The paste should be pre-soaked in solvent at a paste:solvent ratio of between 1:1 to 3:1. Polar solvents should be avoided with leafing grades due to their adverse effect on leafing stability. When formulating aqueous inks, the pH of the system should be kept as close to neutral as possible. Pre-soaking generally takes from one to eight hours. Finer grades typically take longer than coarser grades. Use low shear, slow speed mixing to achieve a smooth consistency free of agglomerates. High shear dispersion techniques should be avoided, as they will distort the aluminum flakes.