Eco-Jewellery pickle is a great alternative to using harsh chemicals in your studio!
Chemicals used in jewellery making can be extremely toxic and a hassle to dispose of safely. One of the simplest things you can do to lessen the negative environmental impact is to reduce the use of chemicals in your studio and select more eco-friendly alternatives for those that can’t be avoided.
The most commonly used chemical in a jewellery studio is “pickle”. Pickle is used to remove the coating from silver after it’s been heated with a torch. It’s a necessary part of the process so as a jeweller; I use pickle on a daily basis. But like many jewellers I have also made the change to use a non-toxic pickle alternative.
So, after a bit of research, I have found a recipe for pickle that’s non-toxic, and actually works! So without further a-do…….
Vinegar and Salt Pickle:
1 Cup of White Wine Vinegar (I use an organic vinegar, but I’ve also tried the cheap stuff from the supermarket and this works well too – this is personal preference)
1 TBSP of Salt – I use normal white table salt
Heat the ingredients up and you’re ready to clean!
This solution may eat into stainless steel pickle pots – so this one is best kept in a glass container. The easiest way to use it is to pop it into the microwave for around 2 minutes (your microwave might vary) to warm the solution, then pop in your silver which needs cleaning. This solution will work when it is cold, but will take A LOT longer, so warm it up for best results.
I’ve been using this solution for a few months now and as far as I can tell it works just as fast as the standard pickle without having to have nasty chemicals within arms reach of your jewellery desk.
Happy “eco-pickle” days!!
For tips on how to get the shine back for your silver jewellery – check out my blog post “How To Clean Your Silver Jewellery” – another great eco-friendly method!