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Recipe to Make your own DIY Natural Jeweler’s Pickle

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Today I’m excited to share a DIY natural jeweler’s pickle made with very inexpensive ingredients.

Jeweler’s pickle is neither an embalming fluid nor some strange moonshine – it’s what you use to get fire scale off soldered objects. (For all the super serious people out there, yes, I know that it isn’t truly technically real fire scale, but that’s what people tend to casually call it so please don’t stress!) If you work with metal and use heat, a pickle pot is essential. Basically, a pickle is simply an acidic solution that removes oxidation and flux from a piece of soldered metal. Commercial jewelry pickles are available, and many jewelers choose to use various pool chemicals as more cost-effective pickles.

DIY Natural Jeweler's PickleWhen I started soldering, pickeles sort of annoyed me. I realized that I needed a pickle pot, but I was loath to spend lots of money online to potentially harmful chemicals, there were no local jeweler’s pickle sources, and pool supplies weren’t really a viable option in the middle of winter. I figured there had to be a way to create a mildly acidic solution capable of removing some fire scale with things I could buy at the grocery store.

I was right.

DIY natural jeweler’s pickle recipe

Some trial and error later, here is my recipe for a DIY jeweler’s pickle that is way less toxic than the commercial options, eminantly affordable, and amazingly easy. It smells a little funny if you don’t keep the lid on, but hey.

All you need is white vinegar, table salt, and maybe hydrogen peroxide. All of these ingredients are dirt cheap and the worst thing that will happen from using it is that you might make your kitchen smell a little like a fish and chips stand for a bit. You won’t sear your lungs, burn your skin, or have to buy a new crock pot just for chemicals.

natural pickle pot ingredients

Because the pickle is acidic, you should only make it in glass or ceramic items. It will eat away at a metal pot, and putting it in metal can detract from its effectiveness. I wasn’t thinking clearly and first started using it in a metal pot – I could literally hear little pops and crackles as the pickle heated and it started working away at my pot! Luckily for me, it was a second hand thing from an old roommate, not one of my good pots. Please learn from my mistake and don’t damage anything of yours! The best thing to use is a crock pot, but you can also create a double boiler with a heatproof glass container, like a Pyrex measuring cup, to eat heat the pickle on the stove.

Additionally, make sure you only use copper or plastic utensils in the pickle pot. You could use wood, but wood will absorb the vinegar and make the spoon or tongs smell kind of funny! If you stir the pot with any other metal, or place nickel silver items in it for cleaning, a chemical reaction will essentially cause random bits of fire scale to electroplate themselves to the jewelry you are attempting to clean. Don’t worry if you make a mistake or have to clean nickel silver. Just stir in peroxide until until the gunk re-removes itself from the items.

As an additional precaution – make sure to only use household-strength, “store bought” peroxide and vinegar (3% and 5% strength, respectively) if you add peroxide in order to avoid accidentally making a strong acid.

To create the pickle, simply pour about a cup of vinegar into your crock pot. You can mix in some water, too, if you want, but it just weakens the solution and makes it take longer to clean metal. Put the lid on the pot and put the heat up to medium or high. Heat is essential – a cold pickle works very poorly, if at all.


See the condensation? You know it’s heating up without sticking your hand in a bunch of vinegar!

You’ll be able to tell when the vinegar is getting warm because you’ll see condensation form on the underside of the lid. After the vinegar is warm, add in about a tablespoon of salt. You can add a little more, but don’t add less! In general, you want to have about a generous tablespoon per cup of vinegar. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved.


Once the salt is dissolved, you’re ready to add whatever needs cleaning!

See the dark fire scale?

See the dark fire scale?

Stir the pieces around a little, cover the pot, and let them sit for a minute or so. You should start to see the fire scale literally fall off. It’s not the world’s bests photo, but you can see the scale in the pot.


After letting them rest for a minute, fish your objects out with copper tongs or a nylon/plastic spoon. Scrub them lightly with a very soft bristle brass brush or a nylon brush. A nail brush is an easy, inexpensive option!DSC_0364

And there you have it! Bright and shiny metal items, free of fire scale for pennies on the dollar, when compared to commercially-available options.

Hammered copper wire bracelet

I love this pickle! It works as quickly as commercial pickles at a fraction of the price. The only thing you might need to buy online or from a specialty store is a pair of copper tongs. They’re typically pretty inexpensive!

9" Copper Pickling Curved Tip Tongs Jewelry Making Tweezers Tools
  • Measures 9" in length
  • Specifically designed for safe and dependable use with pickling and acid solutions
  • Made from copper

You can store the pickle for later, if you’d like. You can pretty much use it until it gets cloudy and stops working – just store it with the lid on and reheat it when you need to use it. You don’t really need to keep it in the fridge since it consists of vinegar and salt. A word of caution, though – let it finish cooling with the lid off or the salt will form an amazingly powerful crust that makes it virtually impossible to remove the containers lid! And, of course, don’t store it in anything metal.

Once again, if you do accidentally put a metal utensil in it or have to clean nickel silver, just add a generous pour of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the mix.

Adding peroxide makes what folks call a “super pickle.” I only do it when I have to (why waste ingredients?), but some people use it every time. If you do add peroxide, the solution will not store well since peroxide breaks down quickly in sunlight.

DIY Natural Jeweler's Pickle

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for DIY natural jeweler’s pickle and found it helpful! What commercially available things do you enjoy making from scratch? I love hand making as much of my own products as possible and I enjoy the savings created by many homemade options – why do you choose to DIY things you could buy?



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{ 138 comments… add one }
  • Lisa June 11, 2018, 08:58

    Thank you for responding so quickly!
    Would a brass wire brush be ok to clean with?

    • Natasha June 11, 2018, 09:00

      I’d probably use something more like a soft manicure brush or toothbrush.

  • Lisa June 11, 2018, 08:19

    Hi, I have a sterling silver necklace with fresh water pearls and some spots of gold plating.
    Can it be submerged in your pickle recipe without damage? If not, do you have any suggestions on how I can clean off the oxidation? It has fairly intricate details that would be difficult to rub with a cloth, getting into the nooks and crannies.
    Any advice is appreciated.
    Thank you,

    • Natasha June 11, 2018, 08:55

      Please don’t use this on your necklace! Vinegar will damage, even dissolve, pearls and pearls should never be submerged in any liquid, even water. It sounds like your necklace will be difficult to clean. A very soft brush and scrubbing with water and mild soap is really all pearls can take, but I don’t know if that will get the spots off your plating. I wish I head better advice for you, but pearls are quite delicate!

