Cleaning Stainless Steel

gus

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Simple alternative

Rather than spending lots, try 'Spirit of Salts'. It is a strong form of hydrochloric acid to be used with care but certainly does clean up stainless steel as good as the product you are searching for.
Also great for removing rusty filing marks from fibreglass.
 

VicS

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Spotless Stainless I believe contains nothing stronger than Citric acid.

It suggest that for cleaning the stainless steel rather than a strong mineral acid like hydrochloric.

Best choice for cleaning rust stains from GRP is oxalic acid
 

Strathglass

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Rather than spending lots, try 'Spirit of Salts'. It is a strong form of hydrochloric acid to be used with care but certainly does clean up stainless steel as good as the product you are searching for.
Also great for removing rusty filing marks from fibreglass.

That sounds very like the 'pickling solution'which is used to clean stainless after welding.

It should be available from one of the better welding hardware suppliers.

I have a bottle - It must be treated with extreme care as it is quite corrosive but it certainly works.
 

VicS

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That sounds very like the 'pickling solution'which is used to clean stainless after welding.
I believe a mixture of nitric and hydrofluoric acid is used.
I don't know the proportions or the concentrations but HF is one of the most unpleasant (and dangerous ) substances I have ever used routinely.
 

rob2

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HF is one of the substances I've always refused to use. It is reputed to be able to eat clean through your body with no way of stopping it!

Rob.
 

macd

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that was HF and bought at any chemist shop in Aussie.

Maybe that's why there are so few of them in such a big country. Scary stuff. Just ask Wiki.

As to cleaning stainless, oxalic acid works a treat. If the stains are light, so does a brisk scrubbing with plain old water. Note that some authorities caution against using abrasives since they disturb the passivated layer.
 
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DownWest

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Wurth sell a pickling mix that is thickened so it stays on vertical surfaces. I agree about how nasty HF is. I use it often in stainless work and I am VERY carefull to used full splash protection.
A
 

Colvic Watson

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Hydrofluoric acid is a contact-poison with the potential for deep, initially painless burns, with later tissue death. By interfering with body calcium metabolism, the concentrated acid may also cause systemic toxicity and eventual cardiac arrest and fatality, after contact with as little as 24.8 square inches of skin.

Yikes! :eek:
 

DownWest

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Pre H & S, I had a book of projects for boys. One was how to etch a glass name plate for your room. After wax masking the glass, one put it in a lead tray of hydrofluoric acid and heated the tray with a bunsen burner. The acid you could get from the chemist. This was aimed at ages of 14/15.
Somehow doubt it would be on sale now.... No mention of any special hazards, just be careful not to spill it..

That cyclic blood toxic effect from burns was used in a soap opera episode some years ago in UK. So I looked it up. Hence being very careful with the stuff. Does clean the SS though.

A
 
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