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> Yes you have contaminated pickle. You must have put steel in there
> and that is what causes the reaction on the other pieces. Change to
> a new pickle vat.
So many people do not understand, this is an electrolytic reaction
not contamination. For the reaction to take place you need used
pickle (copper ions in the pickle) and two sufficiently different
metals in the pickle and touching each other. Then in effect you
have set up a battery and the copper plates onto the more cathodic
metal in the pair. It is not limited to iron (steel) but it is
sufficiently anodic to most jewelry metals and the most common metal
humans use so it is a likely culprit. There is no need to change the
pickle as long as the iron has been removed from the pickle.
James Binnion Metal Arts