  • David Rose June 1, 2018, 12:49

    “For example, the copper in sterling (an alloy of 925 parts fine silver and 75 parts copper), concentrates on the surface of the metal in a not too handsome black or copper colored stain when it is heated with a torch in an oxygen rich environment, or what we lay people call “air”. Even though soldering or annealing in a vacuum or room filled with inert gas may help to stop fire scale, I’m addicted to breathing oxygen and don’t have any immediate plans to stop.

    First point about pickle that is often confusing to students is that pickle removes fire scale, not fire stain. Fire scale is the oxide that sits on top of the surface, drawn up and through the metal by the heat and oxygen. Fire stain, is the dark grey or copper colored oxide that is still inside the metal, visible just under the surface. Fire stain can’t be removed by normal pickling and must be sanded off with abrasives. So, when students first use pickle, they’re stunned to still see copper stains on their sterling, even after soaking it for a long, long time. That’s the fire stain. All the surface scale has been cleaned away, but the stain inside the surface is still visible and not going anywhere without persuasion, no matter how much the students beg or plead with the teacher.

    Fire Stain on Sterling Silver
    Even more confusing, sometimes sterling will come out of the pickle looking matte white like fine silver, but with a slightly clouded blotchy mottling. This is from a process called depletion gilding. Repeated heating and pickling of your sterling strips away copper oxides (fire scale) and depletes the sterling at the surface of some of the copper content in the alloy. Eventually, the sterling will be go from black or copper stained with firescale to matte silver white”

  • April May 27, 2018, 14:51

    This tutorial was by far the very best ever! I wish I had found your instructions a long time ago. Thanks for taking the time to help. April

  • jodee January 28, 2018, 10:18

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m just getting into soldering, learning as I go and your tutorial was so helpful. Thanks again 🙂

  • Nikki December 31, 2017, 14:39

    Thank you so much for posting this. Four and a half years later, and your post is still helping those of us wanting a ‘friendlier’ solution to the pickling problem.

    I’m a newer wire-worker and just got my first torch. Of course, I didn’t guess that with fire comes scale or oxidization at least. Just made my first balled headpins and was so excited by my success, but not so much by the discoloration that comes with it. Your recipe solved my problem quickly and easily, without even having to leave the house.

    • Natasha January 1, 2018, 12:50

      I’m so glad my recipe helped you out and thank you for letting me know!

  • Ben December 29, 2017, 02:40

    Seeing that this solution can cause reactions with some metals, I just wanted to ask before I tried, but is this recipe safe to use with aluminium or will that cause a reaction in some way?
    Either way, it certainly helps when I do copper, thanks for the recipe.

    • Natasha December 29, 2017, 04:56

      I’ve actually never worked with aluminum! My understanding is that oxidation on aluminum can be very difficult to remove with a normal pickle so it might not work for you, but I don’t believe it would damage the metal or pickle. Unfortunately, my aluminum knowledge is all second hand – I’m sorry.

  • CC~ November 22, 2017, 21:35

    Well, while I was really thankful to find such a nifty article, it left all of my copper wire stuff with a powdery looking white finish that’s taking forever to get rid of.

    What did I do wrong?

    • Natasha November 23, 2017, 09:54

      Hmmm, I can’t remember seeing a powdery coating on things I’ve taken out of the pickle pot before! Although, to be honest, I haven’t worked with metal much in the past year because I was pregnant/have a newborn. Are you just setting things down to dry? Maybe it’s a residue from the pot? I typically rinse and pat things dry after removing them from the pickle. Also, did some other metal accidentally touch the solution? That can cause buildup on the pieces. Whenever I encounter difficult residue I scrub the piece under running water with a very soft copper wire brush and a bit of dish soap.

      • CC~ November 24, 2017, 03:38

        I am going to run another batch today so I will try and update or at least post a photo.

        Thank you!!

      • CC~ November 24, 2017, 08:08

        Well, I thought I had found the problem in a single silvery loop, which I removed witj a great deal of cussing and fussing, Lol!
        So, I set up the double boiler, get things cranking and lo, and behold – 95% of the pieces I had put in the pickle came out with this discoloration, which is more a terra cotta than powdery, I reckon. I took a couple photos, and what’s even stranger is that there is a clear division between which pieces changed and which didn’t, even those from the very same piece of wire!
        I’m really at a loss. It wouldn’t be so bad, but there are a couple of pieces that the entire piece went good ol’ earthenwere on me except for the wire wrapping, or a single panel on a bracelet!
        This is such a mystery, but it’s not the pickle, it’s the metal. I’m using 14ga., 3-strand Romex wire, which was supposed to be 100% copper and which is copper according to irs properties, all but this wired clay colored silliness!
        I’m salvaging a handful of old alternators today, so – worse comes to worst – i just start over, and spot polish the pieces instead of pickling. /shrug.
        I sure do love this pickle, though, and my elbows hurt since they ran out of grease! Let me know you have any ideas about why it went so wonky. Only other thing I noticed was that the solution went a lovely cerulean shade as soon as it circulated through the pieces pretty well, and I used to be able to get at least a couple uses out of a pickle mix before it blue away.

        Safe travels, all!!

      • CC~ November 24, 2017, 08:15

        Well, I thought I had found the problem in a single silvery loop, which I removed with a great deal of cussing and fussing, Lol! And no, I usually rinse with purified water, and dry so avoid spots, and I have a funky, 1970’s plastic spoon with finger-things I use to snag slippy stuff in the Pyrex. The only other thing I could think of was that I screwed up the recipe, but 1C. vinegar to 1T. salt sure stuck with me, so I dunno.
        Anyway, I set up the double boiler, get things cranking and lo, and behold – 95% of the pieces I had put in the pickle came out with this discoloration, which is more a terra cotta than powdery, I reckon. I took a couple photos (which I have no blooming idea how to post from a cell device, sorry) and what’s even stranger is that there is a clear division between which pieces changed, or which parts changed and which didn’t, even those cut from the very same length of wire!
        I’m really at a loss. It wouldn’t be so bad, but there are a couple of pieces that the entire piece went good ol’ earthenwere on me except for the wire wrapping, or a single panel on a bracelet!
        This is such a mystery, but it’s not the pickle, it’s the metal. I’m using 14ga., 3-strand Romex wire, which was supposed to be 100% copper and which is copper according to irs properties, all but this wired clay colored silliness!
        I’m salvaging a handful of old alternators today, so – worse comes to worst – I just start over, and spot polish the pieces instead of pickling and then beeswax them shiny. The terra cotta pieces don’t come back to a shine, either. It’s gotta be the wire, though- I can *feel* The clay-ish texture on the surface! Argh.
        I sure do love this pickle, though, and my elbows hurt since they ran out of grease so if love to know what the hack I did. Let me know you have any ideas about why it went so wonky. Only other thing I noticed was that the solution went a lovely cerulean shade as soon as it circulated through the pieces pretty well, and I used to be able to get at least a couple uses out of a pickle mix before it blue away.

