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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?
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Thread: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-28-2012 06:33 PM
Brent Swain
Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Those brillo like pads on an angle grinder or die grinder work well on stainless.
03-28-2012 06:31 PM
skygazer
Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Well, I warmed up some stainless indoors by the woodstove and tried my new Spotless Stainless. Here are my impressions.

It was quite thick, almost like glycerin or a thin jell or wet creamy looking paste. So it goes on fairly thick, I did not buy way too much (I have a good 1600 lbs of stainless, most of it two sided - not the boat). I should have gotten a gallon.

I brought in a 40 lb assembly and let it warm up. I was doing a 14 inch disc shape with rust stains from salt and an iron shaft. As northerners know, heating a house when the outdoors is cold and dry makes bone dry air in the house. So my paste was flash drying as I applied it. You are not supposed to let it dry.

That forced me to take some wet paper towel and wipe around to keep it damp. Essentially, I was not allowing the recommended 30 min. of letting it work, I was giving it about 5-8 minutes, less when you figure I was really wiping it off with the damp paper towel. The operative word is wiping, I was keeping it damp, not scrubbing with a cloth.

Then I took it outside and rinsed it with water as recommend. When it dried, even though I did it all wrong, the rust stains and dirt were gone. It was much brighter. In fact, I could see my reflection in the steel!

Conclusion: I'll do it in the shade on a humid, preferably foggy or drizzly summery day. For small items if you don't mind hanging around you could probably just mist it every now and then. Best part, it did not require buffing, which is worth plenty to me, so I think I'll like it.
03-28-2012 04:53 PM
SloopJonB
Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Here are some before & after shots of what a proper buffer can do very easily and far quicker than hand polishing if parts have been neglected. The best part is it doesn't merely remove surface oxidation and stains but actually smooths out the metal - scratches and so forth. It isn't really a tool for maintenance since the parts have to come off the boat and go home with you but if you are getting in deep with your work, I can't recommend one too highly.

The polished surface lasts a lot longer than when using the creams & pastes as well, especially if you put a coat of wax on them.
03-28-2012 04:39 PM
SloopJonB
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.
03-28-2012 02:21 PM
NautiC25
Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I use Never-Dull. It's not super easy, but I always get good results.
03-28-2012 11:50 AM
skygazer
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.
03-28-2012 11:05 AM
rbrasi
Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

Liquid Barkeepers Friend from Home Depot. SS also works great with less hassle, but much costlier.
03-28-2012 10:59 AM
mfsykes
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.
03-28-2012 09:51 AM
chef2sail
Re: Cleaning Metal and Stainless Anything fast?

I second the spotless stainless,,,,works wonders

Dave
03-27-2012 11:46 PM
travlineasy
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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