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Sparex No 2 101


#1

Hello,

I am a new, new, newbie, so bare with me please.

I bought a “Little Dipper” crock pot to put my “pickle” in to keep it
warm. I only put in a little bit of water and just a little bit of
’Sparex No 2" because I was only doing a few pieces of Sterling
Silver Wire Headpins that I made. My question is this; how long does
this stuff last? Should I throw it out, or can I just leave it in the
crock pot with the lid on it till I need it again. I don’t mean
months, but maybe a week or so. Will it still be okay to use again
and again?

Thanks…Valerie


#2
how long does this stuff last? 

It lasts as long as it isn’t affective anymore. When it evaporates
add water to replentish. Don’t add more Sparex it will get too
strong. I usually dump it when it gets too dirty with charcoal dust
and such or turns blue. Turning blue indicates it has a lot of
dissolved copper. There are ways to revive and old batch but I just
dump it and put in new.

BTW, if you notice brown or yellow, oily film on top of the pickle,
Sparex is famous for that. It’s not my favorite. There are much
better products out there. If you live in a climate where swimming
pools are common you can buy a product called PH Down or PH Minus.
It’s Sodium bisulphate. The same as Sparex.

Check the Orchid archives. This subject gets kicked around about
every 6 months.

BTW. I still have a 40# bucket of Sparex to free to anyone who wants
to come pick it up or pay for shipping…

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com


#3
Will it still be okay to use again and again? 

Yes. Add more water as it evaporates out.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA
http://www.craftswomen.com/M’louBrubaker


#4

I use mine over and over again until it becomes quite horrid! I have
to top up the water level from time to time, but otherwise it’s fine.

I too use crock pots and sometime in the long past I was having a
devil of a job - everything I placed in the pickle became
contaminated, even with fresh pickle. I just couldn’t figure it out.
Eventually it dawned on me that the crock pot glaze was etched and
in places etched through to the clay body underneath and concluded
that it was this that was causing the pickle to become contaminated.
I replaced the pot and it’s been fine ever since. I keep a careful
eye on the glazing in my crock pots now (almost time for a new one
again).

Sadie


#5

I bought a “Little Dipper” crock pot to put my “pickle” in to keep
itwarm. I only put in a little bit of water and just a little bit
of’Sparex No 2" because I was only doing a few pieces of
SterlingSilver Wire Headpins that I made. My question is this; how
long doesthis stuff last? Should I throw it out, or can I just leave
it in thecrock pot with the lid on it till I need it again. I don’t
meanmonths, but maybe a week or so. Will it still be okay to use
againand again? Hi Valerie,

I have used Sparex since '05.

Its good for a long time except when:

you use yellow ochre and don’t rinse with water before pickling(
good thru several forgettings but eventually forms a greasy residue).

you get it too hot just before boiling or boiling accidentally, and
yes you can boil in a crock pot.

or if you put ferrous metals in it too often ( turns dark blue and
is no good)

Also since I wasn’t making a couple of gallons at a time I stored
the remai= nder in an air tight container for close to eight months;
a little discoloration (even air tight doesn’t keep the insidious
humidity of Mississippi out totally) but still good.

So hope this helps and happy pickling!! and Happy Holidays!!


#6

Valerie,

The answer is that it depends on how you’ve used it and how much has
evaporated in the meantime. Unless my pickle pot has been heavily
used, I usually end up adding a bit more water and dumping in a
little more pickle if the level is getting low. Otherwise, it should
be fine to use.

Best way to find out is just to put a piece in it. If it’s not
strong enough, add a bit more sparex.

Bascially, what the sparex is doing is making the solution more
acidic. Unless something else (evaporation, addition of a
neutralizing agent, increased copper in solution through heavy use)
adjusts the pH in the other direction, the solution will still be
acidic and thus effective in removing oxides.

Hope this helps!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry


#7

Dear Valerie, I have done the same thing with regular sparex. I still
have some. I add water and keep going. Depending on the project I
will mix a new batch. I’m an old timer though. I don’t know what
sparex 2 is.

Jay


#8

You should be able to use it over and over again. Usually the only
reason I change mine is because it gets dirty. There is really no
need to throw it out except if you contaminate it with steel. Just
keep the lid on it and you will be fine.

