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Tips for removing rust?

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Tips for removing rust?

Old 07-21-16, 04:30 AM
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Tips for removing rust?

Restoring this old Schwinn Varsity 60s. What are the tips to remove rust from the frame and from the chrome components (pedals, cranks, shifters, rims, etc.) or can I just dissasemble and put into the dishwasher
Except for the frame of course. As for the frame. How to remove the rust and leave an old paint intact?

Please advice. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-16, 04:55 AM
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There are various products that will remove rust - just Google rust remover. But remember that the original finish, whether paint or chrome, is gone, so if not protected somehow it will rust again.
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Old 07-21-16, 05:10 AM
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And there are numerous threads on these forums about removing rust...just do the search in google with the site:bikeforums.net filter...
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Old 07-21-16, 11:40 PM
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I use and recommend Oxalic Acid on rusted chrome: https://www.google.com/search?q=oxal...bikeforums.net
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Old 07-22-16, 02:14 AM
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depending on the size of the components, you may find an ultrasonic cleaner quicker

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Old 07-22-16, 05:42 AM
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Some guys use oxalic acid, CLR, Bar Keepers friend, auto chrome polish, naval jelly, Noxon, Brasso, motor oil and fine steel wool, or just a wet and soapy Brillo pad on the chrome parts. Best to use steel wool as a last resort, since it scuffs up the finish. Auto engine degreasers (ex., Gunk) can remove the greasy old grime...be careful if using gasoline, and not indoors. An old rusty Varsity, however, may be a good candidate for a wash down from a garden hose, followed by a soapy scrubbing with a Brillo pad. For the painted areas try an auto cleaner wax, or a light duty auto polishing compound. BTW, old Chicago Schwinn's are nearly indestructible. Good luck with it.

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Old 07-22-16, 06:51 AM
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Agreed all the above depending what the rust is on & how bad, normally take off rust you have a black patch, then what, some light surface rust can be removed & the underlying finish then is not too bad but there are so many variables
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Old 07-22-16, 07:03 AM
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My first post here i am just restoring WW2 era german ladies bicycle "Mars Werke" and i am using this method shown in the video. I have used many different methods but this is the best way to remove rust- even very heavy rust will be gone without having to scrub it off mechanically with grinder and etc.
And its cheap also.

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Old 07-22-16, 11:43 AM
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For parts that you can remove and submerge in a small container, I think Evapo-Rust is the best you can do. Given enough time, it is nothing short of witchcraft. The nice thing about this product, apart from how well it works, is that it's safe to use (I stick my bare hands in it with no ill effects) and environmentally friendly. It isn't cheap relative to the budget for a bike like you're working on, but it is reusable. I think I read that a gallon of it will treat 500 pounds of rusty metal (though I personally would have spilled most of it long before that).

Here are before and after pictures of a rear derailleur I soaked overnight in Evapo-Rust:

The dark spots you see in the "after" picture aren't rust. They are places where the chrome plating had flaked away (earlier, not because of the rust removal) and the bare steel was exposed. On non-shiny surfaces, this kind of dark spotting is common. Chrome surfaces with heavy rust are likely to have pitting. Regardless of what rust removal method you use, these aren't going to regain the smooth mirror-like surface they once had. Instead, you'll get a dull, dimpled result. It's better than rust.

As for the frame, I'm still experimenting with various methods. I'm certain that submerging in Evapo-Rust would work for this too, but it takes a lot of liquid to submerge a bike frame. One thing I tried recently was wrapping the frame in paper towels soaked in Evapo-Rust (heavy blue shop towels work much better than kitchen variety paper towels) and then wrapping those in cling wrap. I peeled the wrapping off periodically and scrubbed lightly with a copper detail brush then re-wrapped. Obviously this only treats surface rust, not rust inside the frame, but it worked pretty well. Here are before, during and after pics from about four days of that treatment.

I lost a lot of paint, but I had a lot of rust.

I'm working on another frame right now that wasn't nearly that bad -- just a lot of small spots and patches of rust.

I'm trying naval jelly (available at any auto parts store) with this one. The directions say brush it on, wait 10 minutes and wash it off then repeat until the rust is gone. One thing I've noticed is that this is only taking a layer at a time. I was able to improve the results significantly by scrubbing the spots with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser before using the naval jelly. The Magic Eraser gets rid of a lot of the piled up and superficial rust. It's my understanding that it isn't safe to leave the naval jelly on paint, but for the 10 minutes recommended it doesn't seem to cause any problems.

Finally, if you do much Googling on this topic you'll come across the recommendation to scrub the bike with aluminum foil. A little more searching will find people saying this doesn't actually remove the rust and is a scammers trick. I tested this out recently, and my conclusion is that for superficial rust on chrome surfaces aluminum foil works great, but for deep rust it's not helpful. Here is the fork I was testing with. The leg on the left was scrubbed with aluminum foil. The leg on the right was soaked in Evapo-Rust.

