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Thread: Oxalic Acid

  1. #1
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    I'm hoping this can enlighten some people on the wonders of Oxalic Acid (wood bleach) as a rust remover.

    I have a few questions that I haven't been able to find answers to by searching the web...

    1. How long after mixing the acid with water will it still work? ie. If I mix some today and soak some parts overnight... Can I soak more parts next week if I keep the liquid solution in a properly sealed container? Does it lose it's effectiveness and if so, How soon?

    2. My container says nothing about the amount to mix with water for removing rust from chrome/metal... Is this something all of you have "experimented" with and come up with your own conclusions?
    I know all acids will effect plating eventually. I just don't want to make the solution too strong and eat the chrome off before the rust!.. OR too weak to be non-effective.

    3. Painted parts.... Does it remove paint? I assume it will remove decals but what about painted on striping and darting like that which is on fenders and frames?

    I suppose I could just try it out on some old spare stuff laying around but...

    I would like to have some guidance from some people with previous experience with this stuff before I go diving in and damage valuable parts.... "Haste makes Waste!"

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    No help here, but great questions!!!!! I've been wondering the same things. Inquiring minds want to know.

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    -------------------------====================---------------------------
    Last edited by redline1968; 03-19-2013 at 05:57 PM.

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    Can painted parts be soaked for a lesser amount of time? At all? How fast will it effect the paint and start to "lift" it?

    What about parts that are partially plated and painted... For example... The tank on this one.


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    Redline, you mentioned rinsing the parts extra good because the solution continues to eat at the metal.. I have read that you can dip the part in a solution of baking soda and water to neutralize the oxalic acid let it soak for half hour or so and then rinse again.

    Is waxing the parts a good enough way to prevent flash rusting afterward?.. or should parts be sprayed with something like WD40... or something else even better?
    Last edited by spook1s; 03-28-2012 at 11:40 AM.

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    I have never seen it "lift" or damage paint sufaces. I have noticed it lighten the color of tan and ivory paint. This *may* have been as result of cleaning the surface of microscpic corrosion (??)


    Quote Originally Posted by spook1s View Post
    Can painted parts be soaked for a lesser amount of time? At all? How fast will it effect the paint and start to "lift" it?

    What about parts that are partially plated and painted... For example... The tank on this one.


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    So, would dipping a rusty white bike bring a bright white bike result?

    I've started gathering a crate load of parts for "the bath"... I've even added a few painted parts that need redone anyway just to see what happens.

    I have some parts that only need mild cleaning, parts that are HEAVILY rusted, painted parts, and parts that I have NO hope for... I just want to see what happens! The "NO hope" parts have areas where the plating is completely gone and severe pitting and corrosion are occuring.

    I'll take pics of before and after in case any of you are curious.

    I'm hoping things like seat springs and fork springs come out looking pretty good.

    If anybody else would like to chime in with their mixing ratio or any other do's and dont's.... PLEASE feel free!!

    I'm hoping this thread can help everybody!

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    Would it be too much trouble for you to take notes? Like the percentage of water to acid and length of time parts submerged? I'd also like to see a photo of the product you're using.

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    if you have rust under the paint its going to lift and the paint will eventually lift off. the paint is going to change in color and possibly flake off. so i would consider putting a coating over the paint (on a test part) like hard wax and see if the color/paint will stay on. and yes use a nutralizer like baking soda to stop the acid and then seal the metal with a conditioner. you can get the oxcilic acid at a home depoe or any builders supply ask for a solution to clean pools with. it comes in two plastic bottles. i used one bottle. i can't quite remember what the mix ratio was but i think i did 1 bottle to 10gal but im not sure. the amout of water will weaken the acid and slow it down increasing the time to remove the rust and better control of the removal process. i used gloves and a small brush to scrub the rust off to quicken the time but not recomended. that stuff will clean heavy and light rust with ease and will suprize you when your done but the suface will have small pits where the rust was and can be filled in and look great when done.
    Last edited by redline1968; 03-28-2012 at 03:03 PM.

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    I use white crystals and start at about 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. You can use much stronger or weaker; the concentration seems only to affect the speed at which it works. You can collect in a container and re-use, adding more powder if it seems too slow.

    I find it works best on chrome plating that is still mostly sound under the rust. I find it counterproductve if the plating is too far gone. It turns some types of plating green, grey or black. It quickly removes some type of plating used on spoke nipples.

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