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Old 07-20-2014, 08:41 AM
 
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I found this thread very odd as I use Barkeeper's Friend to REMOVE rust from stainless sinks.... and have for decades
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocngypz View Post
I found this thread very odd as I use Barkeeper's Friend to REMOVE rust from stainless sinks.... and have for decades
I also found it odd.

I don't know how Barkeeper's Friend, a mild acid, could cause rust. It might discolor cheap stainless steel but not cause rust.

Naval Jelly, a rust remover, which somebody recommended to remove the rust, is also a mild acid.

Acids neutralize oxidation. That's why in industry and plating shops, etc., iron and steel are immersed in a strong acid bath before plating or painting.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
I also found it odd.

I don't know how Barkeeper's Friend, a mild acid, could cause rust. It might discolor cheap stainless steel but not cause rust.

Naval Jelly, a rust remover, which somebody recommended to remove the rust, is also a mild acid.

Acids neutralize oxidation. That's why in industry and plating shops, etc., iron and steel are immersed in a strong acid bath before plating or painting.
The only thing I can think of is that the metal bottom of the can.... or some other metal (utensil, pan) caused the reaction. Happens sometimes when I leave a cast iron skillet in the sink overnight.

I normally use Naval Jelly on aluminum to remove oxidation.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsch View Post

Acids neutralize oxidation. That's why in industry and plating shops, etc., iron and steel are immersed in a strong acid bath before plating or painting.
NO, they do not neutralize. They eat at the oxidation and the substrate parent metal, too.

That's why the plating or painting process is an "art" in practice. It takes a careful judgement, experience, skill, and monitoring of the parts to get them to a point where they are cleaned yet not destroyed or damaged by too long in the acid bath.

After the parts are "cleaned" in the acid bath, they are rinsed and the acid is neutralized with a caustic to stop the process.

Many iron based parts are cleaned in a hot caustic bath (heated sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye) rather than an acid bath because it's capable of stripping the oxidation/foreign matter off the parts yet will not eat the iron. Of course, this is a toxic industrial process ... as is using an acid cleaning bath ... and it still requires a final cleaning with water to dilute/remove the caustic solution so that the next steps can proceed. I've cleaned many an engine block and cylinder heads in machine shops with these "hot tanks" to prepare them for machining and painting. The painting must be done shortly after the cleaning process because the raw steel/iron will rust almost immediately even from atmospheric moisture. Recently helped a friend restore a historic fancy iron fence with finials that were rusting away ... he removed the finials from the iron fence (approx 100 pieces), we hot tanked them to clean them, and as quickly as possible after the cleaning, I applied a layer of epoxy followed by a polyurethane (for UV protection). The thickened epoxy was rolled on and leveled out the corrosion damage to the century old parts, a nice durable cosmetic repair to the castings.


Products like Barkeeper's Friend are good for many cleaning applications ... but only up to a point. Use them appropriately for a modest period of time, and they do the job you expect. But leave them for an extended period of time as the OP inadvertently did, and their chemical action becomes excessive and you wind up with a damaged surface rather than the desired clean surface.

Similarly, we get to see the results of these types of corrosive products improperly used in many applications. For example, many folk will wash their airplane with a caustic soap or acid based cleaner. They get the surfaces clean and rinse them off. But the product may have wicked between the overlapping pieces of aluminum skin and structure, and not been cleaned out or removed when they rinsed off the plane. The cleaning product action continues in this area and after some time you can see the damage when you inspect the plane from the inside. As well, we see this type of damage on cars, boats, motorcycles, industrial equipment, restaurant equipment (particularly stainless steel 502 fabricated items, very popular in the industry to comply with food safety regs), and other items which get routinely washed down.

Even when using Naval Jelly, which is phosphoric acid based, the recommendation is to only allow it to stand for 15 minutes before rinsing off and checking on the progress of the cleaning action. If more cleaning is needed, then it's advised to repeat the process of a 15 minute treatment ... not allow the product to stand for more time.

