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Rust Removal


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Hi all I was searching for a cheap method of rust removal for some suspension components off my commodore (not a manta I know ;-0). I searched the Web and found an electrolytic method which involves using a battery charger a negative and positive anode, a plastic container and some Washing Soda!

PLEASE NOTE - If you are in any doubt whether to try this approach then please do not proceed!

I rigged the setup as follows. it's easy to see how this was done....


I used 1Kg of Washing Soda mixed with 3 buckets of warm water in this bucket.

Please note - DO NOT under any circumstances use a metal container for this it MUST BE PLASTIC to avoid a short circuit between the anode (Positive(red wire from the charger)) and the cathode(Negative(black wire from the charger) and a risk to your health and saftey.

I used a 12v 6 AMP charger for this - but you can just as easily use a 6volt charger also or even a charged battery connected in the same way.

All parts must be suspended from a metal bar insulated from the anodes inside the plastic container

I have included some pictures of a part so you can see how it works. Firstly the part before any work has been done on it :


Now being processed - note the fizzing gases (Hydrogen and Oxygen) PLEASE NOTE - DO THIS PROCESS OUTSIDE as these gases are extremely flamable and in the correct concentrations very dangerous when exposed to an ignition source (electrical spark or flame) and may cause an explosion!!! Never leave this setup unattended or where children or others who may come to harm might come into contact. Most of this is common sense, but must be said!


Here is the result after a very small amouunt of brushing! :



And it wouldn't be complete without a true before and after Blue Peter moment :





You need to check the part whilst it is processing to see if the rust turns to a sludgy dark grey colour - when this happens it can be removed (after turning off the power!!) and cleaned with a wire brush.

The mixture lasts for around 15 hours of use. You will see the amount of gases released very gradually decrease over this period. This period will vary depending on your own setup and proportions of soda to water used. Work on one tablespoon full of Soda Washing crystals to a gallon as a good guide. These Washing crystals can be bought for around 70p a Kg from Supermarkets.

Use entirely at your own risk and hopefully enjoy the excellent cost advantages this offers over other more toxic or physically more damaging methods. Remember to wear protective gloves and goggles when brushing the part clean.

This setup, excluding the Charger and the metal bar cost around £25.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask here.

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For similar results I use neat B&Q brick acid (hydrochloric). Only 6 or 7 pounds for 10 litres. Leave it overnight in a plastic container, wash in water comes out like new! Usual safety precautions required)

For all my restos I use an ACE cylinder sand blaster as advertised in back of Practical Classics....

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Once you have finished you can reuse it a few times, then dilute it with water and use it as a drain clean...outside...but also works as a toilet pan descaler, under supervision..50/50 mix water/new acid...your wife will love you!!!

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That is brilliant, looks a bit dangerous though. Awsome results. Does it remove paint?

Not paint I'm afraid, but if you use a paint stripper chemical first this would help get you on the way.



Now where did i put that car sized plastic container??!!

Interesting stuff, something I keep meening to try but just end up getting stuff blasted.

Yes - I did wonder where we could get a bucket that big :D

I can appreciate that it's an easier decision to blast as it is convenience. But this can come at a cost if you don't have your own kit and pennies to fund. In short this is cheaper if a little messy.

Time to de-rust some more bits.......

WoW thats a brilliant idea :D

Def looks like one for the mag (thumbs up)

Is it 15 hours for all parts?

The B&Q brick acid? toxic? wot happens to the waste? don't suppose you pour it down the sink :blink:



I will provide a more detailed article for Ian Virco (my area Rep (MANTAMAN)) for the next magazine. I was amazed at just how easy this was. Beats using Jenolite and the like as these don't offer a removal only a conversion to somthing which frankly aint steel ;)

Hope you find this useful.

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For similar results I use neat B&Q brick acid (hydrochloric). Only 6 or 7 pounds for 10 litres. Leave it overnight in a plastic container, wash in water comes out like new! Usual safety precautions required)

Hmm what would pure battery acid (hydrochloric) do? have to get some from work and try it.

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I haven't seen this for myself but the photo's show some geat results for very little outlay.

Of course now Simon (stoneymanta) has been labled by me 'The Alchemist'

What you cant see because Simon took the photo's is his pointed hat and long black robe decorated with stars,I am unable to confirm that Simon is growing a long white beard.....

The shot of the item fizzing in the bucket,whats that in there with it? Eye of Newt or Tong of Lizzard?

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Great job - just goes to show you don't need to spend fortunes for great results.

Here's a tip on youtube for both waterproofing and rust proofing metals - would obviously work on our Mantas!

He also does a wee bit at cars - ever wanted to carry a load on your roof but don't have or want to fit a roof rack?

Carry any thing on it - even those bevelled mirrors that can be total buggers, even on conventional racks:

Check out the rest of his money saving tips if you get time.

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