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My Underglaze Smells Like Sulfur!

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I have a fairly new bottle of amaco white underglaze. I haven't used it in a few weeks and when I went to get it I noticed through the bottle that the color was a grayish color. I shook it up, thinking it just needed a good shake. The gray color remained so I opened the bottle and the most awful sulfur smell came out. My entire studio smells horrible. Why did this happen? I keep all glazes inside. I've never had this happen before and I've used this same underglaze in the past. Thoughts?

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Commercial glazes and underglazes have a biocide in them that keeps them from getting funky. That's what gives them their odd smell normally. My guess is that for some reason your container of white didn't get the biocide put in it, and now it's grown some funk, just like a bottle of slip would. Call Amaco and see what they say. If I'm right, then they'll be getting a lot of calls because they make large batches.

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I buy Amaco Underglazes by the pint and my White ALWAYS gets funky once opened. Even if I just cut the foil seal and then screw it shut never touching the fluid inside it will still turn gray. A good note though is that it still fires white.

 

Terry

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I buy Amaco Underglazes by the pint and my White ALWAYS gets funky once opened. Even if I just cut the foil seal and then screw it shut never touching the fluid inside it will still turn gray. A good note though is that it still fires white.

 

Terry

Are you serious!!! The smell is so intense I feel like I'm getting a disease from it! It's pretty gross. I don't think I could bare to open it to use it. 

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I had that happen with a bottle of Amaco red underglaze (at $40.00 per pint!).  I thought it had something to do with the cardboard cap liner getting contaminated by the glaze so I have been removing them from all my underglazes.  Haven't had a problem with it since, but had to throw away half of that bottle because the smell was soooooooooo awful.  Couldn't even use it outside.

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I usually add about 1% alcohol to my glazes. This seems to keep down the mold, although I opened an old pail the other day and I almost gagged!. It was even grey from mold growth. I did a test tile with it and it was fine.

 

Guess you are just going to have to hold your nose or throw it out. :huh:

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I added a drop of bleach to mine and it doesn't seem to have hurt anything. It did cut down on the stench didn't do much for the gray color though. As a painter I am used to weird smells so that didn't bother me I did it just as a test. Hmmm removing the cardboard liner... I need to try that and see if the next one turns gray or not.

 

Terry

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I love it, when that happens to my classroom underglazes.  It wakes the students up.  Which underglazes smell, seems to change.  Last  year, it was the white, as you mentioned, and the dark green.  I'd be working with a student, then my nose would catch something.  I'd pop my head up and say, "Someone has the green out!"  After they get used awhile, the smell goes away, after the bottle has had a chance to "breath".  Kind of like how a bucket of slip or reclaim develops a lovely bouquet after they've been sitting in a warm studio for a few weeks.  

 

Honestly, the small doesn't bother me.  It's better than the smell that comes out of the sink trap, when I go to clean them.

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