Interesting that the above poster uses Naval Jelly on Aluminum because it is specifically advised not to use it on this metal (read the label cautions!). While it may be OK in their application, I know that around boats in a salt water environment, the phosphoric acid attack on the parent metal can severely weaken it, damaging fittings and equipment so that they can fail under load. Most embarrassing ... I was crewing years ago on a sailboat that was kept Bristol fashion by a fellow using this stuff and a turnbuckle on the headstay parted due to this chemical attack. We lost a mast that day from the part failure; fortunately, we were in a bay and got a tow back home, nobody hurt in the accident. There's a residual chemical attack in the parent metal that goes far beyond the surface cleaning action especially since most aluminum parts aren't pure aluminum but an alloy with other metals that are severely attacked by the acid for a lot longer than the time of cleaning exposure. The guy was an aircraft engineer at Convair and realized afterwards that he should've known better about the metals/chemical attack; it was a very costly mistake on his part.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-20-2014 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
NO, they do not neutralize. They eat at the oxidation and the substrate parent metal, too.
.....................
......and also many, many words about engine blocks, cylinder heads, airplanes, Convair and so on......

You wrote all of this but it doesn't negate what I wrote in my post.

Perhaps I could have used a more accurate word than “neutralize” but I was trying to make it easy to understand.

Anyway “neutralize” is better than your “eat at”.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:34 AM
 
11,538 posts, read 52,108,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
..

Perhaps I could have used a more accurate word than “neutralize” but I was trying to make it easy to understand.

Anyway “neutralize” is better than your “eat at”.
"neutralize" Def: Chem, to make neutral or inert.

Definitely not what the acid does to rust. Fact: you need to "neutralize" the acid after you've used to to remove the rust, or it will continue to keep on working. It's a main reason why most iron/steel prep industrially is done with caustics instead of acids because it's a lot easier to control the caustics to only remove the rust and not attack the parent metal. Unless you want to create an etched surface for enhanced bonding by your coating, which is what acid will do to the parent metal.

"eat at" is what happens, the acid chemically attacks the rust and the parent metal, too, forming compounds that can be dissolved away with a solvent such as water.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-20-2014 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
19,892 posts, read 35,968,664 times
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Probably late to respond, but this is what I use: a green color 3M scrubbing pad, or just one of the pads that have a yellow color sponge at one side, and a green pad on the other side. Just scrub it off in a circular motion around the drain. It works better than steel wool. Once the stain has been removed, follow a spray can of stainless steel sink cleaner.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
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Default Looks good!

Okay, well, I tried a few things & what worked on this problem was the Stainless Steel Cleaner alone, left for 5-min (3 times) & rubbed with a heavy work cloth. I did try the stainless steel wool pads (before reading Sun's post about it embedding remnants) & as I mentioned before, I'm a small girl with not much arm power... heavy scrubbing is useless for me to see much in the way of results. I've seen my ex-bf clean similar things in 1 pass & 1-2 minutes... I just can't do it. Still, I gave it a go, but it's made no difference, multiple times. Varying scrubbers didn't work, either... but, with more elbow grease & a stronger arm, perhaps either would have eventually worked, too.

So, although not perfect, ALL the rust is gone, ALL the black discoloration from inside the drain is gone, the sink is shinier than when I moved in & all that remains is a bit of lighter, spot discoloration. (I know they look equally as shiny in these pics with the overhead light... but, I assure you, the before sink looked rather dreadful).

From this:

To this:


When standing back & viewing the whole sink, the slight discoloration is hardly noticeable (the right sink had the damage). I'm just a perfectionist...


The pics are in my Profile Album (yeah, I know... everyone's clamoring to see them)... haha, for large photos & a better idea of before/after.

Thank you All so much again for all the suggestions. I really do appreciate the help & wow, this spray is a find. I'll be using it on the bathroom faucets, as well... they're rather dull & I never could use anything to get them shiny & new. Thanks again, Sun! Now... onto cleaning my aeroplane!
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