Steven


#9

Hi Rick and others

I read all the Sparex 2 entries about 6 months ago. I agree there
are better products to use. I just found the PH Down at Home Depot,
and wonder if you could give me a formula for use as Jewelry Pickle.
I also have some Citric Acid, which I understand is good - a formula
for that too?

Thanks, Merry Christmas
Rose Marie Christison (have a hard time writing that after spelling
Christmas!!! HA)


#10

Steven,

What do you do with saturated (blue) pickle? I often depletion guild
my golds and in my experience saturated or old/tired pickle simply
doesn’t have the oomph to do the job.

Andy


#11

Sadie

When you purchase your next Crock-pot please check out the ones that
are made from pyrex glass instead of glazed clay as they do not etch
through. The pyrex ones are also smoother and clean better,
especially when the water evaporates or boils off.

I also prefer to get one where the pot is removable from the heater
part as it is easier to clean.

Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#12
everything I placed in the pickle became contaminated, even with
fresh pickle. I just couldn't figure it out. 

Much good advise on this— Jay said he didn’t know what Sparex #2
is, but he does if he reads the can. Sparex #1 is for ferrous metals,
though I for one have never seen or used it, but it is. I’ve also had
problems with crock pots having steel screws to hold the handle of
the lid on - various ways to fix that (plastic screws…), but be
aware. Also, Sparex is dissolving fluxes off of metal after
soldering, and like anything that’s dissolving stuff, it doesn’t last
forever. It does last indefinately in a pot, but the more stuff you
put in it, the more it becomes depleted. You may think it’s working
until you make a fresh batch and see how THAT works. But, as many
have said, it lasts a long time. I’d say just change it when it’s
dirty, when you really can tell if it’s not very effective anymore,
or if you have some special work where you want everything clean and
fresh - it’s cheap.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#13

I some time keep it for months just add water unles of course it
gets contaminated then it need to be changed.

Don in Idaho


#14

Hi Rose Marie,

I just found the PH Down at Home Depot, and wonder if you could
give me a formula for use as Jewelry Pickle. 

Mixing the PH Down/Minus (sodium bisulphate) with the water for
pickle isn’t critical. I usually mix about 1/2 cup of PH Down to 1
quart/liter of water.

Dave


#15
I just found the PH Down at Home Depot, and wonder if you
could give me a formula for use as Jewelry Pickle. 

2 1/2 pounds (40 oz) of Sodium bisulphate per gallon of water is
what I use. It’s not really critical I’ve seen some just spoon it
into a crock pot.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com


#16

I may get pounded on this one, but I am a beginner/hobbyist and at
first thought I would use the traditional pickle pot, but it was
wasted, didn’t use it enough. Now I have my mixture (I use PH Down)
in a mayonaise jar and when I am working at my bench, pour some in a
glass bowl, set it in another bowl and put it in the microwave for a
30 seconds to a minute or less (depending on amount). It is instant
pickle, hot and does the trick on a few beads or pieces of metal
with little waste, wash the bowl out with soda and I am done.

Jackie Richards.


#17

For everyone using crock pots and the like…You don’t need to heat
pickle for it to work. It just takes a little longer to do the same
job when it’s cold.

Mark


#18

Thanks you all… Just waiting to mix it now and see how much better
I like it. I trashed the old Sparex 2 when it made all the crud on
the top of the water!

Rose Marie


#19

As the result of previous discussions on this topic, I stopped using
Sparex in favor of PH Down. So far I haven’t seen any of the gunk so
familiar to Sparex users, and I don’t miss it one tiny bit. PH Down
or the equivalent is so easy to get, that there’s just no reason to
use Sparex again. Somebody can have mine too!

Allan Mason


#20

hi all,

i’ve always used 10% sulphuric acid for pickle. (not heated) but now
i’m old & doddery i’m starting to worry about fumes! is sparex no2
equivalent to suphuric acid?

& Sodium bisulphate - does that have fume/allergy implications? i
know i’m definitely allergic to sodium metabisulphite

chris(topher) bailey
wrexham
uk