Are you looking for a safer pickle to clean your copper pieces after soldering? If you are, try out this recipe.
Pour plain white vinegar into a snap lock container and add plain table salt one tablespoon at a time, stirring, until the solution is fully salt saturated. You will know you have achieved a fully saturated solution when you can no longer dissolve salt crystals. You can heat this in a pickle pot such as Product ID: CLN-586.00, but you don’t have to heat the solution for it to be effective. As mostly a weekend warrior, I would never leave a pickle pot on, and would not have the patience to let pickle heat up before I am ready to use it. I keep a container of this solution next to my soldering station and it works great for removing fire scale from soldering or heating copper.
Simply drop the cooled down pieces in the solution for 5 minutes or so, remove with stainless steel tongs or tweezers and wash with soap and water. For more stubborn fire scale, use a brass brush to scrub it away.
Be careful not to leave the piece in the solution too long as the solution will begin to etch it.
When the solution is saturated and is bright blue, it will begin to lose its effectiveness. When you are ready to dispose of it, pour in baking soda a little at a time, letting the bubbling action disperse before you add more baking soda. Eventually the solution will be fully neutralized and in most cases can be rinsed down the kitchen sink. Before you do this, please check with your local authorities with regards to their rules and regulations.