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Thread: White vinegar to clean mild steel

  1. #1
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    White vinegar to clean mild steel

    I saw a video...he used white vinegar and Soaked it for 8 hours it worked so I got the cut poeces and soaked them for 24 hours....the mill scale is gone.

    I gave it a bicarb bath and rinsed in hot water water to heat metal so it would dry...

    Has anyone else done this?

    Can weld now straight away?

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    In a way. I routinely use vinegar to strip galvanized off parts before welding. Passivate in water is all.

    Regards

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by Continuum View Post
    In a way. I routinely use vinegar to strip galvanized off parts before welding. Passivate in water is all.

    Regards
    Do you still have to grind in order to weld?

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    24 hours is a long time... especially if you still have to grind the weld areas?

    I tried vinegar for certain (non welding) projects.... results were dismal.

    I find H ₃PO ₄ much better ............. (Phosphoric acid)
    Any big box store carries it.
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    24 hours is a long time... especially if you still have to grind the weld areas?

    I tried vinegar for certain (non welding) projects.... results were dismal.

    I find H ₃PO ₄ much better ............. (Phosphoric acid)
    Any big box store carries it.
    I have all that. But dealing with acid cleanup and neutralization is a pain. If i were in a rush i would just take a flapper or grinder to the pieces....I should have been more clear, if you do this chemical cleaning, is grinding away still necessary to remove other metal oxides? I suppose i will find out later today when i light my torch up. Thanks for responding.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    I soak recycled horseshoes in white vinegar and it works well.
    It works for zinc plated flat washers too.
    Effectiveness depends on how heavy zinc is.
    White vinegar will remove chrome plating too. I got a adjustable wrench at garage sale that was chrome plated and rusted shut. The vinegar worked on rust and removed loose chrome too.


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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    I have all that. But dealing with acid cleanup and neutralization is a pain...
    Yeah,
    I doubt you have it, Because there is NO acid cleanup or danger with H ₃PO ₄ ..... You ever drink a Coca Cola? OK then...

    Cleanup is, Mix it with water and dump it in your garden or on your lemon tree......
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    You can get better/faster results if you up your game to 30% Vinegar from the Home Depot or Lowes. it's called "cleaning vinegar". Totally not a good idea to put a drop in your potato salad instead of using a cup of eating vinegar, btw.

    Being stronger than regular vinegar, it goes faster. Still slower than a lot of other acids, but... at least it smells good.

    I also use a mix of vinegar and lemon juice in a spray bottle to clean the kitchen countertops. Smells great and cleans wonderfully. Totally organic, doesn't leave any stickiness, and your kitchen smells like a deli for awhile.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Even better and cheaper than vinegar (acetic acid) or lemon juice is hydrochloric acid. You can get it cheap at the Dollar Store...it's sold for cleaning lime scale, etc., from toilets under the brand name "The Works."

    Just be sure to check the label to make sure that it contains HCl ... I believe some types of "The Works" have a different chemical in them.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    I use muriatic acid for small pieces, It's simple because I always have a couple of gallons on hand for the pool. The used stuff gets diluted in water and used for cutting the garden beds, our ground is pretty high in alkalinity.
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Yeah,
    I doubt you have it, Because there is NO acid cleanup or danger with H ₃PO ₄ ..... You ever drink a Coca Cola? OK then...

    Cleanup is, Mix it with water and dump it in your garden or on your lemon tree......
    Iím not so sure Iíd want to eat any food from trees that have had some one dump any liquids that have metal milscale diluted into the solution being dumped on it. Just mypersonal preference. Itís interesting though and I might have to try this next time I want to remove milscale or zink plating
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    Iím not so sure Iíd want to eat any food from trees that have had some one dump any liquids that have metal milscale diluted into the solution being dumped on it. Just mypersonal preference. Itís interesting though and I might have to try this next time I want to remove milscale or zink plating
    Lots of trees like acidic soil. I do the same thing with pickle juice and "used" acids on our hollies, pines, cedars, etc. They like it. OTOH, I suppose one could pay money to lower the soil pH...

