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Re: [BKARTS] paste and water



I buy and use distilled water solely because it will not have the miscellaneous stuff picked up in the (pretty old) pipes that deliver the water from plant to my house, where my studio has always been. Yes, it will become slightly acidic on sitting in its jug. That can be corrected with leveling agents, if it's important. Tap water in my community is "glacier" water from the mountains, treated and chlorinated, and who knows what. It is also somewhat acidic, ranging from pH 6 to pH 5.5. Since I keep jugs of distilled on hand all the time, it's easy to use from it for making the slurry. Sterility isn't the issue for me.

However, many years of making paste with tap water and with distilled water have led me to follow a regimen like the one I described in an earlier post. The biggest and most important change for ME was to use distilled water to cover the lump of paste in the jar in the fridge. Keeping it covered with clean water from a jug allows me to store it for weeks, not days. No sign of molds, no off odors, no crusting. The tack doesn't decline noticeably, and I am not making paste so often. And I keep a set of utensils for use only when making and storing paste, so no chance of food contamination, oils, etc. etc. Works for me.

When I retired from the conservation practice, I gave my cooker to a colleague, so now I either use the microwave for a small amount, or I do the "zen" thing and occasionally stand at the range, usually reading a newspaper or magazine. Never did much like standing in one place for 30-40 minutes, hardly moving. It really is all in what works for YOU.

I also buy and store distilled water for emergency purposes, keeping a supply on hand at all times. Just because. We've been through more than one local disaster, and safe water can be most handy.

Carol
Eugene, OR

=====

On Feb 17, 2009, at 11:08 AM, Tina Howard wrote:

The other day I saw mention of making paste
with distilled water because it was "sterile."

The water commonly purchased in the grocery
markets is not guaranteed to be sterile.  It is
only sterile upon leaving the distillation equipment.
Most bottles are not even washed before filling,
just blown out with air.  So, you can only hope
for sanitized water, not even close to sterile.

The other comment I wanted to share, and maybe
most already know this, is that distilled water becomes
more acidic as it ages.  Just sitting on the shelf
waiting for a buyer it is no longer neutral in pH.

I believe the water "bottoms out" at about 5.5 pH,
and I don't know if this is enough for concern for
the people who restore, but it seems to me it would
be cause for concern.  With the comments about
acidic products and long term storage, it seems to me
that dialog on how to increase the pH of paste is in order.

Knowing my tap water is more alkaline, it seems
to me to be advantageous to use tap water vs. distilled
water.  It also is a cost savings.  I don't even buy
distilled water for my iron.  Of course it has been
ages since I ironed all my laundry!  But, laundry is
another list and another story.

Tina

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