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  #1  
Old November 22nd, 2011, 07:52 AM
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De-rusting chemical warfare

In my never ending quest to reduce labor I have found a new ally. Muriatic acid. Yup, the stuff they sell at the hardware store.
I just tried a few small things like nuts and stud plates in an overnight soak in a plastic egg drop soup quart container. We had already eaten the soup. 50/50 solution of acid to water.
Checked it this morning and it's all clean as a whistle down to bare steel. No rubbing no scraping. Just plop the stuff in the solution and by the time you wake up it is ready to refinish. Took off paint and grease. It does bubble quite satisfactorily at first but settles down after a while. Gloves and safety glasses with this stuff, as it is hydrochloric (stomach) acid with an old school name. It gasses when you pour it, so pour it into the water rather than add water to it. Don't know what the gas is, I'm sure someone here does, but it burns your nose if you get a whiff.
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  #2  
Old November 22nd, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Also works great to clean rust out of gas tanks of old motorcycles. Add a few star washers and some old ghardware and shake it up to get off the big flakes!
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Paul
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Be careful with that stuff. Muratic acid highly corrosive. Make sure you neturalize the acid when done or even more rust will come back.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelemt View Post
Be careful with that stuff. Muratic acid highly corrosive. Make sure you neturalize the acid when done or even more rust will come back.
How would you do that? Baking soda?

Also, how do you dispose of it?
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 10:38 AM
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How would you do that? Baking soda?

Also, how do you dispose of it?

Yes, wash well with a baking soda water solution. I've used this stuff to remove mil scale on some steel projects but always do it in the driveway away from everything.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Charles Galpin
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I tried the electrolysis method with limited results. Seemed to work only on light rust. We have a thread somewhere on rust removal, but don't have time to look.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 11:40 AM
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There are other rust treatments, and I have explored several of them. The Muriatic acid test was just a test. Not sure if I'd use it over phosphoric acid, which is probably a better option for steel.
The latest rage is citric acid or sodium citrate in a 20% solution with EDTA added for cleaning. Touted as safe rust remover and "green" or environmentally friendly. I love how they say it contains no acids. Anyway, it works too.
I used to use what I call a "Jeffrey Dahmer" bucket which contained a solution of lye. I would run current thru the parts I put in it and they too came out clean. It would make a real mess as the grease came off, and floated around on the surface making a slime slick. I abandoned this way as just too much bother.

------ Follow up post added November 22nd, 2011 11:48 AM ------

Oh yeah I forgot. Molasses works too.
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  #8  
Old November 23rd, 2011, 10:12 PM
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EVAPO-RUST works great on small items.

Nontoxic as well
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