Pickle of just about any kind is an acid based material. For jewelry
use, it’s usually sold in a granular form that’s mixed with water &
heated in an old crock pot set on the ‘warm’ setting. Depending on
the chemical makeup of the pickle, about 1/4 -1/2 cup per quart/liter
of water will work. There’s no hard & fast ratio.
A very good pickle that may be available locally is Ph Minus for
swimming pools & SPAs. It’s chemical name is sodium bisulphate. It’s
usually less expensive than pickle from a jewelry supply & in many
cases is cleaner to use. It doesn’t leave a brown scum like some
pickles. In areas where pools are common, it’s available from pool
supplies, hardware, drug & grocery stores.
As with any acid based product, the item placed in it should be
neutralized in a solution of bicarbonate of soda (Arm & Hammer
Baking soda) & water after removal from the pickle. Before discarding
a batch of used pickle, it’s best to neutralize it with the same
If you haven’t already got it, I’d suggest you get a copy of ‘The
Complete Metalsmith’. It’s about 200 pages of very useful how to
info, drawings, tables & charts for the beginning & experienced
metalsmith. Depending on where you get it, it’s around $20 in the US.