removing stain from stainless

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Steve W, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. pescaloco
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    pescaloco Senior Member

    Disclaimer I have not used on braided cable but works well for rust and stains

    Toilet bowl cleaner (The Works ) is the name of the product I use for stain removal. 3 to 5 minute soak and a good fresh water rinse
    And a great deal at about $2.50 a bottle, I have a boat detailing service and this stuff works great.
     
  2. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    snobol, another toilet bowl cleaner, works great on faded and stained gelcoat. Mop it on, wait half an hour, hose it off.
     
  3. dinoa
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    dinoa Senior Member

    Clean then passivate with nitric acid to restore oxide protective film. No iron residue (ions) should come into contact with stainless as they will compromise the protective layer. Leave a piece of iron on damp stainless overnight to see the effect.

    Dino
     
  4. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Lots of good suggestions, thank you, i will give the toilet bowl cleaner a try, sounds like a great deal. It seems like just about any acid will work if concentrated enough, as I said, i tried muriatic which is sold in the hardware stores as a concrete cleaner and is actually mostly hydrochloric acid based which worked at 2:1 concentration. Citric, oxalic and nitric have been suggested. Can you guys elaborate on what concentration to use and availability. Also can someone explain how these acids passivate the ss.
    Another concern I have is if I end up using an acid at a high concentration, how do I dispose of the stuff, I suppose if I dilute the hell out of it it could go down the drain or else i could take it to the household hazardous waste facility down the road.
    Tom, while I know that removing the stains by ss wire brushing or buffing will work I just don't see manual methods as being practical for the approximately 500 feet of standing rigging unless of course i build a power feed to feed it through the buffer at a controlled speed, if i were a professional rigger I would probably do just that.

    Steve.
    Steve.
     
  5. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    I heartily suggest the molasses water soak. Very inexpensive 1 to 9 ratio. As molasses ferments it robs the oxygen from the iron oxide (rust). Leaves the iron de-oxygenated. (de-rusted)
    Requires patience because it is a slow soak, but when you're finished and pressure wash the molasses off, the molasses can go down the drain. It's food. Basically, sugar water. Or you could distill the ferment and make rum, You can immerse your body in the molasses water and no ill effect, except a funny odor of molasses. :)
     
  6. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Steve, as I wrote in post #10, vitamin C is an excellent stain remover for your problem. Just dissolve a handful of tablets in a glass of water and try it.
    It even removes dark brown manganese stains in only seconds.
     
  7. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

  8. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Ok, thanks guys, im willing to give anything a try so im going out to pick up some toilet bowl cleaner, vitamin C and molasses and give them all a go this weekend and see what works best. I will report the results when im done.

    Steve.
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    There is a stain cleaning product on the market here called "CLR", where the letters stand for calcium, lime, and rust, I took a look at the label and it must be a secret what the ingredients are, or labelling laws here are inadequate.
     
  10. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I just just got back from picking up a bunch of supplies and i was also looking at that CLR and noticed the same thing. I got the molasses, baking soda, the works toilet cleaner, didn't get the vitamin C, it would be too expensive to make a large batch if it works unless i can find it in another form, if its the same as citric acid i can get it in powdered form online for reasonable money. I envisage mixing gallons of solution to soak my stays so it has to make sense.

    Steve.
     
  11. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

  12. tom kane
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    tom kane Senior Member

    I would love to know how you get that job done.. In the dairy industry the only chemicals we used for cleaning inside our silos and evaporators was hot caustic soda boil up first and then hydrocloric acid. Sodium hydrochlorite (bleach) which we made ourselves was ciruulated cold through the silos to sanatize.
    All of the outsides had to be cleaned manually to remove the water borne calcium and other deposits. They never looked properly clean and a hand rub with wet and dry carbarandom was the only way which was never realy done because of the hard work.
    Stainless steel repair was done on site welding grinding etc',
     
  13. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, structure very close to citric acid, but just one oxygen atom short. It tries to become citric acid by stripping oxygen from the brown stains on your stainless steel surfaces.
    Sold in all European supermarkets and drugstores in large plastic bottles for just a few $$.
     
  14. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Thanks CDK for that bit of info, i did ask at the supermarket with no luck. What is it typically used for by the average shopper? It may help if i knew which area to look in. I will do a google search. I will certainly share what come up with. It seems a lot of folks clean their smaller parts but i have yet to encounter anyone who has removed the stains from their standing rigging, probably because its inherently more difficult. The reason I want to do it is that i sail on Lake Superior and i bought a boat from salt water and if i get rid of the stains they wont come back here.

    Steve.
     

  15. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    The average shopper buys vitamin C to prevent a cold or even flu, others take it because they hate fruit and/or vegetables.

    The redox function was pointed out to me by a guy on usenet (Chemical forum), who calls himself Uncle Al. We tried to remove fungus stains in stored sails using potassium permanganate. The fungus was replaced by manganese oxide, insoluble dark brown stuff.
    A handful of vitamin C tablets dissolved in water removed the stains in a few seconds.
     
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