Monday, November 21, 2011

Bottled Beastie

Another preserved worm that just happens to be available on Ebay. With the crass commercialism out of the way...

I think I may have figured out why the epoxy resin teeth on some worms pick up the dye used to color the water. Before I close up a jar I add a few grains of potassium metabisulfite to sterilize the contents and prevent bacterial growth. I believe the worms prone to absorbing the dye were closed up too soon, before the sulfur dioxide produced by the metabisulfite has a chance to dissipate into the air. Why does that matter? Because it's the same reaction exploited by the textile industry, where potassium metabisulfite is used to...surprise, set dyes.

This is actually a handy thing to know, for two reasons. One, you can prevent dye from staining your critters by allowing the solution to air out before sealing the bottle. Two, you can use potassium metabisulfite to help dye epoxy resin.


Anonymous said...

”Mordant” is the word you’re looking for. :-)

randomgaab said...

Thank you for the tip on the fluid - I want to do some things in jars and I'm trying to figure out what would be the best fluid and the concept of how to retard bacterial or fungal growth without harming whatever I make the things out of I haven't yet figured out.