        Safe travels, all!!

  • Mona November 22, 2017, 19:50

    Wow, read the entire thread and learned a lot. Thanks for sharing this valuable information for beginners like me. I hope to see more of your DIY solutions for replacing expensive, harmful products being sold out there. Excited to test this out with my experimentations on copper and brass. One quick question, Is it ok to use a microwave to heat the vinegar/salt solution? I haven’t shopped around for a pickling pot.

    • Natasha November 23, 2017, 09:48

      It won’t stay warm, which means it isn’t as effective for bigger projects or lots of pieces that take more time, but I have certainly used the microwave for a small piece that I wanted to take care of quickly!

    • CC~ November 24, 2017, 03:36

      I agree – it’s so easy to snag a bottle off a counter and I LOVE feeling like I’m not gonna get poisoned making the odd gift here and there.
      All my stuff is post-consumer materials, as well, so I spend the extra time to strip, clean and otherwise make usable the [hidden] treasures I find, and it’s important to me to have economically sound answers (like Natasha’s super pickle recipes!) to keep everything on budget.

      Thank you!!!

  • Charlotte Brooks August 29, 2017, 08:22

    Does this pickle work for Sterling Silver or Silver plate items also? Please let me know, and thanks for the great alternative to expensive pickles.

    • Natashalh August 29, 2017, 09:08

      I’ve used it on Argentium silver, which is a different version of the 92.5% sterling silver alloy and it worked fine! I haven’t used it on silver plate but I think it would work as long as you were cautious. You’d probably want to avoid scrubbing too much with a wire brush to help remove extra gunk be careful if there are any holes worn through the plating.

  • Evawn August 23, 2017, 10:22

    Can the pickle be reused?

  • Naya June 27, 2017, 02:50

    Does this work with silver jewelry too?

    • Natashalh June 27, 2017, 08:21

      It sure should! I’ve used it with sterling and fine silver before.

  • Angela Humphries March 21, 2017, 15:32

    Hello–Thank you SO much for the info about this, i am new to jewelry making. Can you please tell me what are the amounts that you are supposed to use of those products (maybe i missed it)?

    • Natashalh March 21, 2017, 16:04

      Welcome to jewelry making! Yep, the quantities are in there. =) But there isn’t a specific recipe like list, so I should probably make the measurements more obvious. I recommend starting with a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of salt, but adjust the quantities as needed to have as sufficient quantity of pickle for whatever you’re treating.

      • Angela Humphries March 24, 2017, 16:32

        Thank you for the quick reply!

  • Nicki March 5, 2017, 05:54

    I am just starting out (took my first metalsmith class yesterday). I bought a small crockpot at Goodwill a few days ago, but the instructor said I couldn’t use it because the glass lid has a metal rim and metal screw on the underside (that holds the handle on). I was reading about citric acid, and that it won’t react to steel tongs, tweezers, etc. Do you think storing either the citric acid or homemade pickle in my crockpot would be ok? Or, would it still eat away at the metal parts? Thanks!

    • Natashalh March 5, 2017, 08:28

      I hope you have fun metalsmithing! It’ so enjoyable. =)
      I’d guess your crockpot probably would ultimately end up corroded in those spots, but it’s nearly impossible to find one without any metal. I’d also guess that those metal bits are unlikely to actually be solid steel! Living in Hawaii has taught me that there is a range of quality in products, even when they’re labeled ‘stainless steel.’ I’ve seen so much ‘stainless’ develop rust here it’s crazy! Impurities in the metal could make it more likely you’ll have to use “super pickle” ingredients to get off electroplated gunk, but if the crockpot is a thrift store buy and you can’t find anything without metal, then accepting a little bit of extra annoyance might be worth it/your only option. I’m sorry if that isn’t quite as helpful as you might like, but I hope it helps a bit!

  • Anya January 3, 2017, 08:38


    Thank you very much for the wonderful tutorial! It is very detailed and just what I’ve been looking for.

    I’m soldering the ends of sterling silver necklaces. It is not easy as the pieces are really small. After I was able to solder a few necklaces, I put them in the pickle solution. I followed every step and used every ingredient (even peroxide), although I don’t have a pickle pot. I reheated the solution in my microwave whenever it started to get warm. Whenever I did that, I put the necklaces into water with baking soda so they didn’t get exposed to air…The necklaces always get very black on the part that was soldered (I used easy solder syringe). I thought it may have been because I didn’t leave them in the solution enough time. So I waited a total amount of 20 minutes and when I tried to take them from the pickle, the ends fell from the necklaces (I used chopsticks). I repeated this process some times with different schedules but the result is always the same. The solder always gets black and it just disappears. I thought of putting extra solder on the ends but it doesn’t make any difference.

    Do you know what I could be doing wrong? Is it possible to make such a strong solution that it can melt away the solder? I don’t know what to think…

    Thank you for your time!

    • Natashalh January 3, 2017, 08:49

      My guess would be that the solder isn’t actually bonding correctly. You can have situations where the solder doesn’t adhere to the metal/there’s lots of fire scale that makes it look like the piece is connected, but then the pickle removes the scale and it turns out things were never actually joined. This site has some good soldering information and may help you out http://www.nancylthamilton.com/questions-and-answers/soldering-questions-2/
      I hope that’s useful and best of luck!

  • Tereza October 19, 2016, 20:11

    Can I use this with silver or Brass?

    • Natashalh October 19, 2016, 20:23

      Yes, it can work with both of those. Watch out, though – if any iron (like a pair of iron tongs) gets in the pickle pot, the silver will pick up a funny pink color! The pink can be removed, but it’s sort of annoying to deal with.

