How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

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Pete44ru
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How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#1 Post by Pete44ru » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:12 pm

.

(Yes, stainless actually CAN rust)

I read a tip on removing rust stains from stainless knives, tried it, and it worked.

Here's what to do:

* Place the stainless item (gun, knife, whatever) so the area with the rust has the stain was facing up, and supported to keep it level.

* Put a couple drops of white vinegar on the rust/stain, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

* Scrub the area with a new pad of 0000 steel wool to remove the stain.

* Clean the area with a cotton patch and some CLP, and you should be GTG.


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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#2 Post by hfcable » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:48 pm

and preferably use a STAINLESS steel wool pad
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#3 Post by piller » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:36 pm

The chrome and other things in stainless slow down the rusting, but looking at it through the lens of chemistry---all steel can rust if oxygen is present under the right conditions. It is simply a chemical reaction.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#4 Post by milton » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:46 am

Just as a side note citric acid is used for passivation of stainless steel and may work as well or better than the acetic acid in vinegar.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#5 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:45 am

hfcable wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:48 pm
and preferably use a STAINLESS steel wool pad

Stainless steel wool is a personal preference, as there's no difference in the result (no better/no worse than non-stainless pads).

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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#6 Post by hfcable » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:03 am

i had been told, that non stainless steel wool results in some particles embedding into the item being cleaned and possible later discoloration

heck if i know, :)
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#7 Post by marlinman93 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:08 am

The higher the quality the stainless is, the less chance it will rust. SS comes in various levels of carbon steel in it, and guns are a much lower quality of stainless so they wont gall or be hard to machine or rifle. If you test SS with a magnet it will stick easily to lower grade stainless because it's ferrous steel content is higher. A magnet wont stick to true SS, and it wont rust either. The type of pure stainless used in medical field wont rust if you left it out in the rain, or didn't clean the blood off it after surgery.
I worked in a foundry back in the 1970's and there were stainless castings that set outside with no rust, while lower grades had to be under a roof to protect them from the elements.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#8 Post by BlaineG » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:32 am

The white vinegar works well in restoring cast iron skillets, too. I let it sit overnight. :idea:
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#9 Post by jeepnik » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:47 pm

marlinman93 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:08 am
The higher the quality the stainless is, the less chance it will rust. SS comes in various levels of carbon steel in it, and guns are a much lower quality of stainless so they wont gall or be hard to machine or rifle. If you test SS with a magnet it will stick easily to lower grade stainless because it's ferrous steel content is higher. A magnet wont stick to true SS, and it wont rust either. The type of pure stainless used in medical field wont rust if you left it out in the rain, or didn't clean the blood off it after surgery.
I worked in a foundry back in the 1970's and there were stainless castings that set outside with no rust, while lower grades had to be under a roof to protect them from the elements.
It's not a matter of quality. It depends on what the stainless is to be used for what grade is used. Some stainless steels are magnetic due to the alloy, some aren't.

Interestingly one we use often in my industry is 316. It is non magnetic. But, I frequently find 316 marked stainless that is magnetic, usually from China. It really sucks when you spec out a type of material and that material comes from an ISO facility then have it fail in short order.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#10 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:55 pm

hfcable wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:03 am
i had been told, that non stainless steel wool results in some particles embedding into the item being cleaned and possible later discoloration

heck if i know, :)

JMO, but I don't think so, as steel is much less porous than other materials.

I know some folks have issues with non-stainless steel wool leaving particles than can rust; but in over 45 years of using it to clean various surfaces, including cutting down dried stock finishing oil during a stock refinish (on wood, however, I make sure to run a strong magnet all over it to remove any steel dust).


