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Neutralizing pickle


#1

So, I know this question was just talked about a short time ago, but
I need to clarify. Time to make up a new batch of pickle. I use Rio
granular pickle. I add baking soda and dilute to neutralize, but I
could end upusing a whole box of soda and it would STILL foam and
bubble each time Iadd a bit more. What am I missing? How far do I
take this?

Thanks, Pegi


#2

Hello Pegi,

Wish you lived near me! I’d take all your pickle and use it to
acidize this very alkaline soil to make my hydrangeas and blueberries
happy - I have to add acid. With that in mind, and having no idea
where you live, check with your county Extension service to see what
is the likely pH of your soil. Maybe you have a gardening use for it.

Judy in Kansas, where the predicted hard freeze did not occur and
there are still some petunias bravely blooming!


#3

Add sodium bicarbonate until it stops foaming. Buy soda in larger
packages.

Also, sodium bisulfate (pickle) is available from box stores and
hardware stores in the summer. It is used to lower the pH of swimming
pool water. It’s usually cheaper than Sparex.

Also, spent pickle contains copper and silver, both toxic to fish
and aquatic plants. Don’t throw it down the drain.

Karen


#4

I am concerned about proper disposal of used pickle, even
neutralizedpickle. I put mine in plastic containers and take it to
the toxic waste disposal cites in my area. I label the container on
the outside so they know exactly what is in it. Hence, we protect
our environment. Alma


#5

Thanks, ladies. I will filter out the copper/solids from my pickle
from nowon and reuse the liquid. Is it REALLY safe to pour pickle
(maybe the copper filtered out?) onto the soil? Like around
azaleas…

Pegi


#6

Does anyone know what spent pickle does to septic tanks made out of
concrete? Does it leech out into drain fields? Should I wrap the
spent pickle upin a plastic bag and put into land-fill site?


#7

Hello Peggy, you need to find out what your soil pH is. Check with
your County extension agent and see what he or she says. If you have
an alkaline (high pH) soil, it will buffer acid. Just watch it foam.

Judy in Kansas, where the limestone raises soil pH.


#8
Does anyone know what spent pickle does to septic tanks made out
of concrete? Does it leech out into drain fields? Should I wrap the
spent pickle upin a plastic bag and put into land-fill site? 

I would guess pickle does the same as vinegar to septic tanks:
nothing.

Paf Dvorak


#9

With the small amounts that jewelers use it is safe to put on the
ground.

Don’t put it down the drain. Just spread it across an area of
ground. The earth and bacteria are great cleaners and filters. The
problem is humans run into is when we put a whole bunch of stuff
together in one place and it gets polluted because it’s too great of
an amount in one area like coal sludge and manure.


#10
Is it REALLY safe to pour pickle (maybe the copper filtered out?)
onto the soil? 

Well, it’s a pool chemical, would you pour a pool chemical on your
plants?

I have no idea if it’s safe. The best practice for users of small
amounts is to neutralize it with baking soda and then throw it away
in the trash as solid waste.

Elaine


#11

Hello Amanda,

In my former life, my specialty was individually owned water and
wastewater treatment - read septic systems. I have some knowledge
about design and concerns in their use. What I say here applies to a
small home studio. If you generate gallons of pickle you need an
industrial-sized treatment.

As in everything, moderation is key. A production company generating
hundreds of gallons of spent pickle would never be allowed to put
that into a septic system. An individual who generates a gallon of
spent pickle in a year (that’s probably my level) added
intermittently by cup amounts to the waste stream, will not create a
problem with the tank. The freeboard (the area above the liquid
level) space is subject to a very corrosive atmosphere due to the
carbonic and sulfuric acids formed by moisture and gasses (like CO2
and H2S) produced by decomposition in the tank. This is the area
where concrete disintegrates and first weakens the tank.

Eventually every tank has to be replaced, but unless physically
damaged, it usually lasts many decades

The other factor is the volume of the tank. In this area, tanks are
at least 750 gallons and usually 1,000+ gallons. Even the smaller
size would not be affected by the addition of a pint of spent pickle.

