Liquid flux crytalizing

A couple of months ago I started using a liquid fluoride based
flux (called Diewersol) It’s been working great up until now. The
problem is that now that the weather has changed the flux has
started to precipitate out into masses of crystals at the bottom
of the bottle. My workshop isn’t cold but it does get down in the
mid 50’s F. Now the only way to use the stuff is to put it in the
microwave and get it really hot to dissolve the crystals. As soon
as it cools, the solution separates out again.

Anybody run into this problem before? Any solutions come to
mind? It does occur to me that by dipping my brush into the
bottle after it had sat out and dried may have introduced the
seed crytals that set this whole process in motion. I may try
bringing the whole thing up to a boil to completely disolve the
crystals and see if that stabilizes it.

G’day Daniel Conlin, The fact that some of your flux has
crystallised out of solution causes no problem. The crystals on
the bottom of the bottle indicates that you have a saturated
solution, and you should continue to use that and have no worry.
I personally use a powder flux that is mixed with water to form a
thin slurry - which means that it is saturated to say the least,
and there’s no difficulty arising from this. So flux onward!

John Burgess.

daniel, i have had the same problem w/ my homemade pripp’s flux
(and my workshop in alaska gets COLD in the winter since it’s in
my garage). the helpful people in this forum gave me some advice
about adding more water, as the crystalization was occurring due
to evaporation. i’m not sure if that would help w/ your type of
flux, but it may be worth a try? susan serna flor de la luna
anchorage, alaska

Hi Daniel, It may be possible that enough of the liquid has
evaporated or otherwise used up to leave you with a
super-saturated solution. If that’s the case, it doesn’t take
much for precipitation to take place. Generally, liquids can hold
more dissolved solids in solution when they are warm, cooling
them just a little causes the dissolved solids to precipitate out
of solution.

I don’t know what liquid is used as the vehicle in your flux,
but it may be water. Assuming it’s water, you could conduct an
experiment using a small portion of your flux. Mix it with a bit
of distilled water. Keep the new sample in the shop along side
the original. Notice if any precipitation occurs. Better try a
soldering operation with the newly diluted mixture to be sure it
still works as it should.

Use ‘distilled’ water, not the bottled drinking water. Many
grocery stores carry distilled water for use in steam irons & the
like. It’s not expensive.


I always dilute my flux 1 to 1 with water .I find that used
straight, it plays havoc on the work to be soldered by
developing a whitish crust when the torch hits it. just my

Dear Daniel

What you have experienced is just the evaporation of the water
in your flux. Just add a little destilled or even better
ion-exchanged water, and you will have your good old flux back.
Hope this helps, it does for me.

Kind regards from windy Denmark
Niels L�vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94

susan serna flor de la luna, Would you mind repeating what is
the composition of your flux? I make up general annealing and
coating flux by the pint which consists of boric acid (the
powdered type used to poison roaches down here in da’ swamps and
bayous) dissolved into denatured alcohol. This is painted or
dipped all over the object to be soldered, the alcohol burned off
with the torch, then only a tiny area for the actual solder joint
is touched with commercial liquid flux… I don’t know the
composition of the commercial flux, but it smells like it uses
MEK or xylene for a solvent A little bit goes a long way but it
looks like I will run short next year. Geo.

geo, i’ve been using the standard 2/2/3 pripp’s recipe: 2 troy
oz. borax, 2 troy oz. tri-sodium phosphate (the real tsp, not the
environment-friendly tsp), and 3 troy oz. boric acid (i didn’t
know you could kill bugs with it – does it work on mosquitos?).
i bring it to a boil w/ 1 quart of water, then add another quart
or so of water. for that extra special pripp’s, throw in a
chicken, some onions, a little celery. . . i use a fine mist
spray bottle – spray, heat, spray some some more. it’s messier
than using a brush or paste flux, but it does a great job. it
tends to crystallize inside the spray nozzle every so often, but
running it through hot water seems to fix that. i’ve been
wondering about the boric acid/denatured alcohol flux. does
anyone out there who has used both have an opinion on this? susan
serna flor de la luna anchorage, alaska

Ahhhhhhh, my Pripps clogged up the nozzle of my spray bottle
constantly !! I would find myself pumping the spray bottle,
cursing and watching the stuff drip off the bottom of the bottle
and down my arm. The only way I could quickly clear it was to
hold it upside down a few seconds in the ultrasonic cleaner. I
gave up on the spray bottle and put in it a needle nose flux
bottle that Rio sells. I sort of stream it on with that. It
works well and this prevents it from going all over. Net

susan serna flor de la luna, thank you for the pripps flux
recipe. Sadly, boric acid only gets rid of roaches as far as I
know, which probably don’t live long in subzero temps anyway.
One note of caution, the boric acid alcohol flux mix is only to
reduce firescale on the non-solder area of the work piece and not
for the joint surfaces. One still has to have a dab of 'real’
flux for wherever they want solder to run. But down here in
cockroach heaven it is cheap and easy to make. Geo

Geo Stanford: I too have familial tremor which seems to be
increasing in intensity as the years progress. I am so used to
it I don’t notice it until I get frustrated or tired. However,
when someone watches me work they regularly comment about it with
the inevitable question, “How can you do that fine of work when
you tremble like that?” I really don’t know why, but I am still
working with the metals and stones. My long term plan is that
when I can no longer manipulate the metals with consistent
results I will turn to faceting as it seems less sensitive to
the tremors. I know this isn’t a help, I just wanted to let you
know you aren’t alone. Norman