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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#11 Post by hfcable » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:13 pm

good to know, ! the stainless steel wool is not always readily available

I will quit worrying about it.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#12 Post by marlinman93 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:27 pm

jeepnik wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:47 pm


It's not a matter of quality. It depends on what the stainless is to be used for what grade is used. Some stainless steels are magnetic due to the alloy, some aren't.
It most certainly is a matter of quality. The purest stainless steel is indeed the highest quality, and also the highest priced. Other lower levels are not poor quality, they simply have softer steels mixed in to make them more workable, or softer.
And you're repeating what I already said. Some are magnetic because the amount of ferrous metal is higher.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#13 Post by OldWin » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:58 pm

Some alloys are very specific in the the job they are required to do. While classified as a "stainless", its resistance to to rust cannot be the only factor in gaging quality.
I work with "stainless" that will both take a magnet and rust in some cases. We make rotors, buckets, and diaphragms in the manufacture of steam turbines that are subjected to insane forces and heating/cooling plateaus. Rust resistance is only one factor. The most important is crack/fracture resistance. There are very few suppliers who can meet the specs. I work in quality and inspection now and every piece is MPI inspected to ensure these standards.
We recently bought out a foreign competitor and acquired their stock specifications and lab numbers. When we tried them (cause they were cheaper), I personally found them full of cracks at the surface and subsurface levels from inferior melt. Not good.
Remember the recent case of the aircraft engine blade that let go and the woman got sucked out? Truth be known, this was a failure caused by a stress, or undetected crack in the bucket, at the dovetail or blade root.
I read once that a single aircraft engine bucket weighs as much as a locomotive in centrifugal force applied at full operational RPM.
And I'm getting on a plane this afternoon. :shock:
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#14 Post by marlinman93 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:31 pm

Any steel, stainless or other, can have imperfections. Especially so with cast steels. How the steel is used, or what the end product is, will determine what steps are needed during the manufacturing process. We had castings we made at our plant that required an industrial xray of every part before it could be finish machined. If the xray showed any flaw the parts were scrapped. Occasionally if imperfections were not in critical areas they could be cut out and welded up. Then they were xrayed again to see if the weld fixed the flaw and was a perfect weld.
Some products by spec were not allowed to be welded. If the casting wasn't perfect, then repairs weren't allowed. Part of my job was repairing and testing the industrial xray. I also did the certification of the xray, welders, heat treat oven controllers, furnace controllers, and any equipment that was part of the manufacturing process. Everything had to get certified every 6 months, although some equipment could be done annually. Quality control on critical castings was the biggest priority at the company.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#15 Post by jeepnik » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:42 pm

After two attempts with the old provider (well not actually old, the failures happened after they were bought by a large company and relocated) we solved the problem very easily. We have changed providers. The wailing from the old provider could be heard three states away.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#16 Post by crs » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:02 pm

Well, well, what an educational thread! I Learned much more than I expected.

I just ordered some 0000 steel wool (because It raining outside and I can wait a day or so) to finish the clean up of a bit of rust on the left barrel of my .405 double rifle . The thread title caught my eye so I learned stuff!

Please do not ask why the rust pattern exactly matches the fingers of my left hand. :oops:
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#17 Post by Pete44ru » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:21 pm

crs wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:02 pm

I just ordered some 0000 steel wool (because It raining outside and I can wait a day or so) to finish the clean up of a bit of rust on the left barrel of my .405 double rifle . The thread title caught my eye so I learned stuff!

STOP ! ! ! . :shock:

Even 0000 steel wool will permanently damage the bluing on your barrels - PLEASE DO NOT USE IT for that ! !

I have found that rust is easily removed w/o damaging the finish via lightly rubbing the rust away with an oiled pad of Big45 Frontier Metal Cleaner ($6, direct)

http://www.big45metalcleaner.com/


Image


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IF IN THESE TYMES OF JEOPARDY,
MORTAL PERIL INVADES THY THOUGHT,
TAKE UP THIS TRVSTY PIECE,
TRVST IN THY GOD, AND FEAR THEE NAUGHT.

(The avatar is me, in 1948 ! )

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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#18 Post by crs » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:20 pm

Thanks Pete.
I ordered the rust remover and will just put the steel wool in my shop.
Thanks again
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#19 Post by hfcable » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:57 pm

Pete44ru wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:21 pm
crs wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:02 pm

I just ordered some 0000 steel wool (because It raining outside and I can wait a day or so) to finish the clean up of a bit of rust on the left barrel of my .405 double rifle . The thread title caught my eye so I learned stuff!

