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How can solder, both lead and gold be removed from the surface of old gold jewelry without damaging the surface of the object cleaned?

Richard Schulte
- Detroit, Michigan

You can remove lead from silver or gold by using a mixture of nitric acid and Hydrogen Peroxide [linked by editor to product info at Amazon].

Neil Jennings
goldsmith - Perth, Scotland
April 9, 2008

Where do I get nitric acid for removal of solder ?

Jill L Garrett
- Central City
April 11, 2008

Hi, Jill. It's readily available from jewelry supply companies, but they can be reluctant to sell it to people who don't have some kind of certification and an actual jewelry store (outside of the home) because of the liability of product stewardship. It's dangerous toxic stuff, and moreover a very powerful oxidizing agent that can set paper on fire. I had a friend who tried to sop up a spill with newspaper and almost set his shop on fire -- had it been a house rather than a high-ceilinged concrete and steel factory, he certainly would have.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 16, 2008

Hello, can anyone give a specific recipe for this mixture? And have you actually used it to remove lead from a non Ferrous alloy? I want to remove solder form silver/copper alloys
Please let me know your experiences. Thanks, Pete

Peter Dehahn
- sherman, connecticut

March 27, 2010

Neil Jennings
goldsmith - Perth, Scotland

What is the mixture of nitric acid and Hydrogen Peroxide would one use to remove Lead Solder From Silver?

Ken Kindschi
- Middlefield, Connecticut, USA
December 13, 2010

I used a mixture of (50-50) hydrogen peroxide, or blonde hair dye and photochem econostop, the stuff photographers use, basically it's acetic acid, and it removes lead from gold.
regards Neil

Neil Jennings
- Abernethy, United Kingdom

Disclaimer: It is not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

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