My "before" picture for this is at a bad angle, but you can see that they started out in similar condition.

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Old 07-22-16, 12:14 PM
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While it is a bit expensive, Evapo-Rust is magic. To clean up the frame i have used 0000 steel wool soaked in WD-40. It is fine enough to not damage the paint.
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Old 07-22-16, 02:39 PM
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I've tried it all. Steel wool, aluminum foil ( just last night on a frame with light rust), vinegar, 1500-2000 sand/polishing paper, and evaporust.

If bike is worth it and you dont mind spending the $15-20. Get an oil pan and just dump it in there with all the parts, soak overnight. Well worth it if you calculate your time doing labor and outcome. Plus it's reusable. I pour mine back in the container through a rag. You get several uses.
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Old 07-22-16, 04:54 PM
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Thanks! What about on painted frame surfaces? Would it preserve a paint?
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Old 07-22-16, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tiras25
Thanks! What about on painted frame surfaces? Would it preserve a paint?
...Evapo-Rust is harmless to paint. I just did the interior of the top tube of a Gios frame made of SLX tubing in order to see how far the rust had gone into the frame tubing (SLX is only .6 mm at the thinnest section of the top tube). For smaller parts and components, you can put them in a plastic bag with a ziploc closure and put the Evapo-Ruyst liquid in with it, then just lay it down in a bucket somewhere. Turn and move the parts as needed.

Once I had a good view of what was going on, I rinsed it out and ran some Rustoleum metal primer in there to paint the inside of the tube. Without this I'd have been afraid to ride the thing.

Evapo-Rust is temperature sensitive in terms of how quickly it works, so in my case I heated a little in the microwave before pouring it in the top tube through a funnel and some small plastic tubing. You need to block off one end and any brake cable routing openings.

It's about 23 bucks a gallon....you can find the stores in your area that carry it on their website search function.
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Old 07-22-16, 07:39 PM
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Here's another vote for Evap-o-Rust. I don't find it expensive because you can re-use it multiple times. I thought it was joke when I first read about it. Here's what it was able to do with an overnight wrap on a Pinarello Record: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...-record-2.html
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Old 11-06-16, 11:56 AM
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Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I want to drop an entire frame and fork in a kiddy pool. Would using an entire gallon of evaporust mixed with water in a kiddy pool be ok? Would the water dilute it too much?
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Old 11-06-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by primo123
Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I want to drop an entire frame and fork in a kiddy pool. Would using an entire gallon of evaporust mixed with water in a kiddy pool be ok? Would the water dilute it too much?
I believe according to their MSDS the product is 30% water already so any dilution would greatly increase soak time. Suggest lining the kiddy pool with plastic sheeting that can be pulled up around the sides of the frame to require less liquid of course being careful not to poke holes in the plastic.
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Old 11-07-16, 02:11 PM
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Coca-Cola contains quite a bit of phosphoric acid, pH = 2.5. You can use it to clean up rusty parts.
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Old 12-22-16, 06:35 PM
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I'm a big fan of oxalis acid aka wood bleach. Inexpensive and effective. You can mix it to your desired strength. I'd recommend start with a weaker mixture if you're soaking decals. You can always strengthen the solution if things are going to slowly for your tastes.
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Old 12-22-16, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by primo123
Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I want to drop an entire frame and fork in a kiddy pool. Would using an entire gallon of evaporust mixed with water in a kiddy pool be ok? Would the water dilute it too much?

Diluted Evaporust will not be effective. But you can soak an entire frame and fork in 1 1/2 gallons of Evaporust by using the "waterbed" technique (see https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...evaporust.html). The Gitane TdF frame I treated that way came out clean as a whistle. It's easier and safer than oxalic acid. Since you have to buy two gallons of Evaporust it will cost $40 or so, but the results are worth it. You can re-use the Evaporust multiple times, so it gets cheaper if you do a few frames.

Not trying to knock oxalic acid--many around here use it. But I no longer do, mostly because it's very damaging to aluminum and I like not worrying about parts that combine both steel and aluminum.

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Old 12-23-16, 08:43 AM
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I use white vinegar for components, which is cheap, works well and is non-toxic. I don't like to use stronger chemicals due to the increased health and environmental risks. It just ain't worth it.
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Old 12-23-16, 10:03 AM
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I used aluminum foil on a very rusty Ciocc and am pleased with the results. Fast and easy, just be sure to wash the dirt and grime off of your bike before using it...a must to get small debris that can get trapped in the foil and further scratch the chrome.
You can search my thread if you like and determine if the results are acceptable to you. The title of the thread is:
"Why don't some dry off their bikes before putting them away ? Ciocc pic heavy

I no longer have the before pics) the chrome was REALLY rusted but as you see came out nice..but not perfect.
Good Luck , Ben


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