  • Abran September 16, 2016, 11:12

    Awesome tutorial, I’ve been banging my head against the wall for days trying to find a pickling solution, and this may be the ticket.

    My question for you, if you don’t mind….some library books that I’ve been reading mention alum quite a bit for a pickle solution. I bought a bit from the baking aisle to try out. Do you have any suggestions on how to use this in a pickle? Or is it even worth me investigating since your recipe sounds like it’s all I’m going to need?

    FYI, I’m working with pennies and quarters to experiment with, will your pickle cause any adverse effects due to the amounts of zinc and copper present?

    Thanks again

    • Natashalh September 17, 2016, 07:32

      I have not personally tried baking alum for a metal pickle. If it works, I’d love to know!

      I’ve never used this for quarters, either, though I have used it with pennies. I’ve noticed sometimes they come out alarmingly bright and pink looking, but if just wiped clean and not sealed with anything they’ll typically fade to a more natural, but cleaned off, appearance in a few days. I don’t know about the zinc in coins these days, but some zinc alloys are used with nickel and nickel is what causes that electroplating that can necessitate adding a bit of peroxide. I really love older pennies with more copper! They’re so much nicer to work with. And finding a older quarter or dime that’s actually made with silver is so exciting!

    • Barry December 12, 2016, 08:12

      I’m also interested in using this pickle on quarters. I engrave them and color them with paint, but I’d like to experiment with torch enamel. I already tried a Santa Clause with the hat and beard in enamel, and had mixed results, but expect to get better. The torch scale is tough and I tried straight hot vinegar, but that didn’t do it. Ran to Google and this one popped right up. Thanks so much Natasha! I was just wondering what results Abran had with his quarters? Any news? I’m headed out to get iodized sea salt and a small crockpot, and will report back. By the way, I tried the vinegar in a tin can and heated it with the torch… Bad idea, now that I know. My quarter is worse than when I started, GAH! Should have paid more attention in chemistry class… Should have found Natasha sooner… Live and learn…

      • Natashalh December 12, 2016, 09:08

        I hope my recipe helps! I don’t know how other people have fared with quarters because they haven’t said, but I’d appreciate information when you have some. =) My guess is that it would work best on old quarters from back when they were still silver! I know from working with pennies that the newer coins get, the thinner the coating of copper (or silver) and the more difficult they are to work with. You might want to go ahead and carefully add some peroxide for that ‘super pickle’ because the metals inside modern coins frequently have nickel, which can cause problems in a ‘normal’ pickle bath.

  • Mitra September 6, 2016, 03:53

    Hi.your recipe was wonderful.thanks alot.but i did not understand,when i can use hydrogen hydroxid.wich step i shoud add it.thank you for your recipe.

    • Natashalh September 6, 2016, 06:52

      You only need to add a small quantity at the end if it’s needed (so if you’re using “German silver” or nickel silver (they’re the same thing).

  • Josefina August 28, 2016, 02:50

    In your last paragraph you said not to use too much peroxide because it will dissipate in sunlight. When I want to use the pickle again, can I just add more peroxide back in or do I need to remake it.
    Also you mentioned it getting cloudy. Is that when I toss it and make new pickle?
    Thanks and I enjoyed your video.

    • Natashalh August 28, 2016, 09:01

      Peroxide degrades quite quickly in sunlight, which is why it’s sold in dark brown bottles. You can add more peroxide as needed, but please be careful since mixing peroxide and vinegar can be hazardous! I only use peroxide when it’s truly necessary. And, yes, typically when the pickle gets cloudy it’s time to toss it. Because there are metal remnants, technically it should be poured into containers and disposed of according to your local laws for disposal of hazardous liquids. I hope that helps!

  • Margie August 7, 2016, 14:54

    What type of product can I use on copper to preserve the beautiful shine?

    • Natashalh August 7, 2016, 16:01

      Sadly, depending on where you live, some oxidation will eventually be inevitable. =/ However, I really recommend a product called Renaissance Wax to help keep it as shiny and clean as possible! It’s available on Amazon right here, and you can sometimes find it at craft stores or even hardware stores. Hope that helps!

  • Akhilesh mani July 26, 2016, 09:40

    Hi, thank you so much for this useful tutorial.

    Can i use it bulk production for sterling silver jewelry?

    And plz tell me ratio of solder for silver filigree jewelry?

    Thanks again!.

    • Natashalh July 26, 2016, 11:23

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to use this on a large scale, though you may need to replace the solution more frequently. As for solder for silver filigree…I’ve never made silver filigree jewelry so I’m afraid I can’t help you!

  • Laura Mitchell July 10, 2016, 11:32

    Thanks for the do it yourself pickle recipe.

  • Sparky January 30, 2016, 14:01

    Hi Thanks for a nice clear article for a simple pickle, I have been using it for months now, it needs topping up and I forgot what ratio of salt to add and glad I found your post again thank you, you are a sweetheart! Saved me loads of sandpapering and scrubbing. I have ‘relocated’ a small slo cooker(crock pot?} to the shed with the lid always on it, virtually no smell. Hot is better but cold still works!
    I have now made my own tumbler from a plastic 1gal paint tin, perspex segment inner lining and roller skate wheels and a car windscreen wiper motor with bicycle cogs and chain driven, DIY as I could not afford one. Thanks again!

    • Natashalh January 31, 2016, 08:21

      Wow – that’s resourceful! Your homemade tumbler sounds awesome. I’m so glad the pickle has been working out for you and thank you for letting me know. =)

  • Kurt Bjorling January 15, 2016, 14:55

    I have a question, but first: THANKS for this useful and interesting and well-presented lesson!
    The remarks about nickel silver are particularly interesting because that’s what I expect to be putting into the pickle (mostly).
    My question: if I use this pickle ONLY for nickel silver, do I need to add the peroxide as you describe; does the nickel silver spoil the solution only when pickling non-nickel silver items, or will the same problem happen to later efforts to clean nickel silver as well?

    You say that the peroxide makes the solution not very good for storing and using later. Does this mean that if it is used on nickel silver, and the peroxide added, that I should plan on dumping it and making up a fresh batch the next time?

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Maybe you can suggest a similarly easy/cheap/safe pickle for nickel silver that we can use without spoiling this one?

