Rust removal differences - see results


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lgrinnings

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 31, 2010
485
1,454
Newburyport, MA
#1
Howdy folks! My son just completed a science project on some different forms of rust removal and their associated results after 36 hours of soaking and wire brushing. I figured this may help some of you as the results are different and may help with patina matching in some cases. Oxalic acid worked the fastest and the best followed by lemon juice, whereas vinegar left a little rust/discoloration, and molasses and water worked the slowest leaving the most rust/discoloration (which may be a preferred result depending on the project). Here are some pictures of his results along with the materials and procedure. I hope this helps!

-Lester

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Materials:
  • 4 small containers or jars with lids (make sure they are completely dry)
  • Labels or tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Rusty steel objects
  • Water in varying amounts depending on solution
  • Oxalic acid (2 Tbsp)
  • Molasses (1:9 water)
  • Lemon juice (1:1 water)
  • Vinegar (¾ jar)
  • Steel brush

Procedure:

Set up Jar 1
  1. Add a rusty steel object to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Pour in water up to the three quarter mark.
  3. Add powdered oxalic acid and mix.
  4. Let soak for 36 hours
  5. Wire brush to remove loosened rust

Set Up Jar 2
  1. Add a rusty steel object to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Pour in water up to the three quarter mark.
  3. Add molasses at a 1:9 ratio with the water and mix.
  4. Let soak for 36 hours
  5. Wire brush to remove loosened rust

Set Up Jar 3
  1. Add a rusty steel object to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Pour in vinegar up to the three quarter mark.
  3. Let soak for 36 hours
  4. Wire brush to remove loosened rust

Set Up Jar 4
  1. Add a rusty steel object to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Pour in lemon juice and water in equal amounts and mix.
  3. Let soak for 36 hours
  4. Wire brush to remove loosened rust

Controls:
  1. Metal pieces
  2. Each a liquid
  3. Same amount of time in
  4. Steel brush used on each

Independent variables:
  1. Oxalic acid solution
  2. Molasses & water solution
  3. Vinegar
  4. Lemon juice & water solution

Dependent variable:
  1. Rust on object
 

then8j

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 6, 2010
687
313
Walnut Creek CA
#2
This is great! How old is your son? Did he have to write a report to explain how they worked, and what the active ingredients were?
Thank you for posting this.
 

TieDye

I live for the CABE
Aug 24, 2015
1,001
915
Henderson, MI, United States
#4
Now take the still rusty one and put it in Evapo-Rust. You will be amazed. It might take a couple days, but remove it, massage it a bit, and you'll know when it's done.
 

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