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Pripps in the UK


Dear all, I have read all of the Pripp’ postings with interest (as
well as having a glance through the archive), but being in the UK, do
not seem to have access to the brands of borax etc which usually get
mentioned. Has anybody on this side of the pond had any success
making Pripp’s, and if so please let me know where you sourced the
chemicals? Regards Chris Penner


Chris Same problem, Borax and Boric acid are readily available from
the Jewellery supply houses like Cooksons but
TSP? I suspect Sugar Soap, manufactured by Mangers and sold for
washing down surfaces before painting may be the stuff - described as
’a scientifically designed balance of phosphates, carbonates and
sulphonates’ on the packet but they won’t tell me what is in it - I
have asked! Intending to experiment. It would help if we knew what TSP
was sold for in the USA - probably in the archives somewhere, I must
be getting lazy. Cheers

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England
Tel: 01229 584023

It would help if we knew what TSP was sold for in the USA -
probably in the archives somewhere, 

TSP, or trisodium phosphate, is most commonly sold in the U.S., as a
strong alkaline cleaning agent used for cleaning walls before
painting. Another use I’ve heard is for cleaning bottles that will be
used for bottling home brewed beer and wine. Some locations
prohibit or restrict it’s use/sale since as a phosphate, it can cause
water pollution when waste waters with the stuff reach rivers and
lakes (the phosphate is a fertilizer, causing algae blooms or other
shifts in plant life balances.)

46or Prips, I might point out that TSP is only one of several forms
of sodium phosphate which will work in the formulation of prips flux.
Trisodium phosphate, or TSP is often the most easily obtained, so
it’s the commonly stated one. but disodium or monosodium phosphates
also work just fine. These are usually obtained from chemical supply

the cleaner you describe sounds like a mix of several chemicals,
since TSP is only trisodium phosphate. Thus it has no carbonates or
sulfonates or the like in it.

Peter Rowe


Hello Andy, Trisodium Phosphate is sold for cleaning surfaces of
grease and grime, before painting and is commonly found in specialty
paint stores in the US. I Googled and found a website that gives a
bit more info about its use: Hope this helps, Judy
in Kansas


Dear all, more for to UK silversmiths than a question:

After 3 years of hunting down a source of trisoduimphosphate in the
UK, where suppliers are universally nervous about selling unusual
chemicals to members of the public, I finally found some (from in London) and whipped up a batch of Pripps
over the weekend to assist me in making some small salt and pepper
dishes. 10 annealings and one protracted piece of soldering later and
the only firestain occurred where I had messed up the application and
polished out easily. Made pickling quite speedy as well. Knocks the
spots off of Argotech at any rate.

Only downside is that it was not inexpensive (about 340 for 1.5kg
of made up flux), though lower quality borax and boric acid would
reduce this somewhat (suggestions on good sources in the UK welcome).
And I can see that in future I will be cursed with a very sticky
soldering station, but a small price to pay.

Chris Penner