May 27, 2009

PICKLE - Au Natural!


We have a new team member, Jo, of IdreamIcanFly.etsy.com.

She has written a great little article with instructions to make your own, non-toxic, pickle solution. She has generously offered to share her findings with us:

"After much searching, I've finally found a recipe for pickle that's non-toxic, and actually works! For those of you non-silversmiths out there, in the silversmithing world pickle is used to remove the coating from silver (and other metals, I'm sure) after they're heated with a torch. It's a necessary part of the process. But for obvious reasons, I've never really been fond of having sulferic acid in my house.

I've tried other non-toxic pickle recipes, and they all seem to work veeeery slooooowly. This one, though, this one is fabulous. You take vinegar (just regular vinegar), heat it up in your pickle pot, and add table salt until the solution is saturated. That's it! As far as I can tell, it works just as fast as the standard pickle from Rio Grande. The only problem I've had so far is that it's a bit cloudy, so you kind of have to fish around for your pieces. I may have put too much salt in, though. We'll see if it clears up with use.

Now if only I can find an organic recipe for etching acid......

UPDATE: I've tried it heated up in the pickle pot now, and it's fantastic! It's actually faster than the standard pickle. I can see my pieces turning white as I'm setting them down. And it's not cloudy anymore, either. Fabulous!"


You can read more of IdreamIcanFly's blog here:

http://idreamicanflyaway.blogspot.com/2009/01/to-pickle-or-not-to-pickle.html

Thank you Jo!

12 comments:

idreamicanfly said...

Thanks guys! After a year and a half on Etsy, I'm really excited to have finally joined a team. I think I'll learn a lot here, and have a lot of fun in the process!

thebearaffair said...

Just for reference, what proportions did you use??

incalesco said...

How interesting, I will certainly try that out as my current batch of pickle is running low.

Lindsey said...

Wow-that sounds great. I'm going to be trying that out for sure.

TerraFirmaStudio said...

wow! thank you so much!!!

AG Ambroult said...

thank you! I am not a fan of the fumes. SO glad to know there's an alternative that WORKS!

Juleann said...

OH WOW!! I cant wait to go and try this myself! Thank you sooo very much... keep us posted with the etching im really interested in that one myself!

TerraFirmaStudio said...

I've tried this, and it really works!!! I got the best results with the simplest kind of vinegar, And yes, when I warmed it, it worked much faster.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

AWE Shop said...

This actually works fantastic. I was also not thrilled about the very harsh chemicals in pickle and was excited to find this. I didn't really know how much salt to put so I just kept pouring a bit at a time while vinegar was warm) until the solution was cloudy (it clears up after).
You do need to be aware of the very strong vinegar smell when opening your pickle pot, but at least it's just vinegar (reminds me of Easter everytime I open the pot LOL)

Anonymous said...

When using the vinegar and salt mixture, be aware that hydrogen and chlorine gas is released,it is generally very little. You can just use the vinegar with out the salt.

As the salt vinegar mix is a rust producing patina mix for ferrous materials.

A better and easier item to use is Pool PH reducer Or sodium bisulfate No mess, no fuss, easy to mix relatively cheap, available everywhere pool supplies are sold and non toxic and no problem with disposal.
Can be heated in the pickle pot and works quicker than vinegar or the vinegar mix.

Just make sure that when looking at the ingredients on the package it is close to 100% sodium bisulfate little or no inert filler material.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I was just wondering if the white will come off once I tumble the silver pieces? I have several that I put in yesterday and am hoping they get shiny again ;)

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