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RUST REMOVAL -- UT-131

The traditional methods of rust removal for big jobs are sand blasting, soda blasting, and the commercial ReadyStrip process where you can do complete car bodies and frames. Our local club has a portable sand baster and a soda blaster in the Tool Lending Program for use by club members. For smaller parts that may fit in a bucket there are some do-it-yourself processes.

Vinegar bath:
Take the offending parts and dump them in a glass or plastic jar filled with vinegar (white vinegar works fine). Let them sit for a couple of days and then pull them out and clean them using a fine wire wheel. If all the corrosion is not removed, put them back in the vinegar for another couple of days. Wire wheel them again and your hardware will emerge clean and shiny. Of course, rust pits will not disappear, but the rust will be gone. You can use steel wool or a wire brush if a wire wheel is too awkward. This method is non-toxic and inexpensive.

Chemical and Electrical:
There some commercial chemical brews that are cheap enough and generally non-toxic. You can check out Evapo-Rust. A friend has been using Evapo-Rust with very good results. Also see electrolysis rust removal. Spic-n-span is a good substitute for "washing soda". It's also sodium carbonate based (not sodium bicarbonate). I have used the electrolisis process with a plastic bucket and battery charger. It works if you walk away and leave it alone long enough.

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