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  1. #1
    Member zzMike's Avatar
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    Questions on oxalic acid for rust removal

    I have some rusty parts that I would like to cleanup (minor parts like bolts and stuff). I've read on this forum that oxalic acid and brushing the parts every so often will work well for removing rust. I've been reading posts in the forum regarding the subject, however, I'm still not sure on a couple of things. For anybody that has done this, do you have these answers?

    1. What mixture of oxalic acid and water should I use?

    2. How long should I soak the parts?

    3. In regards to brushing the parts...should I use a soft bristle brush or metal bristles?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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  3. #3
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    there are roughly 8 billion threads on this in this forum alone. Do some reading and you'll find your answers.
    Mmmm, bicycles.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Hey, Holiday! I have almost as many useless posts as you!
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    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    Hey, Holiday! I have almost as many useless posts as you!
    and you've been here almost 2 years less time, so i'd say that means you spout more BS than I do! Congrats!
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  6. #6
    TMP
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    .3% oxalic acid solution. it's found in hardware stores as "wood bleach", but can also be found online. basically dilute it to that particular solution and soak whatever you want.
    -soak it however long it takes to remove the rust
    -i generally brush it with a soft bristle, but if you must use hard bristle, find one made of brass.

    where I bought my oxalic acid: http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/Default.aspx

  7. #7
    Member zzMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMP View Post
    .3% oxalic acid solution. it's found in hardware stores as "wood bleach", but can also be found online. basically dilute it to that particular solution and soak whatever you want.
    -soak it however long it takes to remove the rust
    -i generally brush it with a soft bristle, but if you must use hard bristle, find one made of brass.

    where I bought my oxalic acid: http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/Default.aspx
    Thanks TMP...that helps.

    Holiday...that didn't help much...I was just asking for clarification on some of the stuff I read about the subject in the forums. Sorry to waste your time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    He wasn't being a jerk, Mike. It just so happens that a thread exactly like yours is started a few times a week. All the information you could possibly need can be found in the link I provided.
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  9. #9
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    He wasn't being a jerk, Mike. It just so happens that a thread exactly like yours is started a few times a week. All the information you could possibly need can be found in the link I provided.
    is any topic about 30+ year old machines not a repeat?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    is any topic about 30+ year old machines not a repeat?
    True, but this one is particularly redundant. THE zombie topic.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    Well maybe a topic about how well oxalic acid would work to clean up an old steel BIKES DIRECT bike.........

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    True, but this one is particularly redundant. THE zombie topic.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I use oxalic acid to bleach wood now and again. Novel, eh?

  13. #13
    Member zzMike's Avatar
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    yep...no offense taken...it just seems odd to me that somebody would post a response to a topic that they clearly don't want to see. But, I'm new here to the forum...maybe after a few years i will be doing the same thing.

    I did read a lot of the topics on oxalic acid, but I still had questions...mainly, the directions on the oxalic acid box say to use the entire package in a gallon of water to bleach wood (that's 12 oz. or 24 tablespoons). But, according to TMP you should use a .3% solution for bike parts...that comes to about 3/4 tablespoon per gallon. I know there is a big difference between wood and steel, but does that seem right? Or, do i just have a diluted package of oxalic acid. I just don't want my parts to go up in a puff of smoke.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzMike View Post
    yep...no offense taken...it just seems odd to me that somebody would post a response to a topic that they clearly don't want to see. But, I'm new here to the forum...maybe after a few years i will be doing the same thing.

    I did read a lot of the topics on oxalic acid, but I still had questions...mainly, the directions on the oxalic acid box say to use the entire package in a gallon of water to bleach wood (that's 12 oz. or 24 tablespoons). But, according to TMP you should use a .3% solution for bike parts...that comes to about 3/4 tablespoon per gallon. I know there is a big difference between wood and steel, but does that seem right? Or, do i just have a diluted package of oxalic acid. I just don't want my parts to go up in a puff of smoke.
    Follow TMP's directions. Directions on the package are for bleaching wood. A tablespoon , or two, in a gallon of water will work. You can go stronger if you keep an eye on it and don't leave it in too long. Have a small bowl of water with some baking soda in it to neutralize the acid when you're happy with the job. Rinse it well. Careful of painted surfaces.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Mike,
    For me it has been a trial and error process. The stronger the solution, the less time it takes. So long as the part is steel it won't be harmed. I don't worry much about leaving chromed steel parts in a solution for a day or two. I've only soaked two frames. I used a strong solution with both and the paint was faded by the solution on both. A longer period in a weaker solution is the way I'd go if I was interested in preserving the paint.

    I just eyeball my parts mixture and ~1TB per gallon of warm water sounds about right.
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