How to clean rust off the bike

Discussion in 'Bicycle Restoration Tips' started by Bluebird55, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Bluebird55

    Bluebird55 Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Especially on the rims and spokes... Do I need to take them apart? Spokes off.. Can anyone tell me the correct finish on the handlebars, crank, stem, seat post etc. for a prewar bike 40'... Thanks,
     
  2. JLarkin

    JLarkin Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    If you can find something like a narrow trough to set the wheel in, you can fill it with white vinegar and it will eat the rust. You'll have to turn the wheel to get another section submerged but over the course of a week it will work. If they are chrome rims, use oxylic acid (wood bleach) instead. As for finishes, I would say handlebars and hubs are chrome. Stem is probably nickel. Crank is nickel. Seat post is probably nickel as well.
     
  3. Bluebird55

    Bluebird55 Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Thanks, I will try the vinegar trick...

    G.
     
  4. jdbicycle

    jdbicycle Guest

    I too am familiar with the dreaded rust. For the rims, you will want to take them off the bike and remove the tires. sometimes there is also a bunch of old grease that should be taken off. I found that a pressure washer works well along with some de-greaser. For the rust, I have always used 0000 or 0001 steel wool (wet) with WD40 (or similar lube). this removes the rust well from chrome and other metal surfaces (also it will help prevent rust). i have also used this technique on painted surfaces. however, if you do use the steel wool on the paint only use the 0000 wool, with the WD40, and DO NOT you much pressure. Gently slide the steel wool, and let the the wool do the work. If you use too much pressure, you may fade or even remove the paint. nice tips JLarkin, i will keep these in mind for my next restore! hope all goes well with the rust Bluebird55
     
  5. bachdaddy

    bachdaddy Guest

    you could use a wire wheel works great!!
     
  6. SilverScion

    SilverScion Look Ma, No Hands!

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    What about this kind of rust/pitting? (on the seat stays) Would I be better off just sanding/repainting?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
    -Sean
     
  7. Sean

    Sean Finally riding a big boys bike

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    I use CLR and a brass brush. It works great
     
  8. Schweirdo

    Schweirdo Guest

    I like to use whatever the situation calls for. I soak things in CLR. I have used wood bleach. Wd40 and 0000 wool. What I hqve found works best on rusted paint and lightly rustedchrome is Turtle Wax chrome polish and rust remover and 0000 wool. Since using this I have abandoned a lot of my other techniques. Its only like $2 a bottle at Wally World(wal-mart).
     
  9. shawn57187

    shawn57187 Finally riding a big boys bike

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    I have been wondering about treatment of rusted paint as well. I think that rust stains on paint could probably be removed with a wax or cutting compound. In areas where rust has eaten through paint, such as your picture, it is probably not possible to remove the rust. Anything strong enough to eat the rust will probably be too harsh on paint.

    I'd be curious to see what oxalic acid does on rusted / pitted paint. It might be worth testing on a junk part if you have one.
     
  10. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    Use the WD40 & 0000 steel wool described above on painted surfaces, just be gentle. Follow up with rubbing compound (be careful of pinstripes & decals and again be gentle), polishing compound, carnauba wax & your done. I just got through doing all the chrome on a bike in distilled white vinegar letting each part/section soak about 8 hours, then remove rust with 0000 steel wool, follow up with chrome polish & carnauba wax to deter future rust. I did degrease everything first with WD40 & 0000 steel wool. These are all cheap & work well and remember those blemishes add character which you lose with new paint. Good luck.
     
  11. markivpedalpusher

    markivpedalpusher Moderator
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    You would be surprised what a razor blade and WD40 will do on rusty chrome as well. Rims, chain rings, cranks, truss rods etc. A good friend shared the trick with me. You might think it would scratch the chrome but it works great!
     
  12. Ozark Flyer

    Ozark Flyer I live for the CABE

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    Evapo-rust on chrome.

    I purchased a long narrow plastic sheet rock finishers mud pan for about two bucks. Fill about half way up with Evapo-Rust (from Harbor Freight) and rotate the wheel daily for about a week. Works great with no scratching or scrubbing and removes every speck around the spokes.
     
  13. shawn57187

    shawn57187 Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Has anyone tried oxalic acid with painted parts? Does it fade / strip the paint or remove pin striping / decals?

    EDIT:
    I did some experimenting... I don't have any rusty painted bicycle parts to experiment with so I took some old ankle clips (chain guards) that had rust coming through chips in the paint. One clip was very rusted, the other was only a little rusted. After a short time in an oxalic acid bath, the rust is completely gone. All of the paint remained intact. The clips were originally painted black and neither appeared to have faded or gotten cloudy.

    I'm curious how oxalic acid would react with bicycle paint, though.

    Here is a photo of oxalic acid working it's magic on my fender struts.
    IMAG0097.jpg
     
    #13 shawn57187, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  14. PCHiggin

    PCHiggin I live for the CABE

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    Heavier Rust

    I recently tried Naval Jelly on an old tandem with pretty rusty chrome. it worked great with 3 applications.I think it contains the above mentioned acid. Just dab it on,wait 20 mins then rinse off with a hose.

    Pat
     
  15. shawn57187

    shawn57187 Finally riding a big boys bike

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    I think naval jelly is phosphoric acid, which is much stronger than oxalic acid and will almost certainly dissolve paint. It's great for thick set rust.
     
  16. Just a cautionary word on using steel wool. Steel is still steel and even though fine is still tougher than chrome, I messed up a lovely pair of bars with very fine once. The brash brush method works great and is great for getting around the spoke nipples and hard to reach places. I use bronze wool and wd40 and could not be happier, never a scratch. Be careful though as some bronze wool is steel wool electroplated with bronze and once the bronze is worn watch out. I buy the bronze wool off ebay. I guess it is commonly used in boating. Anyway it isn't too cheap but worth the price. It also doesn't shed like steel wool.
     
  17. dougfisk

    dougfisk I live for the CABE

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    So far, I have soaked painted rims and a chainguard in oxalic acid, and have scrubbed painted fenders with oxalic acid. I personally have never had it affect a painted surface. It will however discolor or strip other non-chrome type platings found on various smaller bicycle parts, like nipples and hub parts.

     
  18. Krautwaggen

    Krautwaggen Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    If you use Vinegar be sure to keep rotating the wheel. Vinegar will remove chrome over long periods of time. I put a ND hub in a vinegar bath for a couple of weeks and it removed all of the chrome (basically separates it from the hub and it flakes off.

    Evaporust is supposed to remove rust without being corrosive. I've used it a few times and it works pretty well.
     
  19. shawn57187

    shawn57187 Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Here are the same fender struts after I took the wire wheel to them. They look like new steel.

    335630_10150331712312335_721632334_8324095_1052982448_o.jpg
     

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