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Pickling lime is used as a 'crisping agent', to prevent the pickles from becoming soft. When called for in a recipe, it is added to the brine before the pickles are soaked, and the soaking time should be 12-24 hours. Then the pickles should be soaked in clean water for 1 hour, and then rinsed at least 3 times to ensure the lime is removed. It is often not recommended, as it is known to lower the acidity of the vinegar, making the pickle unsafe.