    As for removing zinc plating ... pecan trees LOVE zinc, but it's pretty expensive to buy zinc soil supplements.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Even better and cheaper than vinegar (acetic acid) or lemon juice is hydrochloric acid. You can get it cheap at the Dollar Store...it's sold for cleaning lime scale, etc., from toilets under the brand name "The Works."

    Just be sure to check the label to make sure that it contains HCl ... I believe some types of "The Works" have a different chemical in them.
    The proper "Works" stuff (Blue?) has an "inhibitor" ingredient, I believe, which is intended to reduce the acid effect on the sound metal underneath the rust. "Rodine" perhaps?
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  20. #14
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Burt Munro used to piss on his lemon tree... So I guess a little acidity wont hurt it....
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Burt Munro used to piss on his lemon tree... So I guess a little acidity wont hurt it....
    Most urine is alkaline (or becomes alkaline in nature) due to the ammonia in it.

    The ammonia makes it good for putting onto compost piles to help the microbes "digest" carbon-rich woody material...or you can help it along with household ammonia.
    Last edited by Kelvin; 11-21-2020 at 07:04 PM.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    I have all that. But dealing with acid cleanup and neutralization is a pain. If i were in a rush i would just take a flapper or grinder to the pieces....I should have been more clear, if you do this chemical cleaning, is grinding away still necessary to remove other metal oxides? I suppose i will find out later today when i light my torch up. Thanks for responding.
    You grind to remove mill scale. If you remove it with acid like you did, then there is no mill scale to grind, so why would you grind? No need.
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Burt Munro used to piss on his lemon tree... So I guess a little acidity wont hurt it....
    One of my favorite movies. He also used 2 parts Chevrolet and 1 part Ford to cast his pistons. But that’s got nothing to do with the vinegar .
    Ernie F.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    Do you still have to grind in order to weld?
    I really like how much of the mill scale is gone. Even inside tubes. I guess it is still a good idea to lightly take it down to shiny fresh metal to remove anything left although i do wipe with acetone before firing up my torch. But, for those of you who use something chemical to remove any nasty oxide or coating on your metal, do you do anything else before you start welding?

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    I have pool acid or sandblasting

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  26. #20
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    You can get better/faster results if you up your game to 30% Vinegar from the Home Depot or Lowes. it's called "cleaning vinegar". Totally not a good idea to put a drop in your potato salad instead of using a cup of eating vinegar, btw.

    Being stronger than regular vinegar, it goes faster. Still slower than a lot of other acids, but... at least it smells good.

    I also use a mix of vinegar and lemon juice in a spray bottle to clean the kitchen countertops. Smells great and cleans wonderfully. Totally organic, doesn't leave any stickiness, and your kitchen smells like a deli for awhile.
    i am going to get some of this cleaning vinegar.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    But, for those of you who use something chemical to remove any nasty oxide or coating on your metal, do you do anything else before you start welding?
    Yes. Sand with 150 then 220 then 300 then 600 then 1500 then 3000 grit. And in about 3 weeks you can start WELDING!

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  29. #22
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Yes. Sand with 150 then 220 then 300 then 600 then 1500 then 3000 grit. And in about 3 weeks you can start WELDING!
    Exactly.
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    I have some cheap-*** wrenches on the boat and they don't like salt air. I use a sheet of aluminum foil in a glass dish, lay the tool on the foil and cover the tool with vinegar. Overnight all the rust is gone and the chrome (what was on it before treatment) is still there, all shiny.
    Do not believe everything that you think.

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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Be careful with mixing stuff. My wife makes dipping sauce with vinegar, hot pepper, soy sauce and garlic/onion. We have stainless steel spoons with pits corroded in them from that stuff. Yum.
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  33. #25
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    Re: White vinegar to clean mild steel

    Along these same lines of cleaning metal, the attached pic is of a brand new diesel fuel tank that I just purchased. It has never had fuel in it, and when I removed the fill cap, I was shocked at all the rust. I called the company that I bought it from, and they told me not to worry; it won't hurt a thing, and they are all like that.

    I don't want to put fuel in this tank and feed a brand new Perkins diesel engine, so I am going to clean it. I'm thinking Evapo-Rust. Anyone here have suggestions or comment?Name:  Tank_img3.jpg
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Size:  88.8 KB
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