Sodium Bisulphate as Pickle

Can anyone please tell me what the correct ratio of sodium
bisulphate (dry acid, pool pH powder) to water is for making up some
pickle? Also, is tap water OK?

Thank you

I may get flack for this but I it says on my can of sparex 21/2 lb.
to 7 cups of water = 1 gallon of solution. (I’d tell you what the
ratio that is but I have to claim that I’m an artist, and therefore
math is painful for me to do.) However since I only mix up small
batches at a time because that’s what I require I honestly put a
three or four spoonfuls into my 600ml container (until the mix looks
like a rather large urine sample- sorry that’s just how it looks)
There is definitely a better way to go about this, but this works for
me and cleans my metal. So if you better at the maths then me figure
out the ratio and you should be fine. Or you might what to check the
archives (maybe I should to) but I think Charles Lewon-Brain might
have posted something about this, or maybe he told me once…
anyways good luck.

Zoe Hardisty

Hello Pat!

Nobody answered this question when I started using sodium
bisulphate, so I’m telling you what it works for me. I add 1.5Qt. tap
warm water and 1/4 cup of Sodium Bisulphate. I found out that if I
used more it tends to form crystals at the bottom.

Hope it works for you too.


Hi Pat,

Can anyone please tell me what the correct ratio of sodium
bisulphate (dry acid, pool pH powder) to water is for making up
some pickle? Also, is tap water OK?

I don’t know if there are any ‘absolute’ recipes for sodium
bisulphate & water for pickle. I’ve been using about 1 cup of PH
minus to 1 qt of tap water for years & it’s worked well. I should
also say that are water is quite hard.

If that ration of PH minus to water doesn’t work well for you,
experiment a little. Add more/less until you find a ration that
works for you. The cost is minimal & there aren’t any great dangers.


Hi Pat !

There is no magic number for water ratio to bi-sulphate. It is more
or less a random kind of thing. Add a bunch to some warm water and
stir it well…if it goes into solution, add some more and stir
again. Repeat the process until you have unabsorbed material at the
bottom of the container. You might want to maximize your solution
efficiency by using distilled water.This would be especially
appropriate in areas where water is very hard as in many Western
American cities. Water hardness is the reason why you can’t come up
with a generalization about water to bi-sulphate solution. Hard
water can sometimes have little capacity to absorb added chemicals.

Since the resultant solution from adding bi-sulphate to water is a
dilute solution of sulfuric acid you might want to simply make up a
watered down sulfuric acid solution by adding sulfuric acid to water
at a ten to one ratio. Sometimes sulfuric acid is available in pool
maintenance venues. Other wise, it is not generally available
except by going through circuitous channels.Pickle is simply a
limited oxide removal medium which seldom substitutes for complete
oxide removal… The better approach to oxide formation is a proper

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.

My thanks to everyone who has answered my question about mixing
sodium bisulphate to use as pickle.

Ron’s post is particularly interesting, as it helps to explain why
the ratios used by different people vary so widely.

I think I will start with making a saturated solution in distilled
water and just go from there!