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Old 04-29-2014
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Stainless deck hardware cleaning

Hi All,

What do you all use for light rust spots on your stainless deck hardware (pulpit tubes, stacheons and the like)? Our stuff up here in the PNW gets fresh water rinsed pretty good, but my 35 year old has a few spots that I'd like to clean up. I've learned to stay away from power wire brushes.

Allmand Sail 31 #15 "Traveler"
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Stainless deck hardware cleaning

Sadly (only because of the price) Spotless Stainless does work as advertised. As a matter of fact it works better than advertised! As we do not rinse the stainless on here with fresh water. Our stainless was looking pretty bad and phosphoric acid was taking off the rust, but it seemed to be coming back ever faster. we switched to Spotless Stainless and after a year, we get much less rust returning, as this product seems to "condition" the stainless as advertised, to minimize rust return.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Stainless deck hardware cleaning

I just started experimenting with this:

So far, it is wipe on, wipe off, no more rust! I haven't used it long enough to know about the longevity and prevention but it cleans the rust very quickly......and it's relatively cheap
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Stainless deck hardware cleaning

There are two seperate issues the first is to remove all the rust, and clean the metal. And any of the commercially available stuff works fine for this. The next step is to re-passivated the stainless. This removes the free iron on the surface and allows the stainless to protect itself in the future.

The commercial process uses a mix of 90% water to 10% citric acid (by weight) in a bath heated to 150F for 30 minutes. Since a bath isn't practical and heating a large part is difficult, use the same concentration, but extent the wet time out to an hour.

Citric acid is commonly available at home brewing stores pretty cheap. I think I paid $1/lb or so.
Greg Rubin
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Old 04-30-2014
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Re: Stainless deck hardware cleaning

Use Bar Keeper's Friend, a kitchen product made for stainless sinks, cookware, etc. Has a mild acid (oxalic). It's a white powder in a shaker can, like any cleanser. Put it on a wet rag, smear the past on the part, and rinse well before it dries on. Works great. Cheap, too.
Buy some before they slap a picture of a boat on it and triple the price.
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