Sparex Alternative-Mixing Ph Down

Subject: mixing PH down for pickle
Question: how much ph down do i need to mix for my pickle?
Answer: Hello Lisa,
Ph down can be used much like Sparex brand, but the benefit is that it is without the filler the Krohn company adds that produces the brown goo ( from their use of a clay by-product from reclaimed waste) floating on the surface once heated.
For a general slow-cooker of 2.5 quarts capacity 1 -1 1/2 cups or about 8- 12 ounces of Ph down at a 93% or higher concentration of sodium bisulfite as indicated on the label under active ingredients to one gallon of water plus enough to bring the water level up to within 2 inches of the top -always adding acid to water- is usually enough for silver fine or sterling. For a larger cooker increase the Ph down by one quarter cup per half quart ( = two cups, or 16 ounces). Most often people use too much sodium bisulphite and the results are unpredictable- less is more in this case! one can always add more if the pieces come out of the pickle solution anything but "pickle white". A warm pickle solution is more effective than a room temperature mixture.
Using distilled water is better than tap water as the chlorine content in some city systems is too high for use as a pickle solution.Spring water from one's own gravity system is all right for use but occasionally the iron content in that water is high depending on where one lives.Knowing the water's components before mixing up the pickle is beneficial. If you have spring water, bringing it to a boil first cooling it down to about 110 degrees ( hot bath temp.) helps eliminate trace minerals like calcium, then pouring into the stoneware or glass insert in your pickle set-up.
If you have an empty bag (or can) of Sparex, you may cut out the mixing instructions and affix it to the container of Ph down as a guide for use. Sparex brand often dictates a slightly higher than is necessary amount of product be mixed up than is necessary to be effective.With that in mind, and knowing the size of your vessel use your best judgment to make a solution that fits your needs and the metal you most often work in. High karat gold ( 18 -22kt.) alloys require less Ph down than sterling, and nitric acid is better if you exclusively work in gold or platinum group metals.
Sodium bisulphite is fine, and far cheaper than Sparex ( the company that produces Sparex is not very nice to deal with either! In fact they are downright rude to most consumers that have had reason to call them over many years of hearing the same reports from colleagues inquiring about their product. So giving them less business is the only way to make the point of being a good consumer "heard" by Krohn industries it would seem!) with exactly the same outcome as a pickle solution. Good for you in choosing the best product for your money!
If there is ever anything else I can help you with feel free to contact me as is necessary. Do let me know if this produces the results you desire and your opinion after trying it in relation to your results with sparex or other formulas. I am always looking for people's experiences with an alternative to what the mainstream thinks is a hard and fast rule regarding jewelry making.

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