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Pickle

Pickle is a mildly acidic solution that cleans oxides from metal by stripping away small amounts of copper. Pickle is generally sold in powdered form at jewelry-supply companies. To make a pickle solution, mix the powder with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

 

Pickle is most effective when it is warm, but you can leave a piece in cold pickle overnight to achieve the same results.

BASICS_pickle
Figure

If steel (binding wire or tweezers) comes in contact with pickle, it can cause a chemical reaction that will copper-plate whatever metal is in your solution. To prevent this, use copper or plastic tongs to place metals in the solution (Figure). When the metal is clean, remove it from the pickle using the tongs, and rinse the metal in water.

You can reuse pickle; you will notice that it becomes less effective over time as it becomes more and more blue in color (due to the copper it has absorbed). When the pickle is exhausted, let it cool, pour it into a large container, and then neutralize it with baking soda. If you are using a natural pickle (like citric acid), you don’t need to neutralize it. For any pickle, contact your local authorities for proper disposal methods; you do not want to add copper to your local water supply.

FIND MORE: metal , soldering

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