    Kurt B

    • Natashalh January 15, 2016, 19:10

      Thanks for stopping by!
      I’m really not sure how just nickel silver would react – I’ve only ever used it in small quantities and with mixed metals. I’d say it’s at least worth a try to see if it will work without the peroxide! Unfortunately, peroxide does break down quickly when exposed to light and air, so you probably would have to dispose of it each time if you need to add peroxide. Also do make sure it’s just household strength peroxide so you don’t accidentally make a strong peracetic acid! If vinegar and salt doesn’t seem up to the job, you could check around for ‘swimming pool acid’ or ‘pool pH reducer.’ A lot of people use that for a jewelry pick pot, too. I know it’s kind of the off season for pool chemicals, but that is an option.
      I’m sorry if that isn’t as helpful as you might have hoped – copper is my favorite metal to work with and what I’m most familiar with. Best of luck!

  • Gloria Borrero January 9, 2016, 07:29

    Perfect time for me to read your article. After searching through YouTube I found lots of tutorials on Pickling foods, haha, and how to pickle metal with chemicals. I just wanted to use household items (so I can use the money to buy SS while the price is great!). Your instructions are definitely the best and so easy for me to follow. I have several items that I had to clean up and so I tried your suggestion last night….voila….every piece of copper I put in the pickling came out super clean. Thanks for the much needed instructions. : )

    • Natashalh January 9, 2016, 15:28

      Yahoo! So glad it’s helpful. =) Yes, it is a funny search term to look for!

  • Bryan December 10, 2015, 18:02

    I Am Curious, Well This Pickle Solution Work On The Argentum Silver As Well

    • Natashalh December 11, 2015, 12:25

      I have used it on Argentium silver. Argentium doesn’t usually get as much fire scale as other silvers so it’s pretty nice to work with!

  • Candace December 8, 2015, 10:52

    Hi there! This is great, thanks!! I am curious though, do I need a different kind of pickle if my pendent has both copper and brass? Thanks so much!!!

    • Natashalh December 9, 2015, 08:38

      Hello! No, this pickle should work fine for both copper and brass. The only time it will usually give you trouble is with “nickel silver” or “German silver,” and then all you need to do is add peroxide. =)

  • Beverly December 2, 2015, 03:48

    So pleased to have found your DIY pickle recipe! I’m looking forward to reading more of your tutorials.

    • Natashalh December 2, 2015, 07:16

      So glad it’s helpful! =) Thanks for stopping by!

  • Rob T November 1, 2015, 06:48

    Thanks 4 tutorial. I see a lot here on silver. Does this work on gold? I’m hobbyist 400mls from any school(except hardknocks). I recently reprong’d a 2mm setting that was cast too flimsy. I have red/orange scale(melted borax) in intricate details of ring I don’t want to loose.
    Thanks again Rob T

    • Natashalh November 1, 2015, 07:51

      I’m sorry, I don’t know about how well this would work on gold because I’ve never worked with gold! I can’t imagine it would hurt the gold, though. You’ve probably already tried this, but have you used a soft bristle brush, some dish soap, and running water? Sometimes that can help get borax off.

  • Ashley September 29, 2015, 21:29

    I am new to pickling anything. I have pendants that I handmade using the Tiffany method. So they have semiprecious stones. Would this or just vinegar or just peroxide help with this Black gunk? Or even your whole method?

    • Natashalh October 1, 2015, 06:07

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I’ve actually never used that method, even though I know it produces some pretty nice results. =) As long as there aren’t pearls involved, which dissolve in vinegar, I’d at least give it a try. Vinegar and peroxide are inexpensive and the worst it could do it not work! I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, I just don’t have personal experience with your exact situation.

  • Amy September 15, 2015, 03:53

    This is absolutely amazing! I’ve worked with aluminum and brass for my jewelry, but I’m stepping up my game and JUST started with silver yesterday. Hopefully I’ll have some great pieces to show soon & get things back up in my etsy shop. Thank you so very much! 😀

    • Natashalh September 15, 2015, 06:51

      That’s really exciting! I hope the pickle and your new items to well for you. =)

  • Melody September 12, 2015, 15:41

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Linda August 29, 2015, 06:03

    This is how my grandmother cleaned her copper objects since forever. She used a cold vinegar – salt solution – I do, too and it works just fine.

    • Natashalh August 30, 2015, 06:39

      That’s great! I use it cold sometimes, too, but a bit of heat really helps the stubborn stuff that doesn’t want to come off. But for occasions when it works without heating – awesome! Thanks for stopping by. =)

  • steffi August 21, 2015, 19:51

    Hi thanks for this tip! I just used it and it seems to work well, except that a part of my metal turned blue? I didn’t have enough vinegar so it wasn’t fully submerged and it made a line across the metal. But that’s fine since I was just trying it out.

    If I were engraving my brass sheets, would you recommend to solder whatever’s needed, pickle & scrub, sand off scratches, shape the metal, then engrave (then polish again)?


    • Natashalh August 22, 2015, 07:04

      I am not surprised part of it turned blue! The weird thing is that warm vinegar and salt is a pickle, but either one can actually be used to patina the metal and give it a nice, weathered blue appearance. If you ever want to intentionally make your entire piece look like that, put a bunch of salt and vinegar potato chips in the bottom of a container, then a paper towel, your piece, then the container’s lid. Super inexpensive and easy way to give pieces a weather, nautical feel! To avoid this when you’re trying to clean your metal, just make sure the whole thing is submerged.
      I think your steps sound great! That’s exactly the order I’d do them in. =)

  • Sarah Walker August 12, 2015, 07:07

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have been using this pickle for the last few months and it works great for just straight Sterling, using plastic or wood tongs. BUT, you cannot use copper tongs with Sterling Silver. It leaves that pink residue that is very, very difficult to remove. I often solder Copper and Sterling together. I have learned the hard way that you cannot use this pickle with Sterling and Copper. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time, re-sanding pieces to remove the pink that is left on my Sterling. I would suggest that you mention in the tutorial that if you are using Sterling, you cannot use copper tongs, or Sterling and Copper together in this pickle. It might save someone like me hours of time.

    Thanks again for the tutorial. I am now using the vinegar and salt pickle for just my straight Sterling pieces, with plastic tongs, NO COPPER TONGS! I have a separate pickle pot, using an acid based solution for my Copper and Sterling pieces.

    • Natashalh August 12, 2015, 07:42

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m actually really surprised that copper tongs have been giving you trouble with sterling because, if they’re pure coper and nothing else has contaminated the pot, it really shouldn’t do that. But weird things can happen! Have you tried adding peroxide to your pot? That helps when there’s been a contamination. Also, you can use a separate, small container. Fill it with about 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 warm pickle. Drop the ‘pink’ items down in there and it should make clean up way, way easier.

