State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600600
Hard water may interfere with formation of acid and
prevent curing in pickle making. If soft water is
unavailable, boil hard water for 15 minutes. Cover and set
aside for 24 hours, removing any scum. Carefully pour water
from container so sediment is not disturbed. Discard
sediment. Water is now ready to use. Distilled water can
be used also but this would be more expensive.
If water in the home is softened by means of a water
softener, it may be too soft for successful pickling.
Unless there are some minerals (especially calcium and
magnesium) in the water, pickles will be mushy. (Calcium
combines with pectic substances in the cucumbers to form
calcium pectate which makes pickles firm). It might be
best to use a blend of hard water and softened water for