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Pickle alternatives?


#1

I have a question. I recently started teaching myself soldering, and
was wondering if there are any alternatives methods for cleaning
your projects (any metal) after soldering instead of using pickle? I
know pickle is the usual method, but I don’t have the proper
equipment for using and storing it, and was hoping there might be
some other methods I could use until I can get the right equipment
for the other. Any suggestions?

Laura


#2

Try PH Down in the pool section of Wal-Mart. Also a good ultrasonic
works too. Steve


#3
I have a question. I recently started teaching myself soldering,
and was wondering if there are any alternatives methods for
cleaning your projects (any metal) after soldering instead of using
pickle? I know pickle is the usual method, but I don't have the
proper equipment for using and storing it, and was hoping there
might be some other methods I could use until I can get the right
equipment for the other. Any suggestions? 

I am in the process of making a hollow ring, and I don’t want to get
acid inside it, so it hasn’t been in acid.

Filing and sanding cleans it up nicely.

Regards Charles A.


#4

I use pH Minus, a brand name for sodium bisulfate, used as an acid
in hot tubs and swimming pools. It’s cheaper than Sparex and cleaner
too. There’s really only one difference I’ve found between it and
Sparex and it’s not really jewelry related.


#5

Laura,

Please just go to TARGET and buy a small electric crock pot. This
should cost no more than $12.00.If you’re using it for silver and
gold you can go a long way between changing the solution. I prefer
to heat up the pickle as it works so much faster in the removal of
oxides. I also mix some hydrogen peroxide to increase the reaction
of the pickle.


#6

Laura, It doesn’t take any special equipment. I store mine in a large
wine bottle with a cork. As for use, you can put it in a wide mouth
pint or half pint fruit jar.

Jerry in Kodiak


#7

Hi, Laura,

alternatives methods for cleaning your projects (any metal) after
soldering instead of using pickle? I know pickle is the usual
method, but I don't have the proper equipment for using and storing
it, 

If by using and storage issues you mean (among other things) safety
concerns, you could try one of the very small slow cooker
(“crock-pot”) with food-grade citric acid. I get small quantities of
citric acid from myspicesage.com. (Other sources were charging way
too much for shipping, or were selling quantities that were too large
for me.) I found the small 1.5 quart Chefmate slow-cooker at Target
or Wegman’s. Citric acid takes longer than other pickles, but it’s
relatively safe.

Best,
Lorraine


#8

A previous thread here said that the stuff used for swimming pools
can be used for pickle. It can be bought at pool supply stores or
some hardware stores. Somebody will no doubt chime in with a product
name - I have forgotten.


#9
I know pickle is the usual method, but I don't have the proper
equipment for using and storing it, and was hoping there might be
some other methods I could use until I can get the right equipment
for the other. Any suggestions? 

If you do not want to use commercial pickle, here is a house recipe.
A cup of vinegar and a couple of spoons of table salt makes great
pickle.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#10
A previous thread here said that the stuff used for swimming pools
can be used for pickle. It can be bought at pool supply stores or
some hardware stores. Somebody will no doubt chime in with a
product name - I have forgotten. 

The item you’re looking for is called Ph Minus of Ph Down depending
on the supplier.

The container I bought cost about $8.00 & contains 7 lb (3.18 kg). I
got mine at a grocery store. However it’s sold in swimming pool
supply stores, home centers & drug stores in AZ.

The label lists the ingredients as 92% sodium bisulfate & 8% inert.

A nice thing about it other than the cost is it doesn’t leave a scum
on the solution.

Dave


#11

I just use an old rubber sealed glass 500ml preserving jar for my
pickle which comprises 1 part battery acid (sulphuric) to 3 parts
water. I have never found the need to heat my pickle, maybe Because
I’m patient or the generally warm weather here. When I’m putting
newly soldered pieces into the pickle I place them in hot. I place
the pickle jar in a larger plastic tub (old ice cream container).
You could also have a layer of shell grit in the plastic container to
neutralise spills. I leave the brass tweezers hanging over the edge
of the plastic container.

