Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-27-2012 Thread Starter
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Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I am now going to be doing all the cosmetic stuff on the boat since just about everything works great...lol...so I want to address the metal so its all nice and shiny. I bought the WestMarine Pure Oceans Citrus Metal Polish. Here is a before and after on my tiller hardware. This little bit took about 30 minutes for one side and a lot of elbow grease using a terry cloth. My question is, Is there something stronger that will work faster, i.e, easier? Maybe the same cleaner but use a more abrasive scrubber? I don't want to scratch the metal. This worked grab on the stainless that had some oxidation and light rust, but this is pitted and looks like it has been neglected for years. Hoping for easily accessible solutions that I can get at WestMarine or the local Hardware store...thanks!

Before.....


After

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post #2 of 13 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Spotless Stainless works well at bringing back the shine... They used to be a sponsor of Sailnet. There are a couple of threads on it in here.

Here is one: "Spotless stainless steel" reviews?

Here is another: Spotless Stainless Question

Last edited by eherlihy; 03-27-2012 at 10:01 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Flitz and a buff ball on a drill for chrome that's not heavily pitted.

Anything you can unbolt and take on the dock an SOS pad will work wonders, but not onboard. Any small flakes off the pad will leave rust spots on deck.

I seem to remember someone posting about using bronze wool on board instead of steel wool. I haven't tried it but it makes sense.

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Several years ago I had a spray can of metal cleaner that worked extremely well on both aluminum and stainless steel. Unfortunately, I can no longer find it in my workshop. You might want to Google this and you'll likely come up with some great answers.

Good Luck,

Gary
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I second the spotless stainless,,,,works wonders

Dave


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post #6 of 13 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I do brightwork in St. Augustine. Use Collinite's No. 850 Metal Wax. Can be gotten at West Marine. Not cheap, but also polishes as you go. I find using an old cotton glove to apply, then follow with a clean polishing cloth works best.

Also, for a cheap fix, have found that Barkeeper's Friend (get at one of those dollar stores) works very well, especially on bronze.

There really isn't a 'fast' fix. it still takes elbow grease.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Liquid Barkeepers Friend from Home Depot. SS also works great with less hassle, but much costlier.

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post #8 of 13 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I think I read about spotless stainless from Mainsail, and I think it doesn't require as much elbow grease as others - if I recall his description properly. I'm darn sure I trust him.

I just received my order of two quarts of spotless stainless. Unfortunately, the 80 degree weather had ended and the 17 degree weather had begun. The jugs say it should be at least 70 degrees when using it. So I have not had a chance to try it. I may have purchased way too much, but I have quite a bit of stainless around.

"Lightbulb!" - maybe I can find something small enough to drag inside and warm up. I'll try to report back if it goes easy.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I use Never-Dull. It's not super easy, but I always get good results.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I use AutoSol - it's a cream and it works very well - lots of stuff can be done simply by wiping it on and leaving it, even overnight. Then come back & buff. Sometimes you have to put some effort into the polishing.

Whenever I can - that tillerhead for example, I remove anything that blocks easy access - removing the tiller and bolts would make that job MUCH easier.

I spent a couple of hundred to get a proper long shaft polisher - effectively a bench grinder with extra longs shafts and big buffing wheels. It works like magic for polishing metal but the pieces have to be removed from the boat. Anyone restoring a boat would be well advised to get one - it gets used as much as any power tool I have except maybe my drills. That tillerhead would take about 5 minutes to be smoothed out, shiny and like new.

I think you can get very cheap ones from Harbour Freight in the States.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.

Last edited by SloopJonB; 03-28-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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