lemon juice rust removal


Old 03-06-18, 11:37 AM
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lemon juice rust removal

I was rearranging some tools this past couple of weeks and at some point pulled out a set of my dad's compasses and dividers that I had in one of my metal cabinets. I use such tools quite a bit, and try to make sure that I wipe them with an oily rag every once in a while, but have had my own for years, so these just sat. Anyway, my jaw dropped when I opened the case and saw the rust. Most sane people would have tossed them at that point because I doubt they have much value, but they were dad's, and the reason I had pulled them out in the first place was that I figured I may as well put them with mine and use them sometimes. I knew wire brushing or anything like that was not the answer, and I have a partial gallon of Evaporust that I have used on a few larger things, but it sounded a bit harsh for something this size, so decided to put them in lemon juice with a bit of salt. One night in the lemon juice and they went from sickening rusty to simply tarnished from years of use. So you all probably know this already, but just in case there's anyone else as slow as I am at getting around to trying something new once in a while, it does work, and well.
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Old 03-06-18, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll have to give it a try.
Old 03-06-18, 06:04 PM
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Curious what the salt is for?
Old 03-06-18, 06:24 PM
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I'm gonna guess to turn it into a paste so it sticks better.
Old 03-06-18, 06:37 PM
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I never thought of it as such, and no, I didn't add near enough to make a paste, but apparently salt is acidic, so it just raises the level a bit. Likewise, I've hear that vinegar works, so may give that a try if the opportunity arises again, but we had lemon juice, and I assumed the citric would provide a higher acid level than vinegar. And forgot to mention, but speaking of paste, I remembered that I was supposed to clean everything with a baking soda and water paste, to neutralize the acid, so did that this evening. As I told my wife, it doesn't seem necessary, I mean how much damage can the acid in lemon juice do, but after seeing the results it's apparently pretty strong.

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