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How to remove rust easily and cheaply

I wish I had known this a long time ago


Acid is your friend

Rust is the DIY restorer's nemesis. You fight it head on when you acquire a new toy and it fights back as time goes. I will address the latter problem elsewhere.

Here you are, scrutinizing this beautiful steel artifact, the object of your lust, that you have coveted for so long. But you can only imagine it under a thick scab of iron oxide, deep rust.

Well my friend, forget about those expensive rust removers and converters, ignore the steel wheel on the grinder, save your money and go spend some time with your kids instead for the only solution you will ever need from today onwards is... white vinegar.

Yes, simple food grade acetic acid, produced in large quantities from the oceans of poor quality grapes grown around the world.

Just... dip your precious rusty part in a bucket filled with white vinegar and leave it in peace, for a day, a week, a month. ALL the rust will be gone and ONLY the rust.

What I love about this, is that it requires zero work, removes rust from all nooks and crannies, is quite cheap, very safe and environmentally friendly.

Try the same with muriatic acid and watch your treasure dissolve completely... So don't do it.

Here is the Mugen Al Baker exhaust after a few days of vinegar dipping. On the right before treatment, on the left, the parts that were in the vinegar. The finish is superb


A warning

Now one warning though, acetic acid (vinegar) WILL destroy steel if you dunk your part for too long. So check it every couple of days...

If you want safety, use phosphoric acid.

And finally, once rust is removed to your satisfaction, it is a good idea to dip your parts in diluted caustic soda, or even simply clothes washing soap or ... baking soda, to fully neutralize the acid.

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