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Thread: Cleaning rusted stainless steel?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Aug 2012
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    Cleaning rusted stainless steel?

    I just picked up a used stainless cylinder for a Ruger Old Army for very short money. While the chambers and nipple threads are OK, the exterior is lightly rusted and pitted.

    I've already done as much mechanical rust removal on it as I'm willing to do. Now I'm looking for recommendations for how to chemically remove the remaining rust in the bottom of the pitting. I'd be grateful for any suggestions if such a thing is possible.

    Thanks, Andy

  2. #2
    Not sure how deep the pits are but if not too deep some 0000 steel wool with some kroil might work. If pits are too deep for that maybe try some evapo rust.

  3. #3
    Banned

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    a fine scotchbrite pad will clean it up and leave with an almost brushed finish.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    Electrolysis and then a fine brass wire brush ,like the ones that are used on suede shoes . Just use by hand .

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy

    oconeedan's Avatar
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    You may want to try citric acid. Look at this thread, specifically post #13...
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-brass-cleaner

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    My "go to" solution is to pick up some Evapo-Rust (or similar product) and soak it over night. It will get the rust out of every nook and cranny. Available all over the place - https://evapo-rust.com/buy/retail/

    -Ron

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
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    Do not use steel wool unless it is stainless steel wool. Regular steel wool, or a steel wire wheel, will make your problem worse by embedding steel in the stainless which will rust later.

    To remove the oxidation from stainless welds I have used a stainless pickling gel, works wonders, I think it would probably work for your application.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


    jonp's Avatar
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    Since it is Stainless with no blueing you might try this https://www.wd40.com/products/rust-remover/
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    you might try just soaking it in vinegar since it will remove blueing which is a form of rust. GF

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    soaking in vinegar or phosphoric acid will do it.
    NRA High Master XTC
    DR# 2125

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    As mentioned by Ateam,stainless pickling gel will remove any rust stain ,but be careful with it .We used it to remove accidental angle grinder stains from stainless work.Think its mainly nitric acid,with a bit of hydroflouric.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Thanks for all the info guys!

    The pits were too deep for stainless steel wool so I tried a product similar to Evaporust called Metal Rescue. It worked well, but blacked the stainless cylinder a sort of mottled staining (incomplete degreasing?). I'm pretty sure it won't take much to buff it off.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Nitric acid and citric acid will "passivate" most stainless steels. I worked in the food service industry for a while and a treatment of citric acid at 180*f for 20 minutes would coat the stainless steel preventing most rust.

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