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Sodium bisulphate or pool PH minus as pickle

Orchid Folks…

Was following the thread about using the pool chemical (in my case
the brand is called PH Minus, and it is 100% sodium bisulphate) as

Those of you who use this stuff…what concentration do you mix it
up as, ounces per pint or whatever of water…

And do you use it at room temp or heated…?

Gary W. Bourbonais

Gary, I usually use a 2-quart Corning Ware casserole (deep) for
pickle. When I’m mixing my pH- pickle, I use a scant 1/3 cup of pH-
to 1-1/2 quarts of water.

I use it hot, but it also works at room temp (just slower).
However, I’ve found it best to mix it up hot – like most solutions,
it dissolves better and much more quickly when heated.

Hope this helps,

Hi Gary,

 Those of you who use this stuff....what concentration do you mix
it up as, ounces per pint or whatever of water... And do you use it
at room temp or heated....? 

I use a an old 4 quat crock pot as a pickle pot. I usually start out
with about 3 quarts of water & put in a cup of Ph Minus. I don’t
measure it, I just pour it in. I like to use the pickle warm, it
gives faster results if it’s warm.

I don’t think the actual amount of Ph Minus is that important for
the average bench jeweler; too little & pickling will take longer,
too much could be wasteful. For industrial applications though, it
might be a good idea to contact someone with an understanding of the
chemistry involved based on the makeup of the items being pickled.


Thanks, Karen!

Rio PickleIt is a citric acid, and works very well (heated, ventilated)


Works great 1 cup per quart,

I just buy sodium bisulphate.

I think I have tried everything available for pickling. I have good results from PH Down (Sodium Bisulfate) and it is very affordable when compared to other, commercial, products. I use the “That Looks About Right” measuring method to two quarts of hot water. It dissolves fairly quickly as long as the water is hot and I stir it in with a wooden dowel. Be care of splash back as it melts blue jeans.

Don Meixner

I’ve used nothing but pool chemicals for pickling and neutralising for years. Measurement into a crock pot by
“that looks about right” works for me, really depends on how much I’m doing or how big the pieces are.

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Does using PickleIt REQUIRE you to have extra ventilation? Thanks in advance. I’m trying PickleIt for the first time.

Since your pickle is probably real close to where you solder, ventilation is a good idea. I use pH down. About 2 cups to a four quart crockpot full of water…Rob

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Thanks. I keep them in their own separate areas of my studio (in our garage that has a large Window that keep opened up part way for ventilation. Next I want to try PH down. Everyone seems to speak well of it. Thanks again. Happy New Year! :woman_artist:t3::cactus::hammer:

When you buy Ph Down make sure the ingredient is sodium bisulphate. There are some available that are a different chemical. Sodium bisulphate is the same as Sparex but a lot cheaper. You won’t need to ventilate if you keep a lid on it, put the soldered piece in cold water before putting in the pickle, and don’t heat the pickle. If your solution is strong, there is no need to heat it. Ventilation is needed if you are doing things to make the pickle aerosol.

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I used to use pH Down - still have half a container of it. Someone on Orchid many years ago talked about citric acid pickle, so I got a ten pound bag from an internet site for soap making. Long story short, I never looked back. Citric acid works quite well, especially when heated. That ten pound bag might be down to eight pounds by now :grin:. The stuff holds up in use. No more concern about steel contamination or possible toxicity. Citric acid is a food additive GRAS. Not to mention it’s cheap.

Just a comment from a satisfied user. As always YMMV.
Judy in Kansas where it’s a lovely day in the neighborhood.

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