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How to avoid pickle pot corrosion.
I have had 3 pickle pots and all of them have corroded and rotted away. I have learned to not use tap water, and to not let the solution boil … so I’m learning from these mistakes. I use the Rio Pickle solution. So I need to clean up the table/bench top. The surface is covered in dried up pickle pot liquid. How should I go about with cleaning this. I am going to buy a new crock pot and now I’m going to only use distilled water and keep the setting on low. Does the crock pot need to be sitting on top of something … is that necessary ? Like a drip collector cookie sheet idea of a thing except not a cookie sheet I know not to use anything metal with the pickle pot for the acid will eat away at it. What is the best crock pot to buy ? A ceramic bin or plastic ?
The distilled water is important to not contaminate the pickle. For instance, my well has iron in it. The iron will contaminate the pickle and cause copper flashing. It probably doesn’t have much to do with the corrosion of the pickle pot but, I could be wrong.
On clean up: I wet a rag with my baking soda/water neutralizing solution and wipe down both the pot and the counter – once in awhile. I also wash the lid in the sink. I wash the ceramic insert before I put in new solution.
Another thing to do is to pull off the control knob (if possible) and clean under that with the baking soda rag and then wipe up with the plain water rag. MAKE SURE THE POT IS UNPLUGGED FIRST.
I recommend plugging your pickle pot into an electrical strip with an on-off switch. Plug in a small clip light (or something similar) too. With this setup, you need to turn the electrical strip on for the pickle to work AND the light. When you are done for the day, and the light is on, you’ll know that the pickle pot is also on. I leave my pickle pot set to low and just use the electrical strip as a control. When you leave for vacation or for extended periods of time, unplug the strip – just to be on the very safe side of things!
I buy all of my pickle pots at junk stores for about $5.00 to $15.00 (for $15 it has to be large, very handsome and perfect!). Don’t buy crock pots/pickle pots that have metal around the lids or metal on/in the insert. The one I have, has a screw in the lid to hold the knob. It has corroded. I should have sealed it with a strong acrylic sealer or a plastic product like Plasti-dip, before using the pot!
Why is my brass turning pink and how to remove it?
See this answer in Q&A: Metals, too!
I have a problem that’s left me perplexed even after reading almost every article on the internet about flux and pickle. I apply flux on my brass, heat it up, solder, everything is nice, I put it in the flux and the fluxed parts turn pink (I don’t use steel tweezers or anything), only the fluxed parts, and I tried super-pickle and everything, and the only way I can take it off is by sanding it (A lot!) which is not only a pain in the butt, but also extremely difficult when sweat soldering (it removes all the nice details I made).
You have there a piece of brass that has been heated. This happens all the time with brass and bronze and is so much easier to fix than by sanding! It is basically copper flashing. See my page for more information on what is happening. I remove the pink coloration by mixing 50% pickle with 50% over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide. Takes less than a minute to work and, if you leave the liquid (minus your piece of metal) overnight, you can pour the pickle back in your pot. I don’t know if this works with pickles that are not made from sodium bisulfate (Rio Pickle and others). Here’s the link to my Pickle Page and also to my Removing Copper Flashing page. I know this will help – no more sanding!
What do I think of Citric Acid Pickle?
I was wondering if Citric Acid Pickle works just as well as the Sparex? I am just thinking of the environment.
I used the citric acid pickle for 6 months. There are three things that I don’t like: 1. It is nowhere near as strong. It takes twice as long to clean the metal. 2. It grows mold if you don’t use it every day. 3. It doesn’t last as long as the sodium bisulfate pickle.
What type of pickle to buy and what about disposal after it is used up?
I’d just use sodium bisulfate pickle. Pool suppliers carry it. I think it is called PH down or something like that. Rio Pickle works too. There are links, I believe, on my webpage for the different types.
With getting rid of the pickle: if you neutralize it (another outside activity) – with the pickle pot (the ceramic section only!) placed into a large plastic tub – it is safe to pour down the drain. The issue is the soluble copper that is in it (copper sulfate). You’ll notice it because your pickle will be green. If you only work with fine silver, you won’t have any green pickle because there’s no copper around to generate it. But, generally, we work with copper alloys like sterling, brass, bronze and copper itself so, we are going to be seeing a lot of green/blue pickle.