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad my recipe is helpful/sorry you’ve wasted some time because of it.

  • Debra August 11, 2015, 00:56

    Best pickle ever!! So glad I found this page & recipe, thank you!!

    • Natashalh August 11, 2015, 05:55

      Yay! I’m so glad and thank you for leaving a comment. =)

  • Wendy August 7, 2015, 19:44

    Thank you for sharing!
    I have a question. I am looking into making fork bracelets. I bought some nickel silver and silver plated forks. I will need to heat them up to mould them into place. Will I get fire scale from heating it? Or do you only need to pickle something when it has been soldered?

    • Natashalh August 8, 2015, 06:54

      It’s going to depend. How are you heating them? If it’s with a torch, they’re probably going to develop fire scale. I would clean the silver ones first and separately, then clean the nickel silver with added peroxide, as needed. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Karen July 15, 2015, 05:12

    Is this safe to use on a diamond set in platinum? I’m trying to remove some rust on my diamond from my well water. Thanks.

    • Natashalh July 15, 2015, 14:55

      I am sorry, but I actually have no idea! I don’t own any diamonds. Vinegar dissolves pearls, but I don’t think it would damage a diamond. I also don’t know that it would remove that annoying well water deposit, either. If I were you, I would call a jeweler and ask for advice cleaning that iron deposit off the diamond. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, but thank you for stopping by!

  • Alejandra July 8, 2015, 07:47

    my vinegar pickle is turning all of my silver black! is this normal? the first time I made it it turned white like when I used the already made chemical pickle… My copper is clean but the silver keeps turning black 🙁 any advise? is the third time I change it too, I thought I had accidentally put in some steel tweezers or something :/

    • Natashalh July 13, 2015, 05:34

      Do you have salt in there? Just vinegar will patina metal. You may also want to scrub your items gently with a little soapy water after removing them from the pickle.

  • Andrea June 3, 2015, 05:38

    This is awesome! Thank you so much for this recipe. I have some stones coming in the mail to day but I realized that I am out of pickle….again! I tried to just scrub off my firestain last night, but no luck. So I ended up sanding it off! I just couldn’t NOT make a ring. Glad I can go home and play without waiting until I can get to the bead shop this weekend. Can’t wait to see how it works. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Natashalh June 4, 2015, 05:56

      Awesome! I hope this works well for you! It’s weird – without the salt vinegar can actually age copper, but add the salt and it becomes a cleaner! Do you have a soft bristle brass brush? It can really help get that stubborn scale off. With really bad pieces I’ve done pickle, scrub with brush & Joy soap, pickle again to get everything off.

      • Andrea June 4, 2015, 06:03

        It worked just fine! Sure did make my room smell though lol. But totally worth it. I’ve been through 4 packs of pickle and I’ve only been making rings for a few weeks. I have a giant crockpot though so everything evaporates super fast. I need to get the smaller crockpot. I have a soft bristle brass brush (what a mouthful!) so I scrubbed them with that. I ran out of baking soda though so after I oxidized them I tried to wash them in baking powder, guess it’s not a good substitute cause they keep turning black! I’ll have to grab some baking soda today!

        • Natashalh June 4, 2015, 06:08

          Yeah, baking soda is great for polishing, but baking powder is chemically a little different. I didn’t realize it would turn things black, though! Thanks for letting me know it worked for you. =) A good place to look for a super cheap crock pot is a thrift store. I’ve seen those little ‘lunch’ sized ones there for only a couple dollars!

          • Andrea June 4, 2015, 06:15

            Oh good idea! Gotta love a good thrift store. Sorry I wasn’t very clear in my earlier response, they were turning black because I put them in a patina and I was told to stop the oxidization process you have to put them in baking soda, but since I was out I put them in baking powder. So I guess the difference in the chemicals meant that the powder didn’t stop the oxidation process so it just keeps turning/oxidizing even after I polish it! Gotta learn from experience though!

          • Natashalh June 4, 2015, 17:13

            Oooooh. Yes. Baking soda does neutralize the patina if you’re doing liver of sulfur. Baking powder wouldn’t work!

  • Rob May 1, 2015, 15:29

    Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

    • Natashalh May 1, 2015, 19:05

      Thank you for stopping by to read it!

  • Nancy Barnhart April 27, 2015, 07:39

    I have collected a bunch of ‘squished pennies’ in our 15 yrs of traveling in our retirement and I want to clean them up – hoping for a shiny penny look again. So, I’m wondering if this recipe will work for what I want to do with my ‘charm bracelet’ (grin).?. The pennys are attached to a colored (anodized) copper wire byzantine chain I’ve made and I’m just a bit leary of using anything that might harm the color coating of the wire/chain portion. The copper wire is made by Parawire, a division of CMT metals back east.
    Thanks for any help along this line of cleaning copper… NancyB

    • Natashalh April 27, 2015, 07:47

      Hmmm. I don’t have any anodized copper on hand to test it out! Byzantine chain is quite a time investment, so I can understand why you wouldn’t want to risk it! Vinegar is generally okay for anodized aluminum, but you absolutely want to avoid abrasive cleaners because it will knock that pretty color right off the wire. The safest thing would just be to remove the pennies from the bracelet for cleaning and reattach them, if they aren’t attached in a way that’s too integral to the chain. Then I’d give them a quick coating of Renaissance Wax to keep them looking shinier for longer! This recipe can definitely get your pennies looking fancy again, especially since many of them are probably older ones that are actually made from mostly copper. If you do get them off the bracelet and they need any extra shine after the pickle, scrub them gently with a baking powder paste to really make them shine! When you first take them out of the pickle, they may have an almost too clean look, but this will fade pretty quickly so don’t worry that you’ve ruined them forever or anything.
      I hope that’s helpful!

  • Leti April 14, 2015, 12:20

    Hi, I’m so glad I found this info. I’m still pretty new to this. My question is, how do you dispose of the pickle once it is used up? Are there any special precautions? Is it safe to put down the drain or pour outside or do we have to follow some other method? Thanks again for the info. This is great!

    • Natashalh April 14, 2015, 18:13

      Wellll, most cities have laws about dumping solutions containing copper into the water supply. If your pickle is green or blue, that means there’s copper in there and technically the legally correct thing to do is bottle it up and take it to a waste management facility. That having been said, some people pour it over kitty litter, allow the litter to clump up and become solid, and then toss it. Some people also use natural pickles to water their hydrangeas, for example, because the copper can help change the color of the blooms!