All the best
Jenny


#12

Hello,

When I'm putting newly soldered pieces into the pickle I place
them in hot. 

This action is dangerous and not very clever. Be serious,your still
dealing with ACID even in diluted state.

Dilute this acid to a ratio of 1 part acid to 50 parts of water,
whould you then drink it? Is it then save? If someone likes it this
way well that is fine for the person himself but please give people
proper

I have never found the need to heat my pickle, maybe Because I'm
patient or the generally warm weather here

Why don’t you wait then untill your piece is cooled of if you’re so
patient? Why dumping the hot piece in a solution if you don’t feel
the need of having the pickle heated? The correct way of doing this is
pleacing a cooled down piece in a hot solution and that whould
explane your patience. Respect acid’s because they don’t respect you.

Have fun and enjoy
Pedro


#13

I’ve eliminated pickle altogether, who needs the hassle. Give it a
good firecoat and then ultrasonic after soldering.


#14
I am in the process of making a hollow ring, and I don't want to
get acid inside it, so it hasn't been in acid. 

If you have to pickle a hollow object I have two suggestions…

Put the object in water while the object is still quite warm, it
should suck clean water in if there is a porous seam. Then pickle,
the water should keep the pickle out. Then rinse in water and place
on paper towel to absorb leakage. If need be you can lick a flame
over the piece to drive the water out, but be careful, that’s not
without its occasional surprises. Steam works well for this too.

Alternately you could purposely put a small hole in the piece,
solder, air cool, then temporarily plug the hole before pickle and
rinse.


#15

Putting hot metal into an acid bath is not only dangerous but it also
quenches the piece and changes the hardness of the metal. If you put
Yellow gold into an liquid while it’s hot, it softens it. White gold
hardens, etc. Not smart, unless that’s your intentions. It can also
shatter stones if not careful. I wouldn’t recommend it.


#16

What’s the ratio of water to PH Down / Ph Minus?

Thanks!!!
MAK


#17
What's the ratio of water to PH Down / Ph Minus? 

Ratio? I just pour some in.


#18
What's the ratio of water to PH Down / Ph Minus? 

I mix my pickle at 2.5 pounds dry mix to a gallon of water. It
really isn’t critical. If you mix it more dilute it takes longer to
work. Too strong and it will crystallize sooner in your pickle pot as
the water evaporates.

Rick Copeland
rockymountainwonders.com


#19

Hi,

What's the ratio of water to PH Down / Ph Minus? It's not that
critical, but I use about 3/4 cup per quart of water. 

As the water evaporates, it’s not necessary to add more Ph, I just
add water.

Periodically, I dump & clean the crock pot & start with a new batch.

Dave


#20
Citric acid takes longer than other pickles, but it's relatively
safe. 

Every so often, someone says this. I’ve been using citric in my own
studio for years; we use standard pickle where I teach. I do not
notice any difference in speed, so it really can’t be very
significant.

Dilute citric acid is drinkable, until you dissolve copper in it,
so, yeah, it’s safe. Any kind of pickle gets copper in it, otherwise
it would be useless, so to that extent they’re not “safe”. But short
of drinking it, it’s hard for me to see how you could harm yourself
with citric acid as pickle.

As far as I can detect, the citric produces no fumes, works fine,
costs a little more but the quantities are trivial.

If you don’t want to use a crock pot for some reason, a cup warmer
(NOT a candle warmer, which doesn’t get as hot) and one of those
lidded mugs they often sell with them to keep your coffee hot will
work and have a smaller “footprint”, though it takes quite a while to
heat up.

I like the “Little Dipper” mini crock pot-- heats up fast, doesn’t
take much room, lid fits real well so no escaping steam or
evaporation. I added a little rheostat it plugs into, because it
lacks a control knob and gets hotter than I want it. I think the
rheostat cost $5 at a hardware store. I kinda melted it trying to use
it on a hotplate, but I caught it in time and it still worked fine
until I lost it at a teaching gig. I replaced it with a similar-sized
crock pot from a thrift store that HAS a control knob, for $4.

Noel