Firescale on Sterling

I am finishing two constructed sterling salt and pepper shakers.
When I began to “bring up the fine silver” I could not remove the
fire scale in a pickle solution. I tried Sparex, then very strong
Sparex, heating the pieces and putting them into strong Sparex,
Tarnex (which did not work on the nooks and crannies), and sulfuric
acid. I truly do not know what else to do in terms of what to
submerge the pieces in. Does anyone have any suggestions? Hoping in
Oregon, Penelope Terrill

Attack it with horse hair brushes and tripoli, load the tripoli
constantly and use high speed. I hope you used thick enough material
to do this, that is one very good trick with sterling, use thick
material to begin with because you know the finishing is going to
remove material. Sam Patania, Tucson


Assuming you’re talking about the copper firescale (pink color), use
a 50/50 mixture of nice strong and fresh pickle with H202 - Hydrogen
Peroxide. Drugstore strength. Works like a charm.

You don’t need to use it hot (I never do).

I keep a tupperware container of it by the pickle pot and drop in
any pieces that show sign of copper firescale when I take them out of
the pickle. Usually only takes a minute or so to dissolve the copper
oxides. You may need to still wash with a brass brush to get the
residue off, by the way.

Hope this helps!
Karen Goeller
Handcrafted and Unique Artisan Jewelry