PICKELING after soldering stainless steel!

Hello everyone!
After I solder pieces of stainless steel for jewelry together. Should I and does it help to pickle. I would use brand new pickle solution. Also what type of tongs should I use stainless or copper. I don’t want my stainless steel piece to take on a copper coating

Thanks for everyone’s help and suggestions.


AFAIK, there’s no need to pickle stainless steel. The oxide that develops on heated steel is only a very thin layer and will polish away easily. Just boil the piece in water to dissolve the flux.
Of course, there are many different stainless alloys, so it’s best to read up on the particular properties of the one you are using.


It is totally dependent on the heat used, I used to work as a sheet metal welder for Stainless.
And if you heat the stainless to red in contact with Oxygen you will get a very refractory blue oxide that needs something like “whink” or similar to be removed.
We used a different substance but they all contain Hydrofluoric Acid “HF”, a really nasty piece of chemical.
As long as you keep it below red or keep the oxygen out, this is not an issue.


Thank you for the information. I am using 316 and with a propane torch, so the heat is not that high.



stainless steel forms a layer of chromium oxide that keeps it from futher contact with oxygen… the chromium oxide layer is microscopically thin and is chromium +3 and oxygen, or Cr2O3… 11% chromium is the minimum content and after 20%, there is no futher corrosion resistance. The addition of nickle 8% and molybdenum adds further corrosion resistance. There are many kinds of stainless steel and the comment by Elliot Nesterman is very cogent. SAE (standard American Engineering) grades and their compositions and properties are all on line… I agree with Yggdrasil that high heat will scorch it badly… all steels, including stainless have some carbon in them for hardness. All steels have three phases, depending on carbon content and temperature. These phases determine it’s crystalline structue. Some stainless steels are engineered to have a certain phase… red heat will alter the designed phase and scorch it… phosphoric acid can be used as rust remover, far less toxic than HF acid. just use a very low melting point solder and keep the heat down…

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