Soaking Process

The lab contains two sinks which are used for soaking the tablets. A flexible plastic tube runs from the faucet down to the bottom of each sink. Once a sink is filled with warm water a trickle of warm water is allowed to continue feeding the basin; a drain near the top of the basin prevents any overflow. The warm water is more effective in dissolving the salts and minerals. The tubes are placed at the bottom of the sink to create circulation toward the drains above, which allows the water containing the dissolved minerals to be carried away.

Square frames of PVC pipe supporting plastic mesh are used to hold the tablets while they are soaking. These frames may be stacked so that a large number of tablets may be soaked at one time, as many as ca. 80 per sink. The mesh allows the water to circulate freely through the sink. Tablets may be placed either directly on the mesh, or in small plastic dishes (especially if there is any danger of the tablets coming apart while soaking). Tablets are soaked for three to four weeks, or longer for particularly encrusted specimens.