      • Michelle March 5, 2016, 08:24

        I was thinking that if you put in a nickel piece it would gather the copper and electroplate it (take it out of the solution), making it safe to pour out. You could also neutralize the acid by pouring, in small amounts, baking soda until it’s no longer reactive.

        • Natashalh March 5, 2016, 12:07

          I actually do pour baking soda in mine. But, as you say, in small amounts or you’ll end up with a foamy mess!

  • Melissa March 13, 2015, 13:16

    I’m completely new to this whole process and have a silly question. When I remove my jewelry from the vinegar/salt pickle, is it safe to touch with my bare hands? All these “pickle warnings” everywhere scare me, and I was NOT good at chemistry 🙂 I’m just trying to make sure it’s safe on my skin and should I then do I rinse the jewelry in water after…. or just go straight to the brushing…Thank you!

    • Natashalh March 13, 2015, 15:43

      With commercial pickles, you could hurt your hands (depending on how strong it is). The strongest ingredient in this pickle is vinegar (usually only 5% acid), which doesn’t irritate my hands in such- it just makes them smell funny! I wouldn’t reach down in there with my bare hand, but I don’t stress a little of it getting on me.

      Lots of people like to scrub their piece with blue Dawn, a soft brass brush, and running water, so if that’s your approach, you’re good to go. I usually place my pieces on a paper towel and pat them dry before I touch them with my bare hands, but that’s more because I don’t want to smell like vinegar than because of any real danger! With commercial pickles, you probably would want to completely avoid skin contact, just to be safe. =)

      • Melissa March 13, 2015, 16:05

        Thank you so much!

  • Kelly February 24, 2015, 10:09

    Hi there. I’ve been using this pickle recipe for a few months now (I love it!) and it’s always worked great…until last night. It was partly my bad, because I forgot to plug my mini crock pot in, so a few sterling silver rings were sitting in the cold solution for at least an hour before I noticed. But even once it heated up, it seemed like it was taking ages to get the fire scale off, and it almost seemed like it was getting worse. I left it in for a few hours and it just kept getting darker and a more brownish color. I tried adding hydrogen peroxide today and it was in the pot for about five minutes when I pulled it out and the WHOLE RING was this dull brown gray color and I can’t do anything to get it off! Anything you can do to help?

    • Natashalh February 24, 2015, 10:52

      Eek! Sorry to hear about your trouble!
      Have you been using the same batch the whole time (or even for a while)? It could be just used up. I’d try starting with a totally fresh batch of “super pickle” with the peroxide. Also, do you have a soft-bristle brass brush? Using one of those to scrub at a piece that’s fresh out of the pickle pot can help get that stubborn gunk off.

    • Melanie May 8, 2016, 22:26

      Hi, I had this problem too – a new batch batch of ‘super pickle’ but the silver has this strange grey coating all over now and I’m not sure how to remove it – did you find a solution?

      • Natashalh May 9, 2016, 07:10

        Hmmm. That is odd to get with a super pickle. Whenever I get some random, stubborn stuff on metal, I put on a pair of gloves and scrub it with some baking soda. It seems to work best if the piece is only very slightly wet. A soft bristle brass brush and some dish washing detergent can also help get that random, stubborn grime off!

  • Jill LaPierre January 29, 2015, 08:34

    I have a question. You say that you also use peroxide, but I cannot see any reference to it in your recipe (perhaps I missed it). How much peroxide would you add, if at all. I’ve used the vinegar and sale alone and it does an okay job, but would like to see what the peroxide would add or not to the process, thanks

    • Natashalh January 29, 2015, 09:42

      Peroxide makes it what folks call a “super pickle.” It’s great for really hard to remove gunk and for when you accidentally get something with nickel in your pickle pot. I only add it if it’s needed, and I really just kind of pour a little in and see if it does the trick. If not, I add more. The biggest way to help your pickle is by making sure it’s warm. Even straight warm vinegar will get light corrosion off! I hope that’s helpful. =)

  • Martha January 16, 2015, 11:40

    I’m always glad to discover alternatives to industrially prepped pickles, so thanks for furthering the cause. I don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all, but I like when people tell me things that I may not have known, so here goes. I think what you are calling “fire scale” is actually just residual flux and surface oxides from using the torch on the metal. Actual fire scale is a much less friendly creature. It’s a purplish-blackish “bloom” of oxide that forms under the surface (usually of silver) when the metal is over-heated in the presence of oxygen, and is an absolute pain to try to remove. Can only be removed through a misery of filing and sanding, or other abrasive means. I hope this wasn’t too annoying, but like I said I like when people (often!) tell me what I don’t know.
    Best — Martha

    • Natashalh January 16, 2015, 12:09

      You’re right – I do kind of use the two terms interchangeably. I’ve experienced both plain-old junked on flux and true fire scale. It’s a lot less wearisome to type than “annoying dark junky stuff fouling up my piece,” though, so I stick with it. I hope that anyone who has concerns will notice you comment and get the full explanation! Thanks. =)

  • Denise January 3, 2015, 13:30

    This is awesome. I just started using metal clay for the first time. Thank you so much Natasha!!! You are the best!!

    • Natashalh January 3, 2015, 17:10

      Metal clay seems so cool! I know someone who has a kiln, but I can only do small, torch fired pieces. So glad you found my post helpful and I hope you enjoy!

  • Diane December 31, 2014, 05:38

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I have one of those little crock pots that only turns on by plugging it in… no selection high, medium or low. Do you think this process would work in that?

    • Natashalh December 31, 2014, 10:41

      I used to use a really tiny one. As long as your mixture isn’t boiling it should be fine.

      • Diane December 31, 2014, 10:50

        Thanks so much!

  • Ralph Dratman December 6, 2014, 17:18

    I just used some of this pickle solution on a little steel sculpture I’m working on. I had welded it up with the low-cost flux-core welder from Harbor Freight (under $100 with a coupon). The steel sat in your mixture all night with the crock pot on low. After I took it out, rinsed the steel and let it dry out, there was some black powder left on the surface, but that came off very easily. The metal underneath was very bright and shiny! The one thing the pickle did not dissolve, was the stuck-on flux left over from the welding. I guess that stuff is pretty tenacious. The flux normally comes off easily with a wire brush, but I can’t reach that part of the sculpture with any of the brushes I have. Oh well, I just need to get a skinny wire brush.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Natashalh December 7, 2014, 08:42

      That’s awesome!

