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Name: Theresa J.
Status: other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001 - 2002

I recently ran across a statement that "vinegar melts pearls". I know that vinegar is acidic, but does it actually MELT a pearl? And if so, in what length of time?


No, vinegar does not MELT pearls. However, because vinegar is acidic, it will dissolve natural and cultured pearls. How long it takes depends on the size of the pearl and the concentration of the acid.

ProfHoff 366

I am sure that this term "melts" is used "generically". What is really meant is that acetic acid will dissolve the minerals -- I believe mostly calcium carbonate -- the make up the bulk of pearls.

Vince Calder

Hi, Theresa !!

I agree with you, when you say that vinegar reacts with pearls, according to :

CaCO3 + 2HAc -> Ca(Ac)2 + C02 + H20

How fast this happens depends on a number of factors like - as you know - concentration of acid, surface exposed to reaction, temperature, agitation, etc. I believe that the term MELT was employed in a common sense for a layman.

Alcir Grohmann

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