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Sparex Substitute


#1

A perfect non-toxic substitute for Sparex is Citric Acid. It cleans just
as well as Sparex, and is safe for your drain. Use 8 oz of citric to two
qts of water in your crockpot. I was very skeptical about this at first,
but it really does work.

Second, don’t ever quench in Sparex. I was told that the sodium bisulfate
(Sparex) attacks the solder and will make pits.

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
416 Main St.
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3532
http://www.metalwerx.com/
@metalart

Current Artwork:

https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/karen1.htm


#2

Hello,

Citric acid sounds great. Where does one buy it and how much does it cost
in comparison to Sparex? Does it leave pits if I forget to remove
something like the regular acid does?

Thank you,
Pauline


#3

Citric Acid can be purchased at any chemical supply house. It is
considerably more expensive than sparex. .It is very nice to work with,
but is sticky. Also, you need to keep your items in it longer than you
would with sparex. Good thing about it is that if you are working with
hollow items—beads, hollow forms etc., any residue will not eat out the
silver as would sparex. Good luck–Alma


#4

One more note on getting the citric acid. There are several scientific
companies, Cole Parmer, Fisher Scientific, Abbott, etc. who have websites.
You can get their catalogs and order citric acid from them. The other is
Carolina Biological Sciences: http://www.carolina.com. They are very
helpful and have all kinds of goodies geared to education.

Hope this helps. I will call my expert in citric acid today and give you a
definitive answer on the pitting potential. – Karen Christians


#5

You can order citric acid from the King Arthur Bakery site:
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ and get their catalog. Some bulk food
health stores might also carry it.

I don’t know about leaving pits in your work if you leave it overnight,
but I suspect the answer is no.

-k
Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
416 Main St.
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3532
http://www.metalwerx.com/
@metalart

Current Artwork:

https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/karen1.htm


#6

Greetings

Just thought I would pass along a little tidbit of info that I learned in
my business dealings a few years ago regarding citric acid. I had a
customer, one of worlds largest food additive manufacturers, that produced
citric acid. They GREW it on Mollasas (sp?) which was shipped to the U.S.
by ocean going freighters, from Russia. I never saw the process…just had
it described to me by one of their principal engineers.

I wanted to submit this just to reinforce that citric acid is a
food additive and is not toxic.

Warmest regards
Ken Shields
Huntsville (Rocket City), Alabama


#7

Citric acid is the main ingredient of “bath bombs” or “fizzing bath
balls”, etc. For more reasonably priced citric acid than you can find in a
health food store, home brewer’s supply, etc. - try
www.from-nature-with-love.com in New York. Their price is $2.50/lb.

hth,
Jani


#8

We sell citrus pickle @ $7.00/lb 2 lbs for $12.00 and 5 lbs for $20.00.
With my experiance and customer feedback the pickle does not seem to be
much slower than sparex, it does not copperplate, does not burn holes in
your clothing, it does not pit the metal, and lasts fairley long per
batch. JD Findings (201) 541-4160


#9

I met JD findings when I was in Baltimore, at the ACC show. Nice people,
and a great selection of diverse stones. They were telling me about the
citrus pickle there. I didn’t realize that they were on Orchid. Check them
out, they have a catalogue. Hi guys.

Lisa, ( off on the horses daily…almost tossed me off, the little brat
was so happy to be galloping with me on him bareback), Topanga, CA USA


#10

Hi out there,
I’m going to give the “swimming pool acid” sodium bisulfide a try since I
can’t get my hands on any Sparex immediately. Does anyone know the mixing
proportions? How much water to a pound of the granular sodium bisulfide?
I’d also be interested in trying the citric acid as an alternative, but
need mixing instructions.
Thanks in advance for all the sharing folks. It’s great to have this
resource (Orchid) too!
judymw

Judy M. Willingham, Consumer Pollution Prevention Specialist 237 Seaton
Hall Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506 (785)532-5418 FAX
(785) 532-6944


#11

I’m going to give the “swimming pool acid” sodium bisulfide a try since I
can’t get my hands on any Sparex immediately. Does anyone know the mixing
proportions? How much water to a pound of the granular sodium bisulfide?

My can of sparex says 2 1/2 pounds of powder plus 7 pints water equal
1 gallon of pickle. This translates to put powder in a gallon jug. Fill
with water. (Distilled please)

Disolves quicker of the water is warm.

At my age, “getting a little action” means I don’t need to take a
laxative.

Bobert
Carmel,CA
Handmade Jewelry
http://bobert.webjump.com/


#12

Ummmm – I think you mean sodium bisulfite, not sodium bisulfide!
they are definitely not the same! Margaret @Margaret_Malm


#13
  My can of sparex says 2 1/2 pounds of powder plus 7 pints water
equal 1 gallon of pickle. This translates to put powder in a gallon
jug. Fill with water.  (Distilled please) 

Distilled? Hardly needed. Tap water will do just fine. You’re not
concocting a plating bath. Just a mild acid dip. Any minerals or
impurities in the water won’t hurt it. The worst it can do is create
a little yucky surface scum. Even the sparex poweder isn’t so pure
anyway, and you often get a little scum just from impurities in the
chemical anyway. Either way, it doesn’t hurt anything. If it offends
your sense of cleanliness, skim off whatever forms. Usually it’s
not much.

By the way, on the subject of pure water, if you actually need pure
water, like for a plating bath, then distilled isn’t what you need.
Distilling water only removes those mineral componants which don’t
boil, like the calcium carbonate, salt, and stuff like that. These
are what form crusty deposits, so for your steam iron, that’s great.
but impurities in the water that are at all volatile, like oils,
various organic compounds, and a raft of other such things, go through
a still just fine, and are still in the distilled water. Some of
these things will have a more serious effect on a plating bath than
the mineral impurities removed by distilling. So for these uses, what
you need is not distilled water, but what’s called deionized water, or
D.I. for short. This is usually produced by a filter arrangement,
similar to the reverse osmosis units used for home water filters, only
a bit more thorough. You can buy these units if you have a regular
need for D.I., starting for a couple hundred dollars for a small low
volume filter. Otherwise, commercial firms that use the stuff often
will sell it to you as well. Cost isn’t too different from that of
distilled in the grocery stores. And it’s a LOT purer.

The quality of purified water (D.I.) is usually stated by measuring
it’s electrical resistance. Any impurities dissolved in water are
ions that generally allow the water to carry a small current. Highly
pure water is a very good insulator. So the purity of D.I. is usually
stated by just stating it’s electrical resistance in megohms. The
actual measurement refers to a standard electrode size and distance
between the electrodes (don’t know what they are. maybe someone else
does?) but usually just the megohm value is given.

One other comment worth mentioning about “pure” water. It has a
distinct shelf life. One of the reasons water is so universally
useful to us, both in our life processes and in our professions and
formulations, is that it’s an exceptionally powerful solvent for a
very wide range of things. Normal tap water already has a great
number if things dissolved in it, and because this gives the water
some electrical conductivity, it is less effective as an agressive
solvent. Not so much that you cannot use it, but enough so that it
is’nt so agressively corrosive. Really pure deionized water, on the
other hand, is highly agressive as a solvent, and will quickly cause
corrosion in things like pipes, vessels, and containers. What that
means, among other things, is that even quite inert containers for
d.i. will over time contaminate the water. If you store the stuff for
a month, and then measure it’s purity again, you’ll find that often
the electrical resistivity has dropped by half in that time, just
sitting in a closed container. And the manufacturers of the filter
equipment that produces it have to be careful to use materials in the
filter that won’t be quickly corroded by the water… What fun…

HTH.
Peter Rowe