      I like soft brass bristle brushes for removing that tenacious gunk (like flux). I’m so glad this recipe worked for you!

  • Dani July 23, 2014, 07:11

    THANK YOU!!! This was so clear, and answered my questions, and just the right amount of detail.

  • maria July 3, 2014, 02:50

    this is fantastic- just a little confused- i make sterling silver jewelry and not sure what the peroxide is for?

    • Natashalh July 3, 2014, 07:54

      It’s only needed if you get other things in there contaminating the mixture. If you only use sterling and have the appropriate tongs, you won’t need it. If you add nickel silver, for example, to the pot, it will cause the detritus to basically electroplate to your other metals! Peroxide takes care of that.

  • Kelsey Albrecht-Carruthers March 9, 2014, 10:49

    This is great! I was looking for something like this for my Etsy Shop’s sterling silver rings, and it works amazingly! Thank you!!!

    • Natashalh March 9, 2014, 12:25

      Awesome! I’m so glad it works for you. I use it for my Etsy shop items, too. =)

  • Kelly Hudson January 30, 2014, 06:19

    Now does this easy recipe work for not turning your skin green or black? I am making bullet casing necklace and earrings, i just need something that will prevent that from happening. Thanks for the help ahead of time.

    • Natashalh January 30, 2014, 08:36

      Unfortunately, that is a natural reaction many people have to copper. The recipe will remove any grime, but copper always has the potential to be reactive. What I recommend is sealing the casings with Renaissance Wax. It’s a museum-grade sealant that I use on my jewelry to protect the metal and the wearer’s skin!

  • Tammy December 1, 2013, 18:10

    I recently started lampworking to create glass beads using a hot torch. I noticed some of my glass beads have tiny, unintended bubbles, which I think ruins the beads. Some people say the bubbles make the beads look unique, but I don’t like it.
    After some research I found that, basically, the bubbles are caused by the glass rods being dirty and need to be cleaned before using them. A lampworking website blogger suggests using a jewelers picking solution made with ‘a stable form of sulphuric acid,’ which I’m not too comfortable with — I wanted something more eco-friendly.
    Thank you for taking the time to find a natural pickling recipe. I’m going to try your formula to see if this makes a difference in my glass beads. I’ll send you a follow-up to let you know how things turned out.

    • Natashalh December 2, 2013, 08:38

      I have no idea if it will help with the beads, but it might. It would definitely cut through any sort of residual oils! I really want to get into lamp work beads, but I don’t have a kiln and I don’t know of one I could use to finish up the process. I really hope this works out for you!!

      • Bob Elliott April 23, 2016, 18:40

        Natasha thanks very much for this info. I’ve been uncomfortable with the commercial pickles because they’re stronger acids than necessary and need to be neutralized before disposal (with a base like baking soda). As for lamp-worked beads, you don’t need a kiln to finish – just an old crock pot filled with vermiculite. Let the the glass cool below the sticky plastic level (<1000 degrees F – happens in a couple minutes) and then stick it into the crock pot under a couple inches of insulation. The bead will cool slowly enough that it doesn't crack from thermal forces.

        • Natashalh April 24, 2016, 12:35

          Thats cool news about the glass beads! Very cool. Thanks!

  • Rose April 25, 2013, 12:09

    Wow, I learned so much from this tutorial! Thanks for putting together such a detailed explanation of your technique.

    • Natashalh April 25, 2013, 12:35

      Sometimes I feel like I go a little overboard, but I find tutorials without details or photos to be really frustrating!

  • Trina (Trina's Clay Creations) April 25, 2013, 10:00

    Oh wow, this is so cool, thank you for sharing!

    • Natashalh April 25, 2013, 10:02

      Thanks! I know not everyone works with metal, but I love sharing ways to DIY instead of buy!

      • Peter Buxton October 19, 2014, 00:10

        You are a legend, thank you, I didn’t want to spend like 50 pounds, which a lot of eBay-ers are trying to charge.
        It is incredibly annoying considering that it probably costs 2 quid to make.
        Anyway, thanks for your help

        • Natashalh October 19, 2014, 07:43

          Sure thing! That’s exactly why I figured out how to make my own – it costs so much to buy ready-made! I hope this is helpful and thanks for stoping in. =)

          • Tina March 30, 2015, 10:17

            What is the hydrogen peroxide for? You listed it but did not mention after.

          • Natashalh March 30, 2015, 10:54

            Maybe I need to change the post so the part about the peroxide is also in bold – you’re not the first commenter to miss where I talk about the peroxide! It makes what folks call a “super pickle” for extra difficult scale. It is also necessary to add it if you accidentally put a metal utensil that isn’t coper in your pickle pot or if you’re using “German silver” or nickel silver. The nickel makes the junk in the pickle stick to the items you’re trying to clean, but the peroxide gets it off again.

  • Paige @ Little Nostalgia April 25, 2013, 09:30

    This is so interesting! I don’t work with a lot of raw metal myself (and I really like the darker tones anyway), but this is good to know if I ever decide to branch out.

    • Natashalh April 25, 2013, 10:03

      I was kind of nervous about metal for a while, but then I discovered I love it! I actually prefer to clean the fire scale and then patina items. That was I can control the darkening. It feels a little funny sometimes to clean something just to grunge it up, but hey.

      • Marc September 3, 2016, 01:54

        I wonder why there’s no mention of crusty blue patina for copper, ammonia, salt, sawdust and a plastic bag. The acid you spoke of is hydrochloric, and the are much stronger acids but it depends on moles (concentration for thoes with no chemistry experience), specifically hydrofluoric, which actively seeks out calcium (base) like found in bones. Thanks for the el cheapo recepie, I only need to do a tiny bit of silver. Smiles all around, p.s. “fine” metal, except for steels are secondary for me, glass is more important.I just like playing with fire…

        • Natashalh September 3, 2016, 08:00

          It makes such beautiful blue patina, doesn’t it? As for the hydrochloric acid…I’ve never personally had any problems or dangerous situations arise from using this homemade pickle, but people love explaining how horrible and ridiculous ‘you’ are from behind the comfort of their computer. I find it better to point out the theoretical dangers and avoid a small portion of the criticism from random strangers! Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy playing with fire. =) It is pretty fun, isn’t it?

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