I either use firescale preventatives if I have a limited number
of solderings on a piece or polish the firescale off using
bristle brushes follwed by buffs.
For more on firescale see:
Well there is bombing- a rather nasty way of getting rid of
firescale. It involves a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide
bath that you put your pieces in- then dropping sodium cyanide
into the peroxide causing a rather violent exothermic reaction.
Not reccomended without the proper containers, ventilation, and
safety equipment, but it does a through job of removing
Also stripping as someone pointed out- sort of reverse of
plating- though I am not as familiar with that.
You can also heat and pickle the piece several times which will
deplete the surface copper and oxides and burnish the resulting
fine silver surface- a very tradional silversmith’s solution to a