Norman, Geo Stanford, I too get tremors when tired, and
frustrated. Sometimes For no reason at all. I just wake up some
mornings with “the shakes”. I am still young, and this has
plagued me for a while now, but is not every day, and I just work
through it. On those days when my hands shake too much for the
small fine work, I do the larger work. I smith, and raise on
those days, and try to avoid any intricate soldering. I can’t
say if it is getting worse with time or not, I am only 29. I
have been doing metal professionally now for 10 years, (I cut
metal the first time when I was 11). You arn’t alone, and it is
nice to know, for me as well, that I am not alone in this. One
thing to consider though is the health of your studio. Make
sure you clean your polishing vents regularly. Have some sort of
ventelation/circulation in the areas where you sand and where
you solder. I even got a 3m pancake filter mask recently,
because my volume of work has climed way up, but the space of my
studio is still small. I use this when investing, (that
investment for casting is NASTY to your lungs) and often when
polishing. I always where something protective when polishing.
If not the pancake mask, at least a paper/filter mask. These are
small things, but by keeping your studio clean and safer for
working, you will help yourself from getting worse. I have
knoticed many long term metal workers with these tremors, so it
probably is related to our work. Any thing you can do to make
this a healthier enviroment to work, will help. Since whereing
the mask for polishing and investing, I haven’t had a bad shakes
day in a while. (thankfully, cause I have soo much work to do, I
don’t have the time to slow down right now)

good luck
A Austin
Austin Creations

Mention was made of the possible mosquito-killing properties of
boric acid. I sure hope boric will do that, though I’ve never
heard it before. I have heard of boric being a good timber
treatment against termites. Apparently gives them gas they can’t
pass when it’s ingested. POP go the weevils!! Maybe John Burgess
could chip in here…

Dan Woodard
Gallup New Mex, Indian Jewelers Supply Co.

Boric acid is used to kill ants and cockroaches. I’ve never
seen a roach in a jewelry studio…I can’t say the same for
ants. Pauline

Wow…amazing boric acid…It’s used as a main ingredient in
flame retardant for fabrics too. Also, isn’t an extremely
diluted solution of boric acid used as an eye wash? I wonder if
it fends off evil spirits too? hee hee. Marlo M.

I don’t think boric acid will help against mosquitoes. It works
great against roaches, though. The reason for this is that the
action of boric acid is mechanical rather than chemical-- the
boric acid crystals get into the roaches breathing ducts when
they crawl through it, cutting them up and eventually proving
fatal. Getting boric acid into the mosquito’s breathing ducts
would be problematic.

Lee Einer

 I have heard of boric being a good timber treatment against

Boric acid is also a common treatment for ridding one’s premises
of cockroaches and fleas. The fine dust coats the little beggars,
and blocks all breathing passages. Because of this, they
eventually suffocate. An added bonus, is that they carry the
stuff back to their nests, and so slay the rest of their
ilk…Mwaaahahahaha…ooops…sorry :slight_smile: A disgruntled employee of a
local de-flea-ing service gave me the recipe for ridding the
house of the pests: Use one pound of boric acid for each 10 x 10
room. Wearing a dust mask, sprinkle the boric acid liberally
about the carpet, into cracks, and into the crevices of all
upholstery. Using a stiff broom, brush the powder deeply into the
carpet. Leave the treated rooms alone for 24 hours. Next, vacuum
up all of the boric acid. Now for the most important part: Throw
the vacuum cleaner bag away immediately! Put it outside, making
sure its in a sealed container or sealed trash bag. Also throw
away the bag immediately after each of the next five times that
you vacuum. This takes care of the eggs. Voila…no more
critters. Worked for me, and considering my menagerie…lol…I
wouldn’t be at all surprised if it eliminated termites too.

Lisa, ( Strung the outside lights, did the shopping, bought the
christmas tree…only to find that the trunk is too dang big for
the handy-dandy stand…rats…sigh…) Topanga, CA USA

Boric acid is used to kill ants and cockroaches...

Boric acid IS a stomach poison for some creatures, so it should
be treated with caution so far as scattering it around one’s
living quarters. Cats walking on the boric acid pick it up on
their paws and then lick it off; they then vomit to eliminate as
much as possible. The kidney is the site of removal in the
body, meaning that the animal must drink enough water to flush
it quickly out. My advice to those wanting to use boric acid
for roach control is to put it into cracks and crevices and wall
spaces, thereby avoiding exposure. Those places are the
harborages for roaches anyway and the best opportunity for
contact where you want it! Luckily, humans are more tolerant of
exposure by ingestion than roaches are. Judymw Judy M.
Willingham, Consumer Pollution Prevention Specialist 237 Seaton
Hall Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506 (785)532-5418
FAX (785) 532-6944

Thanks for that post, Judy…I had no idea boric acid could be
so dangerous for pets. Isn’t it also the main ingredient in the
solution that makes fabrics flame retardant? And it’s also used
(very dilute) as an eye wash, isn’t it? All this and it
prevents firescale…amazing stuff that boric acid!

Marlo M.