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Vinegar to remove rust? Old guys rule!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HELLBILLY, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. HELLBILLY
    Joined: Feb 9, 2003
    Posts: 682

    HELLBILLY
    Member

    To say the least I didnt believe this but it worked!
    I got a Moroso drag race pan with an old 66 Nova drag car along time ago.
    Was just gonna buy a new pan but was put off by the price of a new one......DAMN!
    It was rusty inside then and was even worse now, so i think media blast it?
    Guy at the blaster says nope, it has a trap door in the bottom for oil flow and he didnt wanna have no part of it, crap.
    So i try wire brushing it....... didnt work, way to much rust (and im a lil lazy! lol)
    The 88 year old car guy next door to me wanders in while im going at it with the angle grinder, he looks at me and says why dont ya just put it in vinegar?
    I was like old man...... aint no time for joking :D
    He goes on to tell me he always did this years ago, said it works on tools too.
    So off to store we go, get 3 gallons of distilled vinegar at $2.00 a pop (cheap stuff).
    Put it in a rubbermaid plastic tote, drop in the pan top first.
    He says I have to leave it alone, cant pick at it like a scab he says.

    Get back from NSRA Louisville after 3 days and yank the pan out.
    I couldnt believe it! Clean bare metal 4 inches down inside and out.
    CLEAN BARE METAL:eek:
    So I flip it and fill it up inside, wait a few more days, CLEAN BARE METAL!
    No scraping no nothing! lol
    The lil rusty stains you see in the pics wipe right off with a rag. UNREAL.
    I'm still amazed, we gave it a baking soda bath, some WD40 and i have to say im still smiling! lol
    I had NEVER heard of this, so i just wanted to pass this along to anybody else.
    Dont ever discount the old guys, they fuckin rule! :)


    Oh yea, whole damn place smells like Summers Eve now...... LOL
     

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    dana barlow likes this.
  2. 61TBird
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,640

    61TBird
    Member

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  3. ZRX61
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 175

    ZRX61
    Member
    from The AV

    Great, now I feel old.. ya rat bastard :(

    :cool:
     
  4. Dr.Slam_Jessies_Customs
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 18

    Dr.Slam_Jessies_Customs
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    wow i have had an old guy tell me this trick but he was one of those old guys that also use to play a lot of pranks on me so i never did it thinking it was another prank. cool to see it worked for you
     

  5. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,221

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    I have used it on a lot of rusty stuff, guns for instance. Just don't soak cast iron or aluminum in it. It eats it.
     
  6. Sugarskull
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 25

    Sugarskull
    Member
    from Calgary

    I would have never guessed it to be strong enough. Yay! I'm pretty sure I can find some rusty stuff to try this out on. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,302

    mj40's
    Member

    I have been soaking old cast iron Dutch ovens for years with no problems. Taught cooking classes for 18 years and that was my recommendation too.
     

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  8. ZRX61
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 175

    ZRX61
    Member
    from The AV

    Electrolysis is more fun.. especially when ya add lye to the mix....
     
  9. Jimmy Tee
    Joined: May 29, 2009
    Posts: 581

    Jimmy Tee
    Member

    Cool Trick.

    So what is better for cleaning up water jackets in an Engine Block, Molasses or Vinegar?
     
  10. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,132

    RAY With
    Member

    Yep-One of the old guys here that has used vinegar for 55+ years and it really works well as indicated by the above pictures.
     
  11. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,863

    Jimbo17
    Member

    Sounds like a cool trick and well worth trying.

    What should I use to clean up the collector tube area of a set of Hooker Headers.

    When the headers were knew they were coated right out of the box but the collectors always seem to get rusty no matter what I have tired to stop it from happening.

    Other then the wire brush and a lot of hard work is there any product you can spray on them to remove the rust?

    I know vinegar eats aluminum but it might be worth a try.

    Jimbo
     
  12. chuckbob
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 145

    chuckbob
    Member

    The reson why it works is because Vinegar contains Acetic Acid. The Acetic Acid is what cleans the metal parts. You can actually disolve steel wool and nails in it if they sit in it long enough. Just make sure you rinse it off afterwards. FYI: you can make wood stain and lether dye from soaking steel wool in a mason jar filled with Vinegar. It takes about 2 weeks to create the stain.
     
