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cleaning rusted bolts

742 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  66conv6
is there any chemical way to clean rusted bolts? I've read stuff about using rock tumblers, sand blasters, wire brushes, etc. and was wondering if there is just something I could just soak the bolts in for a while to de-rust them.


matt k.
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And old trick.... let them soak in Coke... Really!
Not sure?? Even look at Aug 02 Motor Trend pg 112, here they recommend it to loosen rusty nuts/bolts!!!!!! Remember Coke is the real thing!!!!
70 76B Convert 351 C4v w/a shaker!!!!
I posted the same question a while back. Consensus was to soak them overnight in "Simple Green".

I haven't tried it yet.
Simple Green only takes the grease and oil off with little to no effect on the rust. You can try the Coke trick (never have myself...) but I try and just use a pair of pliers and a wire wheel on my bench grinder seems to do just fine. I do a few when I get to that particular sub-assembly as opposed to a large bucket of them for two reasons: 1) Keeps all the bolts together with the particluar item I am working, and 2) Breaks up the monotony of doing too many of them all at once.
Most plating shops will do everything but cleaning the grease off them. They will strip the rust and cad plate bolts, nuts in lots. I took 2 lb coffee cans of them into my local plating shop and they were done for $25 per can full. Of this, you'll get about 80-90% usable body bolts, brackets, etc. Do not use this process for high tensile strength fasteners in grades 5 or 8. Its best to replace grade 5 and grade 8 fasteners if they are corroded.
I usually just get them (seems there's always 5 or more) and drop them in a jar and pour a little phosphoric acid in with them and swirl them around and let them sort of clean each other by tumbling around together.

Not exactly scientific, but it's easy.
I usually remove loose rust with the wire wheel, and then soak in POR-15's "metal ready" acid wash. Dickson
There is a great product called CLR. It removes calcium, lime and rust. I use a 25% solution in an old coffee pot. let it get warm on the burner, the put your rusted parts in and let them sit for a few hours. Check often, and rinse thoroughly afterwards.
I cleaned the insides of a corroded flashlight with Coke but it works better to add a packet of citric acid.

Taco Bell hot sauce works too!
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