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How to successfully pickle nickel


#1

I have used sparax and it does not seem to clean up nickel well. Do
I need to leave the nickel in it for a long time? How long?

I have searched nickel pickle and only found 2. 1 from Rio says to
not use on sterling silver. I have soldered silver tubing to the
back of a nickel neck piece for the links. Now what do I use?

thank you
brenda


#2

Hi Brenda,

You mean nickel silver? (AKA white brass, German silver, etc. The
common denominator being that it contains no silver.) Nickel silver
isn’t in fact nickel metal, it’s a brass with a lot of nickel in it
to make it white, but it’s mostly copper and zinc.

Meanwhile, to get the crud off of it, take a small batch of fresh
sparex pickle, then slowly add in an equivalent volume of 3%
(American drugstore potency) hydrogen peroxide. (So you have a 50/50
mix of sparex and peroxide.) (European chemists stock peroxide at
about 12%, so be aware that the 50/50 thing only works in the
States. Dilute yours to match.) Pickel as normal, and it’ll get the
crud off. It’ll also chew the living daylights out of silver, and
solder, so be careful. It’s very aggressive, so keep an eye on it.
And for sure and certain, use a face shield and gloves when mixing
it up. Does really well on the pink stain on brass as well. It’s
light sensitive, so it’ll only last a few hours before it reverts to
more-or-less normal pickle.

All praise to Bill Seely, who came up with this version in the first
place. (Google “Nickel pickle”.)

Regards,
Brian


#3

That is pretty interesting Brian, about the Peroxide Pickle being
light sensitive. I use it often and there were times that the thing
would last for days and days, and then other times were it would die
out right after it cooled down. in hind site I realize now the times
that last for days I have the pickle pot sitting in a dark corner of
the shop away from sunlight. thanks for the tip. I thought it was a
heat thing that kills it. the pickle you buy at Rio for Nickle what
is that made up of or have you used it?

regards Hratch.