Related Web Pages
- Removing Copper Flashing
- On Pickle, Acid and Crockpots
- Soldering (more links on the Soldering Page)
- Safety in the Jewelry Studio
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.