Yes, the contents of the tank do drain to the underground leach
field, where organics further decompose, chelation of ions and
filtering by the soil occurs as the water seeps down and eventually
recharges an aquifer.

Sooooo. discharging a pint or so of spent pickle every couple of
months is not a problem for a septic system. That amount is not a
problem for municipal waste treatment systems.

If you are still uneasy, get a five gallon bucket of crushed
limestone and put it somewhere out of the way. Pour the pickle into
it. The pH will be neutralized, the water will evaporate, any metals
will be contained, and you can continue to pour the pickle into this
bucket until it is full of sludge. That would take many years.

I continually encourage readers to contact their County Extension
agent with all kinds of questions. They have access to specialists
at the University who do research and have networks of colleagues. In
addition, there are many bulletins available online to anyone. I look
for University websites ending in ‘.edu’ as the reliable source for
good

Whew! That was more verbiage than usual. Sorry! Judy in Kansas, where
the wind has switched to the North and I suspect temps will drop.


#12
Should I wrap the spent pickle upin a plastic bag and put into
land-fill site? 

Yes.

Elaine


#13
Thanks, ladies. I will filter out the copper/solids from my pickle
from nowon and reuse the liquid. Is it REALLY safe to pour pickle
(maybe the copper filtered out?) onto the soil? Like around
azaleas... 

I and curious as to how you intend to filter out the copper? In
pickle, unless you’ve been leaving actual metal bits in the pickle,
the copper of concern is dissolved in the pickle, the result of
copper oxides being dissolved by the pickle. That’s not removed by
just pouring through a coffee filter. It’s in solution, not solid. It
can be removed electrolytically, much like electroplating, and
simllar to the way copper is refined, but that’s quite a bit more
complex than just filtering.


#14

Is it wise to put the plastic bag with the pickle into the land fill
site, where it might leak out and contaminate the soil? I take mine
to the recycling site which specializes with toxic materials and let
them dispose of it. Alma


#15

The copper and/or silver can damage the bacteria that digests the
poop and toilet paper, even if it doesn’t damage the concrete.

Karen


#16
I and curious as to how you intend to filter out the copper? In
pickle, unless you've been leaving actual metal bits in the
pickle, the copper of concern is dissolved in the pickle, the
result of copper oxides being dissolved by the pickle. That's not
removed by just pouring through a coffee filter. It's in solution,
not solid. It can be removed electrolytically, much like
electroplating, and simllar to the way copper is refined, but
that's quite a bit more complex than just filtering.

Thank you Peter! You’ve said it all. There is no way to filter the
pickle in order to collect copper ions by normal means.

That however proves the fact that people don’t know with what
they’re dealing with.

That fact again raises the question of what a person can do when
something happends and act accordingly.

Don’t understand me wrong here, if you like to work with jewelry,
please go ahead and enjoy but be aware of the products you use and
what needs to be done in case of.

There are no stupid questions on this forum and here are plenty of
very excellent cratsmen able to give you the correct answers to your
question.

Better save then sorry.


#17

I have a septic tank and have dumped my used pickle for years
without any problems. Unless you are dumping it every day it is a
very small amount compared to the size of the septic holding tanks.

Mia


#18

Neither neutralizing nor filtering will remove the soluble copper
compounds from your spent pickle. It is those compounds that are the
dangerous part. The acid itself is not a problem once diluted or
neutralized. Soluble copper compounds are toxic to most forms of life
fish, plants, pets and people. Removing the copper is tedious and
uses up other materials. The best thing you can do is give it to a
hazardous waste disposal organazation. Many municipalities have
places where home owners and non commercial entities can get rid of
toxic compounds for free or minimal cost. Businesses have a higher
cost typically. Drying it out and putting the solids in the trash is
just moving the problem down the road. It is still toxic and will
leach out when it gets wet, but given the toxic stew at a dump it is
probably a reasonable alternative.

James Binnion


#19

It’s not the sodium bisulfate(pickle) or the sodium carbonate that
is toxic; it’s the copper and the silver.

Allow the neutralized pickle to evaporate and throw the solids in
the trash.

Karen


#20

Just curious… How much copper would a piece of iron/steel wire or
the like remove? Enough to be worthwhile?