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Non-toxic pickle

Has anyone every tried using Coca Cola or Pepsi for pickle? It
cleans the corrosion off of car battery terminals. (Yes, really!)


I’ve been using ‘pH Minus’, also called ‘pH Down’ by some mfgr. for
my pickle for years. It’s common use is for adjusting the pH of
swimming pool water.

It’s chemical ingredient is sodium bisulfate. I usually mix about a
2 oz dixie cup per quart of water in a crock pot for my pickle. It
works fine & the pH Dow/Minus is available in many drug & grocery
stores as well as pool & home supply stores. Another nice thing about
it is the cost. The last time I bought some at the drug store it was
about $1.00 a pound.


Hi Jen

I applaud your choices for looking after the earth. But a septic
system has to be emptied sometime somewhere and it still drains into
the same earth that we all walk on, drink the water from and grow
our food on.

Eventually contaminants reach the ground water and the oceans.
Dangerous levels of various toxic chemicals and metals seems
inevitable when we look at the planet as pretty much a closed system
(barring new advances in technlogy). We are humans. We pollute. We
don’t seem to be able to do otherwise. All we can do is try to limit
it as much as we can. If you want to make an omelet, you have to be
prepared to break some eggs. Maybe you can use the shell in some way,
but it will be broken and changed from what it was. C’est la vie.

All the best on a snowy day on the Island (more time on the Deere
tomorrow) Barbara

Hi Jen

You sound like a kindred spirit! I grow organically and buy
organically when I can’t grow it. I try to do whatever I can
naturally too, without harsh and/or toxic chemicals. Unfortunately we
don’t own our home or I would have chickens as well and many other
things that you can’t do when you rent. I’d love to get rid of all
the items that ‘out gas’ in this house but you can only do so much in
a rental.

I admire you for doing all what you can environmentally. It’s a
difficult thing doing what we do. There are so many hazardous and
toxic chemicals that inturn make our work environment the same.

We all do the best we can with what we got. It’s great though when
folks do try to take the additionally steps to be safe, responsible
and environmentally conscious. No matter what we do, unfortunatley
we will leave our footprints on this earth. But, having said that, we
are but a mere pimple on this great planet and I’m more than certain
it can handle our disregard and ignorance and will recover. But of
course that does not mean we shouldn’t be stewards of this beautiful

Do you have a website? I’d like to see your work. How long have you
been making metalwork?

Thanks for your input and sharing.

Happy trails!

Thanks for your input Dave! I’ll have to give this a try one day.
I’ve heard of folks using this. You certainly can’t go wrong with the
price! The cost of pickles from jewelry supply co,'s is just


Hi Carol,

I have a severe allergy to sulphuric acid, so no Sparex in my studio. I have just switched to vinegar and was disappointed with how long it takes to work. I added the salt recipe, 1 tbs to 1 cup vinegar, however my husband uses Kosher salt for barbequeing beasts! Kosher salt is stronger than table salt, and it works!! There is still strong off gassing, so the pickle resides in a separate studio with ventilation.

Happy soldering,

Sparex is sodium bisulfate not sulfuric acid

There is no difference chemically between kosher salt and non-kosher salt. It’s all Sodium chloride (NaCl).

Yes, Tony, it’s just that Kosher salt is stronger, so 1 tsp Kosher is perhaps, 1 1/4 tsp table salt. And the best thing is that now instead of waiting 45-60 for straight vinegar to work, vinegar & salt is effective in 20 mins. But too much salt was off gassing badly, the fumes hurt my eyes.

Sparex 2 and I quote this from the pkg. “This solution has 1 1/2 times the available acid of a 5% sulphuric acid solution”. Sulphuric acid is a trigger for asthmatic and has put me in anaphylactic shock twice! I am “the Canary in the Coal Mine”.

Regarding salt, stronger is not a good word to describe the difference.
The difference between kosher salt and table salt is in density, that is weight per volume. Kosher salt is manufactured in larger flakes whereas table salt is made in small uniform crystals. This makes kosher salt less dense than table salt. You need to add more kosher salt by volume to equal the required volume of table salt in a recipe.
Google “kosher salt vs table salt volume” to find conversion charts from salt manufacturers and food sites.

SORRY, Kosher salt is 20% WEAKER, damn dyslexic brain. When in doubt ask the Honey!

Actually kosher salt is pure sodium chloride. Pick up a container of mortons table salt. Read the ingredients. They put fillers in it to keep from caking. Higher end salts may not have the filler. Kosher is the only one I know of that is just salt nothing else.

Just me waxing old fart here. Acids are organic. But the definition of organic has changed with no clear cut definition. Old lady wisdom says learn about the chemicals you use, and dont fear them.

Thank you, made my correction BEFORE reading your reply! You Science People are wonderful!! I understand the hands-on but struggle with the technical. Could use your help. Sum-up: Kosher salt is 20% weaker than table salt.

Does the heat change the compounds strength? The fumes were stronger on my lungs and made my eyes tear when I added an extra 1 tbsp. of Kosher salt. I have the pickle isolated in the basement bathroom. I closed the door. The fumes were extreme. I added another 1 cup of vinegar to the pickle and lost the quicker pickling time. Neutralized the pickle and started a new batch.

I am “THE” Canary in the Coal Mine. My friends call me the Science Experiment!

Being Dyslexic is not a Disability, but as one who knows (me), it’s a definite “ABILITY”…:>)

Sodium chloride (table salt) is exactly the same in kosher and ordinary salt. Larger crystals mean that the space between crystals is greater therefore a tablespoons of differently sized crystals will give you greater and lesser weights of salt.

Some table salts contain anti-caking agents and have an iodide added but generally speaking there is no practical difference between them.

It’s always best to make up workshop solutions of salts by weight - not volume. This goes for brine, liver of sulfur solutions, ferric nitrate and so on.

If we want accurate solutions the we should work in a scientific way - not the way we work in the kitchen. That way we have constant accurate and repeatable solutions.

Please Tony pick up a carton of regular not high end table salt and read the label. Table salt can have depending on the maker, anywhere from 5 to 12 % filler. Just like milk had hidden sugars added depending on brand. That one was put into law in either 2008 or 09 as a rider on some other bill coming out of congress. That one allowed dairies to add sugar to milk such as 2% or lower to make it more palatable. That one because of our wonderful politicians doesnt have to be disclosed on the label. Pissed me off when I read about it on CNN.

Debh as you add salt to an acid it will off gas a minute amount of chlorine gas. Not harmful at all. It is as harmful as my hubby getting windy. Annoying but harmless.


LOL Gerry, not when you are trying to learn Celtic drawing and making it into hollow forms. Things that are challenging me!

Well I have given up on the vinegar salt pickle. I keep getting grey to black silver which isn’t helpful. Picked up some pH Minus from Home Depot, so back to sodium bisulphate. And hoping I don’t need to use the epi pen.


Rio PickleIt is a citric acid, and works well (heated/ventilated)