated. Those seed crystals will grow as the once dilute solution gets lower and concentrates again. More crystals form on the outside and so on. It isn’t harmful. It is just the residue of copper salts. Your pot is not impaired either. You can use it as a reminder to add water which you can do with this dilute of a acid type solution. or to make fresh pickle.


I know some chemistry and, even though on paper vinegar and salt will give HCl, the latter is much stronger than acetic acid (the stuff in vinegar), so IRL the solution remains a mix of acetic acid and salt. The white stuff is just salt coming out of solution so, as suggested elsewhere, use less salt or add water. The acetic acid will evaporate quickly too, btw.

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I live in Mexico and al Pat all Jewellers use sulfuric acid (and sparex is super expensive) but a look in to the MSDS and a google search on other uses of Sodium Bisulfate and it turns out you can buy it super cheap for use in swimming pools , I’ve been using it for years ( and buying it by bulk at a swimming pool supplier for almost nothing )

Saludos desde Tejas, Nandelek! Sodium bisulfate can be thought of as partially neutralized sulfuric acid. I imagine that if using pure sulfuric acid you would need a lot less. I also suspect that the acid has been in use for much longer than the bisulfate. I use citric acid; it works very well and definitely safer, but I imagine also expensive in Mexico!

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HI I stopped adding the salt. The vinegar works fine in its own with not salt crystallisation. It just has to be fresh and hot.
Regards. Karen

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