How to Remove Silver Solder Flux

When using silver solder to repair broken silver pieces or metal pipes, you'll need to use a white paste called flux.

Solder requires flux to flow properlySolder requires flux to flow properly
Flux, along with heat, helps the solder to flow, making a connection or seal. After the soldering is finished, there will be an undesirable residue left behind. The process for removing residues from silver soldering is called pickling, which involves treating it with a heated acid solution. Commercial pickling acid is available where soldering supplies are sold, but if you don't have ready-made pickling fluid on hand, you can make your own with common household products.

Combine the vinegar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the solution is hot but not boiling and the salt has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low. If you plan to use the pickling solution over an extended period of time, transfer it to a small slow cooker set on low to keep it warm.

Lower the piece into the hot pickle solution. After a few seconds, lift it out using tweezers. Scrub lightly with a toothbrush and submerge into the pickle solution again, if necessary. For large pieces, apply the pickle solution with a toothbrush.

Rinse with hot water and dry with a microfiber cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. table salt
  • Mini crock pot (optional)
  • Tweezers
  • Toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth

Tip

  • Swimming pool ph reducer acid and citric acid (lemon juice) can also be used as pickle solution.

Warning

  • Don't stick your hands into the hot pickling solution.

About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.