- How to Set Up a Torch – have a torch, need to set it up? Here’s how.
- Soldering 101, part one and Soldering 101, part two
- All About Solder – You need to understand what you are working with!
- Flat Square Edges on Metal – Important techniques for creating square edges like on ring shanks, tubing, settings, etc. – pretty much any two pieces that you want to solder together!
- Getting Ready to Solder – Important steps before you solder.
- Identify Wire Solder – Mark your solder before confusion reigns!
- Jewelry Studio Safety – Extremely important information that every jeweler should know! Don’t risk your life or your health! Know the dangers of metal dust? If not, don’t sand anything – yet!
- Creating Consistently Sized Spheres – how do you make perfectly round spheres? You might need to know!
- How to Anneal Silver Sheet – an important skill to have otherwise, you can damage your metal and work twice as hard!
- Annealing Wire – Want broken wire? How about melted wire? Need your wire soft and bendable? These tips will help you to avoid these problems and work with ease!
- DIY Fume Extractor for the Studio or Shop – One of the BIG ONES for studio safety. Learn to make your own!
- How to Make a Bezel and Set a Cabochon Part One – Want to solder thin material to thick? Want to set a stone or two? Learn how to create and solder bezels.
- How to Make a Bezel and Set a Cabochon Part Two – Ditto from above.
Soldering Jewelry: How to solder settings, bails and wire. – We solder dissimilar shapes and sizes of metal together, all the time. Want to stop melting your settings or bails? Can you solder wire without melting it?
- Soldering Jewelry – Sweat, Flush, or Applique Soldering – How to solder two pieces of metal on top of each other. Learn tricks for successful joining of dissimilar sizes and how to apply solder.
My YouTube Soldering Playlist – A list of all my soldering videos on YouTube.
Related Web Pages
- About Solder – Learn all about the material you use.
- Acetylene, Torch, Tanks, Safety – A huge page with so much more than info on Acetylene! Learn all about torches, soldering and how to protect yourself!
- Charts – Soldering related charts. Includes things like: annealing temps, compressed gas valve sizes, what temperature does your gas burn at, what are the melting points of your metal. Also, there are wire gauge charts, millimeter to fractions and inches charts, drill bits to wire gauge charts. Lots of information!
- Cleaning Metal – nice to know if you plan on soldering anything!
- On Pickle, Acid, Crock Pots and Baking Soda – How to remove the schmutz left from soldering, how to make your own pickle, how to use pickle and how to neutralize pickle. Tons of info!
- Oxidation, Flux and Fire scale – Why does oxidation occur? Why do you keep getting fire scale, how do you get rid of it. Learn the whys of what is happening when you solder and the solutions.
- The 4 Steps for Successful Soldering – The 4 steps will help you to achieve soldering success!
- Identifying Wire Solder – How to mark your solder so that you always know what type it is.
- Jewelry Tools – Harbor Freight – Cheap tools for the studio!
- Miter Cutting Vise and Jig: Having a hard time squaring up the ends of your ring shanks? Check out this tool!
- Q&A: Firescale/Firestain – See what others have had problems with and find the solutions!
- Q&A: Annealing – How long to hold your annealing temps. Kiln annealing.
- Q&A: Wire Questions. Balling up wire, tapering wire, work hardening wire, straightening wire and more!
- Recipes: They aren’t just for cookin’ anymore!
- Pickle Recipe – make your own pickle
- Prip’s Flux Recipe – make your own flux
- Removing Broken Drill Bits From Your Metal -snapped your drill bit and can’t get it out? Here’s how to remove broken drill bits.
- Removing Copper Flashing i.e.: How to remove the copper coating you might get from pickling. Also, how to remove copper from brass or bronze that comes to the metal’s surface after soldering.
- Wire and Sheet Metal
- What Torch to Buy: Trying to figure out what you need to make fire in your studio? Check out this information before you buy!
- Soldering in a Nutshell – my list of basic necessities for soldering.
- Soldering Questions – One of the most asked after subject matter. Many of my web pages have been inspired by soldering issues and questions.
- Torch/Gas Questions – Portable vs. regular torches, problems with torch, butane torches, water torches, setting up a torch safely, buying torches.