Rust Remover Concentrate Information
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Rust remover concentrate article published in Metal Web News
Simplifying the rust removal process using chelant-based rust
remover, all info regarding Rust remover Concentrate is included.
The following article was subsequently published in Metal Web News,
an online database dealing with all aspects of metal.
Proper Application of Chelant Based Rust
The time has come for new eco-friendly methods of rust removal. The
most promising of which are the chelant type removers. Even though
they have been around the better part of a decade, it is a very
short time when one considers how long alternative methods have
existed. Sanding, sandblasting, wire wheels, grinding and dangerous
acids will always have their niche in rust and coating removal, but
when only rust removal is required, non-hazardous removers are
usually the best, safest option.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the proper application of
After several years as an end-user in my auto repair shop, I decided
to become a distributor of one of these chelant-based removers. Over
this time, I have had a great deal of success after learning all
aspects of chelant type removers.
First I will explain some benefits of these types of liquid rust
The most compelling aspect of chelant based rust remover; is its
non-hazardous status. This means that it is easier and safer to work
with, and less restrictive when it comes to disposal. Non-flammable,
they are water-based! Little or no odor or fumes. Concentrated
chelant is much safer to mix with water than acid. It may be mixed
either way, by adding the concentrate to water or water to
concentrate. Acids MUST be added to water only. Shipping costs are
substantially reduced due to the non-hazardous classification.
Concentrated types also save considerable shipping costs because you
are not paying to ship water. Warehousing and storage is simplified
due to the non-hazardous classification and in the case of
concentrates, they take up much less floor and shelf space. They
will remove rust only, not the underlying metal. (caveat: if left in
for weeks or more, they may begin to remove very small amounts of
metal) Depending on the manufacturer, some removers leave absolutely
nothing on the metal surface; just bare steel or cast iron, which in
my opinion, promotes the best adhesion for top coating. Other
manufacturer's products may leave a thin phosphate coating on the
surface, which will temporarily protect against further rusting, but
may not be the best for top coating.
Education is the key! I'm not talking lengthy classes. Simply
understanding how to apply these water-based, chelant-type removers
by reading the following paragraphs, or a tutorial, will go a long
way to ensure success.
There are two ways to remove rust from small or large objects. A dip
or immerse method, where smaller objects are put into a container
and covered with the fluid. In order to de-rust larger objects, a
spray or recirculation method can be used. The fluid is simply
pumped over the object, recaptured as it flows off, and is
continually pumped back over the object.
Several factors contribute to successful application of the latest
technology rust removers: cleanliness of the object to be de-rusted,
type and cleanliness of the container used to dip the object,
previous coatings, type of rust, time, temperature, hardness of
steel and cast iron, mix ratio for concentrates, water hardness for
concentrates. In order to optimize the effectiveness, one must take
into consideration all of these factors. Occasionally I receive
feedback about the fluid not performing correctly, and every time,
one or more of these factors are ignored. This can result in a less
than favorable experience on everyone's part.
First of all, cleanliness is paramount. If your rusted object is
covered with grease, oil, dirt that can be cleaned off easily, or
thick rust scale that can be knocked off with a hammer DO IT! This
will prevent the chelant rust remover from having to do the job for
you. It will deal with these things to a certain extent, but you are
better off spending just a few cents on a good degreaser/cleaner. If
using the dip/immersion method, use either plastic or stainless
steel containers, tanks or other vessels. Galvanized containers will
not work since the fluid will remove the galvanized coating. Steel
or cast iron containers should be avoided. They may already have
contaminants, rust or other deposits that will shorten the life and
effectiveness of the fluid.
One simple factor to consider is whether or not the object is
partially or fully top coated. These removers will not remove any
top coatings that I am currently aware of, only the rust. I did,
however make the mistake of trying to remove the rust from a
decorative steel lawn ornament for the purpose of experimentation.
Unfortunately, this ornament was originally intended to look rusty.
What I failed to realize was that it was also top coated with a
clear finish, which simply looked like rust. Weeks later, a scratch
in the clear finish allowed the fluid to enter; it began removing
rust, and bubbled up the finish. Only then did I realize it was top
coated. Always check to see if there is a clear finish!
The type of rust you are attempting to remove will determine if
chelant-based removal is the best method. Red oxides, which are the
most common forms of rust, will readily be removed. Black oxides,
also a form of rust, is much harder than red oxide, and in some
cases, may not be removed easily or may take much longer. Some pure
black oxides do seem to respond well.
Time is a factor; however it depends greatly on other factors to
achieve the desired outcome. The longer an object is left in the
solution, the more rust it will remove until the chemistry is used
Temperature plays a significant role and will change the time it
takes to remove rust drastically. I cannot stress this enough. If
you are not using these chelant-based removers in at least 60-70
degrees Fahrenheit, you will waste time! So often I hear that
someone is de-rusting an object in a cold garage and they complain
that it is not working. I understand how difficult it is sometimes,
but try to avoid cold temps and get that fluid warmed up. You will
see a marked increase in the speed of removal. Used judiciously,
salamander type heaters can evenly heat large objects, or at least
the general area. You will enjoy the warmth as well!
Once you are operating in a warmer environment, you will be
surprised to see the removal speed increase. Do you want to it to go
faster? Most of these fluids can be heated as high as 150 degrees
Fahrenheit for even more significant time savings. Heating can be
accomplished in a number of ways. I have personally done some
household items and small tools on the kitchen stove using a candy
thermometer (or similar) to monitor the temperature of the fluid.
Larger objects can be immersed in a 5 gallon pail or larger vessel
with an immersion heater. Immersion heaters come in all shapes and
sizes. Many can be found in farm, tractor and hardware stores for
the purpose of preventing watering troughs from freezing. Once again
monitor the temperature. Heating above 150 F will not be beneficial.
Regarding the surface hardness of various steel and cast iron; the
harder the surface, the harder the rust is, the longer it will take,
The following applies to concentrated removers only. I cannot stress
the importance of mixing concentrates properly.
Mix ratio of concentrated types is extremely important. We all have,
at one time or another believed the more is better approach.
Surprisingly, the concentrated versions of chelant-based rust
removers simply will not work if used straight out of the bottle.
These have to be mixed with water to activate the chelant chemical.
The remover I carry is mixed 10% strength for light rust removal,
and up to 20% for heavier rust.
The type of water used to mix with concentrates can have some impact
on effectiveness of the fluid. If the end-users water is extremely
hard, benefit will be realized by mixing with distilled or softened
water. This is due to the chelant chemistry grabbing and holding the
dissolved minerals in the water and leaving less of the chelant to
work on the rust.
Ultimately, your attention to these factors will make for an easy
and effective experience. I would strongly urge you to contact your
potential supplier to discuss your particular application. After
all, they are there to assist you with your rust removal process.
They want you to have the best experience possible!
For more rust removal information please visit: www.rustdepot.com