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Old 05-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
grego
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Default Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

Here's what I have. I got a giant tub of nuts, bolts, washers, all kinds of crap and hardware. To make a long story short, the people I got it from left it outside in the rain and the tub filled with water and sat like that for about a week before I came by to pick it up. I drained the water but now everything is has started to get a chalky coating like everything got galvanized.
What are my options to clean them up? I use these for areas where looks are not important so end finish is not important. I have a vibratory system and have tried it but it takes a long time and considering how much I have to process, it would take a year and a bunch of media. I have access to a media blaster also. Can I soak these in a solution to clean them up? To give you an idea about how much I have to do, the tub weights over three hundred pounds.
I'll post some pictures of the condition of the bolts in the morning.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

I'd clean em as you use them
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:40 AM   #3
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Default

Soak them in vinegar for a few days. The type doesnt matter. Sulphated Molasses and water also works 1 molasses to 8 water. Has to be sulphated (feed store) otherwise it takes forever and doesnt work as well.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

I use a media tumbler (big one) such used for reloading brass.....works great and no mess
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

$14 you can buy a gallon of WD40 at Lowes. soak them up then strain out the debris and you can recover most of the WD.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

I made up this basket to use with my pressure washer, to clean greasy hardware, etc. Really effective if your washer can run hot water. This might help others, but, with three hundred pounds.......you'll probably not live long enough to finish the job, this way.




Used to work at an engine re-builder and the dirty stuff was hot tanked in larger similar baskets, then hit with a steam hose. Everything came out looking like new, as it was all re-used.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

I use B&G Rust Remover for most of my small rusty parts.



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Old 05-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

Don't use vinegar or any acid unless you want to remove all the zinc. Mechanical cleaning is probably best. They will clean each other of you just have them loose in a container and let it shake around. The white on the surface is the zinc sacrificially corroding which protects the steel from rusting.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

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I use B&G Rust Remover for most of my small rusty parts.



I use a similar product but found if a plastic container is used vs metal it works much better and lasts longer.


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Old 05-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #10
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

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I use a similar product but found if a plastic container is used vs metal it works much better and lasts longer.
I agree. I wouldn't use a metal container at all as the product I use would eat right through it. The tub pictured above is plastic. I put 2 cut down plastic garbage cans in it. The one on the left has the B&G Rust Remover in it. The one on the right has water for rinsing (... the level is usually higher than what is in the photo).

Here's a picture of my tank & dip basket ...


... and of my small tank & basket for nuts, bolts, brackets, etc. ...


... and of my vertical tank before I assembled it. It's basically a 6" dia. peice of ABS sealed into a bucket with concrete. It's good for long rods, pipe, etc. ...
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

PC06...B+G looks like good stuff. Where does one find it? Is it anything like deck cleaner?
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

How long do things last before they start rusting again with the B+G Cleaner? It seems like there would be no protective layer after treatment. (Though i suppose it was gone in the first place if it was rusty.)
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

lilredex - B&G is a company from St. Catharines, Ontario and I think they sell only at automotive flea markets. I don't think they have a website and I'm not sure if they sell via mail order. I see them (same 2 guys) every year at the Barrie Flea Market (one of the first rows as you walk in) and the Ancaster British Car Flea market. They sell buffing and polishing supplies as well.

I have been using their rust remover for at least 25 years and it's great! They say you can dilute it 50/50 with water but I use it at full strength. It only removes rust - it won't touch paint. It does a good job on brass and aluminum and it won't hurt rubber, plastic or glass. The cost is about $10 per litre which is reasonable in my mind.

I'm not familiar with deck cleaner so I can't comment on that.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

concealer404 - B&G is a lot like Redistrip but it does not have a protective layer on the metal after it is derusted. Depending on the type of metal (stamped, cast, etc.) the "re-rusting" process is different. I have had items sit for a year or more and only had a small amount of rust reappear. Five minutes in the tank will take care of that though.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

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concealer404 - B&G is a lot like Redistrip but it does not have a protective layer on the metal after it is derusted. Depending on the type of metal (stamped, cast, etc.) the "re-rusting" process is different. I have had items sit for a year or more and only had a small amount of rust reappear. Five minutes in the tank will take care of that though.
Gotcha thank you.

I'm finishing up a car build and there were some bolts that i just couldn't source, and i'm to the point where i just want it together, so i was going to bite the bullet and re-use some mildly rusty hardware in the engine bay. If i can get the rust off and have it stay off for a year or two, i'd be happy.

I'll give this a shot!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

PC06, another good reason to move up to Canada.
I will try and find something similar, I heard of the vinegar and the mollasses but did not want to strip the remaining protective coating if it has anything left in the first place. I like the wd-40 method and so far that is towards the top. I have the 5 pound media vibrator from Eastwood and while that gives me close to the desirable result, it takes a long time for each session and the corn husk material gets stuck in all the nooks and corners of allen head bolts, large nuts and other brackets that is sometimes harder to clean than the original condition. For regular hex head bolts, it works good.
Here is what I am dealing with. See picture below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1751.jpg (146.9 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1752.jpg (146.6 KB, 68 views)
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

Oh and by the way, I already have sorted out over half of the large tote, this is whats left.
yikes!!!
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

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PC06, another good reason to move up to Canada.
grego - We'd be happy to have you but you might not have to. I just checked the label and it provides a U.S. address too. Here are the addresses ...

B&G Restoration Inc.
P.O. Box 2325, Station "B"
St. Catharines,Ontario
L2M 7M7, Canada

B&G Restoration Inc.
M.P.O. Box 1092
Niagara Falls, New York
14302, U.S.A.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #20
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Default Re: Cleaning dirty bolts and hardware

I'd really be interested in knowing what you put on the bolts after you remove the rust. I am restoring a '63 MGB very slowly and would need to store many bits for many months....Most of them would be stored in plastic ziplock bags.

Thanks
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