Hard deposits after pickling

Occasionally, after pickling a silver piece, I find small, very
hard, particles deposited on the surface. I typically don’t see them
until I am polishing. They are very hard to remove. I recall a
discussion of this problem recently and part of the recollection is
that it might be hard particles plating on the piece from the
pickling process. Can anyone refresh my memory? Thanks. Rob

Hello Robert,

Do the particles have a clear appearance?? In that case, they may be
flux residue and you need to pickle longer, use fresh solution or a
hotter solution.

Hope this helps, Judy in Kansas, where low temps are going to be the
rule for a while. Time to dig out the woolies.

Heat up some pickle and soak it until the buildup disappears. Small
Crockpot is great at the soldering table.

I have always used a crockpot and the problem is very rare, but when
it happens, it is a real pain. I remember reading on orchid or in a
Ganoksin article about this being some sort of plating process by
which hard precipitated particles get plated on to the metal surface
in the pickle pot. Thanks. Rob

No, I am very familiar with flux residue and do exactly as you
describe. They are very small, very hard, particles that are nearly
impossible to polish out, so they have to be removed with an
abrasive. Thanks. Rob

Hmmmm. Not flux deposits. Robert, did try a new batch or brand of
pickle to see what happens? Are you using Sparex or Citric Acid type
pickle? In what kind of container? Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

The only time I had a problem with my pickle was when I was using
Citric Acid and overdid the proportion of Citric Acid to the water.
It actually crystalized. I have since switched to Ph down–the pool
acid. Works wonderfully well, and does not have any of the brown
gunk that Sparex has. Alma —Here in the Pacific Northwest where we
are in the grip of a freezing spell. Temperatures due to go down to
the low teens tonight.

I have used Rio Pickle for years. I do change it when this becomes a
problem, so I am guessing its the pickle. Will look at alternatives
when my 25 lbs. of Rio Pickle run out. Thanks. Rob

With time and use even the best of ceramic lined pots are subject to
micro fractures in the glaze. Using the pickles that we do, this also
works against you. The pot is still perfectly useable. You just have
to think outside of the pot sort of speak. Try using a plasctic
container to put you piece in, then submerge it in the post. This
protects your piece from the contaminates that develop from the micro
fractures. I use old cottage cheese plastic containers in my pots
(large ones), and small yogurt containers for the small pots.

Take the plastic containers, and slit small holes in the sides near
the bottoms. This allows the liquid to drain out easier than trying
to dump it if you have smaller pieces. I use my larger pots for my
copper work. To those containers I add a copper wire handle. With
time the pickle dissolves the copper wire, so I just make a new one.