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, suprise…help 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.

This article originally appeared at Propnomicon.

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