  13. skyrodder
    Joined: May 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,925

    skyrodder
    Member

    i finally got off my ass and tried it.. soaked 1 piece for 3 days in regular ol vinegar and then rinsed it off with water and a little scrubbing with an sos pad, Thanks H.A.M.B!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  14. Beebeebobby
    Joined: Sep 5, 2010
    Posts: 224

    Beebeebobby
    Member
    from Webb City

    Guess what it works on old coins...too....just sayin'
     
  15. K-88 ghost
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 214

    K-88 ghost
    Member
    from Nevada

    In the process of restoring a V/W that I picked up in the bay area, it had been over there in the Vallejo area for about 38 years most of the engine sheet metal was heavy with rust, went the vinegar route and like the man says leave it alone, I let the tin soak for over a week and it came out with little or no rust and most of the paint came off when I pressure washed it.:cool:
     
  16. 23crate
    Joined: Oct 6, 2010
    Posts: 170

    23crate
    Member
    from nz

    theses a book that suggests all sorts of uses for vinegar ...

    ive been bodyman for 30ish years ,, and this is new to me,,, i might be forced to go find a rusty thing and some vinegar .......

    wanders off to the garage....
     
  17. ytt49
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 373

    ytt49
    Member
    from socal

    wow that is so cool and cheap perfect for us budget builders.
    thanks again H.A.M.B
     
  18. Oh man, That's awesome!
    How can i soak panels that are surface rusted though?
    I was thinking of getting a rag, Soaking it in vinegar, and leaving it on the boot lid for a test perhaps?
     
  19. johnybsic
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 612

    johnybsic
    Member
    from las vegas

    Full of win!
    ive got some extra baking soda too! clean parts and awsome volcanos in the workshop
     
  20. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,271

    sololobo
    Member

    Nuthin like old dogs learning new tricks. My wife uses the stuff to kill weeds all summer, works fab, careful kills grass as well. And most of us have seen the young man use vinegar on the cute girls jelly fish stings in the car ad!! ~Sololobo~
     
    henry's57bbwagon likes this.
  21. K-88 ghost
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 214

    K-88 ghost
    Member
    from Nevada

    I think putting a shop rag on a spot and make sure it stays wet with vinager for about three days should give you an answer:cool:
     
  22. Runt Rodder
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 46

    Runt Rodder
    Member
    from Virginia

    vinegar and baking soda awesome as a cheap drain-o. Used it a few times in old houses when i was in the handyman business
     
  23. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep
    Member

    man i love the hamb!!! i learn stuff all the time!
     
  24. Wheelie
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 234

    Wheelie
    Member
    from Dallas

    You can also drink it and throw up a lot.
     
    A-10 Mech and 58oldsmobile88 like this.
  25. I just need to find a big enough container to soak my winshield frame hinge in to get the rust broken up so I can use in now.
     
  26. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,118

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    The HAMB never fails to amaze me! Never heard of the vinegar or molasses tricks.
    My brain feels kinda rusty sometimes, maybe I should soak my head in vinegar...:rolleyes:
     
  27. zmandet
    Joined: Feb 29, 2008
    Posts: 38

    zmandet
    Member

    Well guys I'm 2 days into my science experiment, I have a 35 gallon gas tank from a 62 Massey Ferguson Farm Tractor, it had been left with gas in it for several years, and it was very rusty and gooey inside. I cleaned it out and invested in 20 gallons of distilled vinegar. So far it appears to be working out. I am planning on letting it go for 3 or 4 days and then seeing what it looks like. I really appreciate all the ideas that I've heard and found on this site!:)
     
  28. 2manytoys
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 225

    2manytoys
    Member
    from Fresno

    I have been using Muratic Acid to remove rust on fender and body parts. (Yeah I know, they say dont use it cuz its dangerous, and thats probably why I do. I always a was rebel). Problem is on the larger parts the solution dries out and doesnt clean well even when I keep getting it wet. I started using old rags and hang a plastic bottle over the top with a small hole punched in the bottom so the acid slowly drips out and keeps the surface and the rag constantly wet with acid. The acid is nasty and the rags burn up real quick. I usually hold my breath and wear goggles and gloves when I work aound it. I think I will switch to the vinegar and try it. I'm getting too old to keep getting hurt.
     
  29. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 4,018

    plym_46
    Member
    from central NY

    molasses is an acidic food similar to citric acid, vinegar is acedic acid, phosporic acid works, and muriatic is buffered hydrochloric acid, they all work by disloving the oxidized layer. vinegar is safer, easier to dispose of and cheaper. Just takes longer to work than the stronger acids, and probably does not cause as much brittling of the metal as the stronger ones.

    I have friend that does lots of automotive restoration work, he has a half 55 gallon plastic drum filled (cut horizontally) with vinegar which he uses for soaking parts and hardware.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
    razoo lew likes this.

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