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Pickling mess



I have just made a terrible mistake with some silver pieces I left in
Rio’s pickle, I just forgot to turn off the crockpot and one day
later there was some kind of black bubbling mess which also sticked
to the silver pieces, my wife has told me to fix the mess I have done
or…, I tried to pickle them again but the brownish blackish
color seems to be part of the metal, I would like to know what kind
of solution could I apply to this small silver piece to restore the
silver white color.

Thanks in advance,
Thor Hedderich


I have left my pickle pot on for extended periods several times and
ended up with a mess. I finally got wise and put it on a timer. At
least it will not run 24 hours.

Lee Epperson


Try to clean off the mess best you can with a brass bristle brush,
Coat the piece with boric acid and anneal carefully and pickle
(after you make a new solution!), you may have to repaet this step a
couple of times brushing with the brass brush after each time.

if it’s still not white let it sit in cyanide over night. If it’s
still cruddy you may have to start over. Quick solution, don’t do it

Hope this helps.
Hans Allwicher

black bubbling mess which also sticked to the silver pieces 

What kind of solder did you use? Years ago my son was playing around
soldering scrap silver together with Sta Brite low temp solder. He
put the pieces in the pickle pot and left them. The next day they
were black as coal and so was every piece put in the pickle
afterwards. Had to dump the pickle and make more. But I don’t
remember the pickle turning black.

You can try pickling them in fresh pickle but I think you will have
to take the black of with abrasives.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado


Hi Thor

Been there, done it.

I am not quite sure what happens, but when I forget a silver piece in
the pickle and find it grey/black and dull, I simply heat it to
annealing temperature with a torch, hold it there till the flame
becomes red/yellow again, and pickle again (for a short time ;-)),
scratch brush - and voila - nice silver finish restored.

Best regards
Niels Lovschal