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Technical What's the story on using CLR

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Seems I remember a discussion about guys using CLR to revive old paint,is there anything to it? HRP

  2. Some guys when the car is covered in surface rust use it to remove the rust then use whatever paint is left. Some turn out OK and others don't.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  3. HRP, on my OT (but barely) Chevy pickup I used CLR and Scotchbrite to take the oxidation off, then waxed it with Mother's paste wax - the patina looks great, and water beads up.
  4. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,295


    There was a thread where a guy did Chevy wagon I think it was. Came out pretty dang good. Use your HAMB prowess and hunt 'er down HRP.
    Gray Ford and HOTRODPRIMER like this.

  5. malibumonte78
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 266


    Mix it 5:1 with warm/hot water. Use a green scothbrite. It will remove the rust from the paint that remains. Some folks clear the car after CLR treatment. I prefer a good coat of wax. I don't trust the clear to adhere for long.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  6. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I used it to try to unseize a motor, didn't do bugger all. Then again, neither did Coke.
    King ford and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  7. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,491


    Did mine with CLR/scotchbrite/sand paper, havent finished the roof yet....dont plan on clearing it, will paint one day and dont want to add work for myself. Wax may not be a bad idea....
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  8. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,545

    from Spring tx

    ^^^^^^^ Bingo!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  9. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,136


    where is it sold?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  10. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,545

    from Spring tx

    You can find it at almost any supermarket, hardware store etc.

    Normally on the household cleaners runway...
    HOTRODPRIMER, VANDENPLAS and dudley32 like this.
  11. So it's no a magic bullet for enhancing old tired paint. HRP
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  12. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,503


    This is pretty much the magic bullet along with wax afterward. You can also use oxalic acid (wood bleach) in warm water. It's less expensive and higher concentrated.
    HOTRODPRIMER and indyjps like this.
  13. It takes off rust stains, and minor surface rust without touching the paint, That's the R part that us car guys are interested in. The C and L dissolves calsium and lime deposits.
    Will it revive tired paint? Probably not. The paint still looks tired and thin to me, just free of rust stains.
    HOTRODPRIMER, VANDENPLAS and -Brent- like this.
  14. CLR is just a dilute acid mixture. The acid is what removes the iron oxide. Acid, having H+ ions, mixes with the Oxygen in the iron oxide which is broken down into the O- ions. The H+ and O- combine to make water, and the acid is used up. It does not restore any lost paint or do anything to the paint, it just removes the rust and rust stains within the paint.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  15. Blase
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 80


    From this thread:

    I tried giving my car a CLR bath last weekend with great results IMO. Below are pictures of the results that I got.

    This is what it looked like when I pulled it to my house.

    This is after two washes with Simple Green and a tire brush to remove a decade of nature. NO CLR UP TO THIS POINT.

    Drivers side after a FULL day with 50/50 CLR, cold water (I know I know) and green scotch bright pads. I probably went through 5-7 kitchen sized 3" x 5" pads and 3/4 gallon of CLR to do half the car.

    Day 2:
    50/50 CLR & WARM to HOT water. I also mixed smaller batches more often to try and lessen the pressure I had to use (my arms were dead Sunday when I started!!) I had to work smarter instead of harder on Sunday. LOL
    Passenger side before.

    Passenger side after.

    I can tell you it worked but it was A LOT of rubbing to make it look like this!! It was nothing like the videos I watched on the net. I had to apply a lot more pressure than I was expecting. Warm to HOT water on day two seemed to work better. Also used more pads on day two which seemed to help as well.

    All in all I used about 2 gallons of CLR and 25-20 3" x 5" green scotch bright pads for a total of $50.
    HOTRODPRIMER, Stogy and bondolero like this.
  16. Although it was a lot of work the results speaks for itself. HRP
  17. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,545


    Wonder if you could mix in a thickening agent to allow it to hang in place and work. Knox Gelatin??

    Or spray on the CLR and cover with saran wrap to keep it from drying out.

    If you can let the acid work a while it may lessen the scrubbing

    I've used CLR on parts and it worked well, but it was a full dunk. Any cars I find with rust stained oxidized paint are also missing the bottom 6 inches of the panels.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  18. 39 Deluxe
    Joined: Nov 9, 2014
    Posts: 65

    39 Deluxe

    I've never tried CLR on a vehicle. If the paint is quite bad I have used steel wool and diesel fuel with good results. If the paint is still half decent I will just use Turtle rubbing compound as it less aggressive than steel wool and will not remove paint. . Plenty of time and elbow grease can give impressive results. It did on my Merc.

    Attached Files:

    HOTRODPRIMER and Truck64 like this.
  19. Cool photo. HRP

    39 Deluxe likes this.
  20. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,696

    Kan Kustom

  21. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,211

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    Would phosphoric acid do the same thing? You can buy that at Home Depot or Menards.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  22. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,491


    Yes and no. I used that but it turns the rust black and gummy or leaves a white residue. I would use that on the inside of panels but CLR on outside surfaces.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  23. Zep has a version that's a bit cheaper. ..Available at the sticks and bricks depot.
    Good for your small parts dip bucket .
    If you're really low budget..Dollar Tree has a spray bottle...sometimes
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  24. bondolero
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 562


    I wonder if the stuff used with steel wool would remove rust stains from Chrome ? Would be nice to freshen up the chrome also with using a scotchbrite on it but getting off the rusted scratches etc.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  25. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    its made from Latic acid ( yep same acid in milk ) thats why its safe on metal , you should see how it cleans stainless in its concentrated form . and no worry about any enbrittlement from hydrogens
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  26. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,007


    Here's a members 61 Parkwood wagon before and after CLR. A quick coat of clear over the finished product
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  27. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,305

    from USA

    same for me...nothing
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.

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