Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Oxalic Acid - Some quick questions

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Oxalic Acid - Some quick questions

Old 04-14-11, 05:35 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: London
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Oxalic Acid - Some quick questions

I'm about to start using OA for the first time and have read some of the posts and advice on here - I'm happy with volumes etc, but I have two questions that searching hasn't answered:

1. What sort of container should I use for the solution? i.e. will a plastic bucket suffice or does the bath need to be metal/enameled to withstand the solution?

2. How long will a mixed solution last? Can I fill a bucket and use it over and over again?

Thanks chaps!

Chris
neocaligatio is offline  
Old 04-14-11, 05:57 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
rootboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wherever
Posts: 16,748
Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 133 Times in 79 Posts
Neocaligato. May I suggest you do a search of this forum's archives. There are tons of threads that talk about OA and its uses. Having said that, I have used a large plastic pail, outside, wear gloves and change the solution when it appears murky.
rootboy is offline  
Old 04-14-11, 06:11 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: London
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks rootboy - that answers my questions. I'll continue to search if I have any others.

Regards, Chris
neocaligatio is offline  
Old 04-14-11, 07:40 AM
  #4  
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 23,541

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1244 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 636 Posts
Plastic works great. I use the solution over many times. Make sure the part is clean first, as any grease will foul your solution and it won't last nearly as long. Over time, the OA solution tends to get stringy white snot like material in it. Time to change it. I have a small container of dilute OA right now that I use for parts, its at least three months old, and I have put many, many, parts through it (typically headset cups, nuts and bolts, cable clamps, QR levers and nuts, and so on). Anything steel. Do not put aluminum in it!!
wrk101 is offline  
Old 04-14-11, 08:14 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Snowy midwest
Posts: 5,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by neocaligatio
I'm about to start using OA for the first time and have read some of the posts and advice on here - I'm happy with volumes etc, but I have two questions that searching hasn't answered:

1. What sort of container should I use for the solution? i.e. will a plastic bucket suffice or does the bath need to be metal/enameled to withstand the solution?

2. How long will a mixed solution last? Can I fill a bucket and use it over and over again?

Thanks chaps!

Chris
Oxalic Acid is is not really an ideal acid to use for rust removal and cleaning. It is more caustic and more dangerous than you really need.

I recommend using muratic acid which is readily available at many hardware stores and is cheap, and is a little easier to control than oxalic acid and is a little bit safer. good luck.
mike is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 09:45 AM
  #6  
Cottered Crank
 
Amesja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,401

Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
OA works very well even in very dilute solutions. OA attacks rust and just about only that when used in an extremely dilute soak. Rust is already fairly water-soluble and all it takes is a bit of OA to get it to totally dissolve in the water. You have time on your hands and after 24-48 hours rust magically disappears in a weak OA solution.

Any plastic container works very well. I like the rubbermaid tubs as I often garbage-pick them when people are moving and cleaning out there storage units. I'd be reluctant to use any acid or harsh cleaner in a nice bathtub -not only for fear of damaging the tub itself but the pipes of the drain. Having underground pipes torn up and replaced is not a fun thing. I won't even use drain-clog stuff which is also very hard on the pipes. If you do pour the solution down the drain make sure to put down plenty of water with it to dilute and flush it out. But we are not talking using OA in very strong solutions. A whole rubbermaid tub only needs a couple tablespoons of the flakes and a small pint OA Savogran container should last you years and years unless you are using way too much.

Like wrk said, it gets full of crud when it is doing its job. Eventually it'll stop working as all the acid gets neutralized by the rust and any oils that are on the parts. It's best to do a good scrubbing of any parts so the only thing the OA is reacting with is the ferris oxid. If you do this the solution will last a long time before it gets yucky. Frames, handlebars, and things with hollow bits where there is a lot of rust and yuck hidden inside will use up the OA faster.
Amesja is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 10:04 AM
  #7  
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 23,541

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1244 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 636 Posts
1/ Acids aren't caustic, they are acidic. Bases are caustic.

Muratic acid is hydrochloric acid, which is big time bad news for the average home owner to use.

I would not recommend muratic to any average home owner.

Note, I have nothing against muratic, used tank truck volumes in the chemical plants I managed (millions of pounds per year of it), but we had the training, equipment, gear, and knowledge to use it safely. Pretty much any chemical can be used safely, with enough knowledge, training and gear. Go to a BMX forum, or a car enthusiasts forum, or whatever, and you will find a lot of them recommending OA. But it is your choice. None of the chemicals used to remove rust are "friendly", but muratic is particularly rough.

Muratic Acid Acute Hazards (acute = immediately):

Very hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, irritant, permeator), of eye contact (irritant, corrosive), of ingestion, . Slightly hazardous in case of inhalation (lung sensitizer). Non-corrosive for lungs. Liquid or spray mist may produce tissue damage particularly on mucous membranes of eyes, mouth and respiratory tract. Skin contact may produce burns. Inhalation of the spray mist may produce severe irritation of respiratory tract, characterized by coughing, choking, or shortness of breath. Severe over-exposure can result in death.

Chronic Hazards (chronic = long term):

The substance may be toxic to kidneys, liver, mucous membranes, upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes, Circulatory System, teeth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated or prolonged contact with spray mist may produce chronic eye irritation and severe skin irritation. Repeated or prolonged exposure to spray mist may produce respiratory tract irritation leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection. Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 10:08 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Louisville
Posts: 8,343
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by mike
Oxalic Acid is is not really an ideal acid to use for rust removal and cleaning. It is more caustic and more dangerous than you really need.

I recommend using muratic acid which is readily available at many hardware stores and is cheap, and is a little easier to control than oxalic acid and is a little bit safer. good luck.
I do not agree.
__________________
Bikes on Flickr
I prefer email to private messages. You can contact me at justinhughes@me.com
ColonelJLloyd is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 10:22 AM
  #9  
Cottered Crank
 
Amesja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,401

Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
About the only thing muratic acid is any good for other than messing yourself and your lungs up is getting bad stains out of toilet bowls and sinks. Plumbers use it sometimes. I stay away from it. I've heard that it works wonders on dried concrete stuck on car bumpers from construction sites or road construction cuts. I have never tried it on frames or bike parts. Why use a harsh hydrocloric acid that attacks steel when OA does such a wonderful job in very dilute solutions?

I don't know of another easily available acid other than OA that has such an affinity to dissolving rust and not touching anything else even when very diluted.
Amesja is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 11:28 AM
  #10  
Ride heavy metal.
 
Maddox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Teenage Wasteland, USA
Posts: 1,538

Bikes: '74 Raleigh LTD-3, '76 Motobecane Grand Jubile, '83 Fuji TSIII (customized commuter), '10 Mercier Kilo WT (fixed obsession), '83 Bianchi Alloro, '92 Bridgestone MB-1 (project), '83 Specialized Expedition (project), '79 Peugeot UO-8 (sold)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
OP, type "Oxalic acid site:bikeforums.net" into Google. It shall lead to you to the threads you seek.
Maddox is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
adamgoldberg
Bicycle Mechanics
19
03-22-18 02:46 PM
khatfull
Classic & Vintage
122
09-07-17 08:16 PM
Berylbite
Framebuilders
8
01-12-12 07:02 AM
LeicaLad
Classic & Vintage
21
06-20-10 07:11 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.