Muriatic acid to clean steel rims and steel frames

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by plinko, May 22, 2010.

  1. plinko

    plinko Member

    Got tired of going through hard ways of cleaning salt,grime and minor rust off rims and frames.I tried muriatic acid at home depot and put some In a spray bottle and sprayed my steel rims and steel frame.Took 2 applications but,Worked wonders.Warning.Have a mask or be outside.The fumes are deadly and rinse with water and dry quickly In hot weather or near a heat source to keep rust from setting up.And most of all.DO NOT USE ON ALUMINUM!!!PERIOD!!!unless you want to melt and corrode your aluminum frame.Use on steel only.Let set for 1 to 2 minutes.rinse with water.And If necessary reapply and rinse again.Take rag afterwards to polish and clean any loose debris.And follow Instructions on bottle.This stuff Is no Joke.

  2. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    WOW! That stuff is to frightening for me to use. Let me make a quick guess; A helpful man at HD told you how to do it. The reason for the guess is that a helpfull man told me the same stuff helped clear blocked did, it also will clear the ground of pipes.
  3. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Apparently, muriatic acid works wonders on nicasil plated cylinders that have aluminium transfered onto the cylinder wall due to an overheat seizure.
    The muriatic acid only attacks the aluminium and not the nicasil surface, however, great care must be take to carefully apply the acid to "only" the aluminium on the bore surface.
    This should only be done in a well ventilated area as the fumes are supposed to be toxic.

    I would like to know if this same process can be used on chrome plated cylinders, but am not knowledgeable about the resistance of chrome to muriatic acid.

    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  4. plinko

    plinko Member

    Just used on steel frame and steel rims.This stuff Is potentially dangerous If done Improperly.Done right.Can save hours of work.And It will not attack chrome like aluminum.But,I still recommend a thorough rinse off to neautralize the acid after a minute of soaking.
  5. plinko

    plinko Member

    If you had steel pipes and let It set too long you are asking for trouble.If you have plastic pipes or Inorganic compounds suck as plastic.It won't faze It.I work at a foundry and used this stuff before.It won't eat steel up right away.But thin,worn pipes will get eaten by It cuz when It eats the rust or whatever Is stuck In your pipe.It gets very hot and older pipes tend to thin out as they age.I don't take my knowledge from the university of home depot.I even met a guy there who did not know what wd-40 was.Next time you use this know If your pipes are thick steel,copper or thin pop metal.If not steel do not use anything even liquid plumber.Call a pro or get a snake Instead.This stuff Is basically a charged up version of liquid plumber.After use on my rims and frame I rinsed her with water and soaked In a bathtub of water for 1 minute to neatralize any acid present after the acid bath.Like I said this stuff no joke.And nothing to play with.And In your case It's always best to mix at 3 to 5 part ratio of water to acid for plumbing to avoid the problems you had with your pipes.I made a mistake.It's acid to water.Thank you for your correction Gearnut.
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  6. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    If you are going to do this. ALWAYS add acid into water! If you pour water into acid, it will react violently and could easily spatter all over the place, including on you!

    I prefer a 50/50 solution of vinegar and lemon juice to etch rust and muck off of steel, iron, most ferrous metals. It takes a bit of time, but it is very easy to work with and all natural. You can let the material set for days if you want to because the corrosion is loose on the surface compared to the base metal, and goes away much faster. It etches the good base metal very verrrrrry slowly. The waste product is all natural, basically a bit of rust floating in a nasty tasting salad dressing.
    All post etching processes are identical to using muriatic acid. Wash well with baking soda, dry and either oil or paint the surface to prevent flash rust.
  7. plinko

    plinko Member

    Did mine full strength and after a 1 minute soak I rinsed off with a power hose nozzle and soaked rim In water for 1 minute and let dry by heat source.So far no damage.I thank you for your tip on using baking soda and mixing acid to water Instead of other way around.Did not know this.Good to know this stuff and let's hope I rinsed my rim well enough to keep from It being eaten up.Been 3 days and seen no damage to It so far.I will use baking soda next time I do this to be safe.Thank you for the tip.
  8. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    Total agreement with what you have said.
    The damage was not as severe as it seems from my wording, Joint failure was what it caused. But I was told with the old pipes I have (1960s house) never to use that stuff and just snake you suggested.
    I am afraid to use stuff that can do the things that acid can do.
  9. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    "The works" toilet bowl cleaner is another serious option for rust removal. It's cheaper, but the effects are just the same.
  10. plinko

    plinko Member

    Thanks for The Info.Personally,I do not like using muriatic acid.Dangerous stuff.
  11. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    Toilet bowl cleaner will mess you up just as bad. Through contact, fumes, ect.
    At least you won't have to dilute it first.
  12. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Agreed, "the works" is 20% hydrogen chloride... NASTY!!!

    Heard it makes a great solvent for cleaning carbs also, Just wouldn't go near seals with it!
  13. lovehamr

    lovehamr New Member

    For rust on chrome believe it or not Coca Cola works great. Coke and fine steel wool is even better. Rinsing well is also needed due to the sugers and phosphoric acid in the Coke.

  14. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Hi Steve,

    If there is phosphoric acid in Coca Cola, why are we allowed to drink it; burning away our insides.

  15. lovehamr

    lovehamr New Member

  16. V 35

    V 35 Member

    Auto Body Supply stores sell a metal etching acid, basicly phosporic acid, with some dissolved zinc. Dupont Metal Conditioner, and OxySolve comes to mind, many more
    exist. The trick to using acid is to wash it off twice. Once, with pure water, to remove gross residue, before drying, spray with simple green, wash again with Hot Water to remove greasy residue, a by product of the process.

    Ammonia is very alkaline, I like to put a cupfull in a bucket of water, and use it
    to wash hands, and neturalize spills. Wash clothing ASAP, acid takes a while, but will
    burn holes in clothing.

    Vinegar can be heated, and brushed on, if you want to go organic.
  17. A diluted solution of muriatic acid is used to clean galvanized steel and concrete for painting. I pesonally never use the stuff full strength. Paint doesn't stick well to galvanized steel or concrete, the muriatic acid etches little pits into the surface to give the paint something to grip to. Vinegar is a good acid to clean with as it reacts more slowly.
  18. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    grrr, americans! why do you have to be so difficult?

    its HYDROCHLORIC acid :jester:

    ( i didnt see that name anywhere!)

    vinegar is acetic acid.

    phosphoric acid (yes, its in coke and dr pepper) is rust converter.

    they also both contain carbonic acid. a side effect of dissolving CO2 in water.

    hydroflouric acid will make you wish youd never heard of it, possibly the most dangerous acid in existence.

    sulfuric acid tastes vaguely like citric acid,

    citric acid is obviously from citrus fruit,

    absorbic acid is vitamin C

    salicylic acid is poisonous to cats, and otherwise known as aspirin,

    lysergic ACID diethylamide is...wait for alkaloid!

    aaaand, last but not least... 98% sulfuric acid is no longer an acid. just like you will NEVER find any HCL (muriatic acid) stronger than 33%. any stronger it merely forms hydrogen chloride, a salt.

    aqua regiae... concentrated sulfuric and nitric acid mixture. if your hands are PERFECTLY dry, you can dip them in it. an excellent science experiment :) add 1 drop of water, and hey presto! it will eat the flesh off your bones... then your bones...then whatever else gets in the way :)

    water allows an acid to be acidic...weird huh?
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012