If you’ve ever stepped foot into an “old school” bench jeweler’s booth on 47th street who hasn’t cleaned since the 70’s – some of that stuff can be toxic! There are so many chemicals used in the industry it’s mind boggling. I try to eliminate as many as I can. One thing that’s pretty nasty is the pickle. Commercial pickle is a corrosive salt or a low-grade acid. It’s used to clean the fire scale off of metal after you solder your work.
One of my goals is to make my studio the most Eco-friendly, or “greenest” place it can possibly be. Outside of being the Program Director and teaching and at Liloveve, I also have my own jewelry line, We Are Here. My studio is in L.I.C. which is just a quick hop on the G train from our studio here! My space is much smaller then our beautiful, spacious studio at Liloveve – but it works just perfectly for me.
I started using vinegar and table salt (I’m thinking this is how the pickle got its name…) and it works as an amazing Eco-friendly alternative to the commercial pickle. It will even clean your drain when you pour it out! Fill your pickle pot with 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and dissolve 1 T table salt in the warm vinegar. Tip: if you leave your silver piece in this pickle solution for too long, it will also act as a natural oxidizer!
Check out my Production Workshop coming up on June 9. Learn about the jewelry production industry, how to take your pieces and turn them into a cohesive line, how and where to get your pieces from the studio to sales, and more!
I us to teach a jewelry class at a camp and I used this solution which works just as good as the “regular” pickle. All the kids used to complain about the “pickle smell”. This is a great way to keep everything eco friendly I should change back to this at my studio. Thanks for reminding me.