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Rust removal from sails
Jody makes an excellent recommendation about sealing grommets, although most grommets are stainless steel, brass or bronze alloy and don't really bleed a lot of "rust" if left in open air to dry. But stowed away wet, and you can get stainless to produce iron rust marks. Heck, she has such a good idea, I'm going to get a quart of toe polish and lacquer all of my stainless steel fittings on deck ....
However, if your interested in removing large rust stains that originated from something else (read wet sails thrown into a locker with other hardware or metal), then Jody's "chemistry" of lemon juice mixed with baking soda, is NOT a viable cleanser here. The most typical rust demon is an oxide of iron metal, and to put it back into solution and rinse it off your sails, you need an acidic solution. The proposed idea of mixing lemon juice with baking soda fails on 2 accounts:
1 - If you put alot of baking soda with the juice and make a paste, then the baking soda is acting as an abrasive, similar to a scouring agent, and not good for the sail cloth or resin. as you rub/scrub it around.
2 - If you put minimal amounts of baking soda in the lemon juice, then all you are doing is neutralizing the acidic nature of the lemon juice (ever recall using baking soda to neutralize and clean acid battery terminals, or drinking alka-seltzer to neutralize stomach acid?). No wonder it takes several applications to get the job done, there is very little acid actually working to dissolve the rust.
Let's apply good chemistry principles, not kitchen brewed ideas. (But maybe my grommets would look pretty in pink!)