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  1. #1
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    Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    I somehow came across a link on the web that was describing the use of a mix of salt and vinegar to remove rust, some were saying it worked, some saying it didn't, so I decided to give it a try on a rusty shifter, it had been left damp and the mechanism was totally solid.

    I sat it in a coke bottle and covered the head in vinegar and mixed in a few tablespoonfuls of salt and forgot about it for a couple of weeks, much to my surprise when I lifted it out last night and hit it with a brass brush, pretty much all the rust scrubbed off leaving only discolouration and pitting where it had once been. To finish it off I gave it a short steep in bicarbonate soda solution and dried it off in the oven.

    Unfortunately I never thought to take a before picture, but this is after, you can clearly see the line it has been submerged up to.

    I think I'll find a subject for a more controlled test, but definitely worth a try.

    BB Landy Collector

  2. #2
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Does this not work just because vinegar is acid?

    Can't imagine what the salt is meant to do though.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    salt and vinegar is very good for getting rid of potatoes especially if they are chipped

  4. #4
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Quote Originally Posted by Fadcode View Post
    salt and vinegar is very good for getting rid of potatoes especially if they are chipped

  5. #5
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Quote Originally Posted by earthman View Post
    I now have to clean my screen as it has been spray-painted with coffee!

  6. #6
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Quote Originally Posted by dvd8n View Post
    Does this not work just because vinegar is acid?

    Can't imagine what the salt is meant to do though.
    The chloride ions present by having salt in the mix help push the strength of the dilute acetic acid more in the direction of dissociating into H+ ions in the solution (lower the pH - increases acidity) which speeds up the process of reacting with the Iron oxide considerably.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    After taking some interest did a few searches and found some discussions. Seems it works but chemists were not quite sure why. Most common idea was complexin with chlorine to a soluble result from oxide/hydroxide mix, all that helped by acetic acid maintaining pH. Ok with me, I am not chemist but understand the terminology.

    All seemed to agree though that the less free oxygen around the better that causes the base iron to corrode possibly quite fast.

    Also rinse well after the process.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    A friend recently gave me a cheap Laguiole knock-off that had been left for years in its leather sheath and the blade (stamped INOX) has a lot of superficial rust.

    I'm about to pop out to the garden centre (waiting for SWMBO to finish getting ready ) and when I get back I'll try to find the time to test this technique.
    Keith.
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    Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    I have a blacksmiths sledge hammer soaking as I type this , I'll report with results in a day or two
    Lead follow or get out of my way

  10. #10
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    I buy the white vinegar from a hardware shop it's not for your chips and if you look on Google it does a lot more than remove rust once you try it you will be amazed,
    "All I ask is the chance to prove that money cant make me happy" Spike Milligan

  11. #11
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Excellent guys please report back, I think to see the best results you may be looking at a couple of weeks rather than days tho, so please persevere.
    BB Landy Collector

  12. #12
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Molasses mixed with water also works. The process is called chelation.

  13. #13
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    Quote Originally Posted by dvd8n View Post
    Does this not work just because vinegar is acid?

    Can't imagine what the salt is meant to do though.

    To make it simple - the same as rusting - steel reacts with oxygen (rusts) in the presence of saltwater better, than without it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Rust removal with salt and vinegar

    White vinegar is good for removing rust... I've been using it to clean up old tools for a long while. It can be diluted 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water too and it works just as well. A rinse in something slightltly alkaline afterwards is worthwile too - to neutralise the acid. CocaCola also works on chrome. Also anything containing oxalic acid will work to some degree - including, believe it or not - mulched up Rhubarb in water...
    Last edited by OldGreyDog; 27-04-17 at 02:09 PM. Reason: spelling!

 

 

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