STOP ! ! ! . :shock:

Even 0000 steel wool will permanently damage the bluing on your barrels - PLEASE DO NOT USE IT for that ! !

I have found that rust is easily removed w/o damaging the finish via lightly rubbing the rust away with an oiled pad of Big45 Frontier Metal Cleaner ($6, direct)

http://www.big45metalcleaner.com/


Image


.

i can testify to the effectiveness of that item....i have several of them.....every where that i have guns and gear , i have those things....and they really work... have taken friends' neglected family heirlooms and amazed them with the results....havent told them how.
cable

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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#20 Post by claybob86 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:58 pm

Sounds like a good product. I just ordered one too.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#21 Post by hayabusa » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:13 pm

Pete44ru, this product sounds so good that I also have ordered a couple for myself and one to gift to a great friend of mine.

Many thanks to you and all of the others on this board. Truly very good honest people who freely share their learning with others.😁👍

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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#22 Post by piller » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:43 pm

marlinman93 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:08 am
The higher the quality the stainless is, the less chance it will rust. SS comes in various levels of carbon steel in it, and guns are a much lower quality of stainless so they wont gall or be hard to machine or rifle. If you test SS with a magnet it will stick easily to lower grade stainless because it's ferrous steel content is higher. A magnet wont stick to true SS, and it wont rust either. The type of pure stainless used in medical field wont rust if you left it out in the rain, or didn't clean the blood off it after surgery.
I worked in a foundry back in the 1970's and there were stainless castings that set outside with no rust, while lower grades had to be under a roof to protect them from the elements.
The stainless with Nickel in it is non-magnetic because it is Austenitic, or Body Centered Cubic. BCC acts like annealed carbon steel in that it is softer than Martensitic, or Face Centered Cubic. The distanced between the iron atoms in BCC is great enough that electron sharing does not occur, thus it is non magnetic. When Austenitic steel at high enough temperature is suddenly quenched it transforms to Martensitic steel and the structural change causes it to become much harder. If non-magnetic stainless is bent enough, it can force a realignment of the atoms along the stress line and it can change to Martensitic steel, thus becoming magnetic along that line. The problem is that the microscopic shrinkage in that place can cause the two sides of that line to pull apart and cause a crack. The non-magnetic stainless isn't necessarily better or worse than the magnetic stainless, just different due to Nickel allowing for it to stay Austensitic when cooled to room temperature. The different properties allow for it to be used for different purposes.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#23 Post by Old No7 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:05 pm

Very interesting thread! Good info.

Two things I'll comment on...

Tools:
marlinman93 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:08 am
The higher the quality the stainless is, the less chance it will rust...
* My 35 year old original "Craftsman" tools have all been used and stored in all sorts of conditions -- and not a spec of rust on any today. :wink:

* My 1 year old "Craftsman branded" tools have rust showing in many places; and tool by tool; the feel, fit and finish --and weight of the same-sized adjustable wrenches -- is much better on the older (dare I say "vintage") ones. :?

Guns:

* I had posted this link here over a year ago, comparing the SS as used on my "nice" SIG P226 to my S&Ws, Kahrs or Rugers.

Follow-up on "Stainless" -- SIG's SS Durability Question (click for link)

* Stainless on the SIG? Maybe... (And I used to buy SS stock when I worked there too, but I didn't set the specs.) But it sure isn't as durable as my other guns. I think the lightly bead-blasted finish on the SIG might actually invite more problems, creating tiny craters or pores where stuff could collect...

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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#24 Post by marlinman93 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:55 am

I don't believe Craftsman tools were ever made of stainless steel? Pretty sure they're simply chrome plated, and the newer ones are cheap chrome process, not the very well done chroming of past decades.
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Re: How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel

#25 Post by Old No7 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:06 pm

marlinman93 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:55 am
I don't believe Craftsman tools were ever made of stainless steel? Pretty sure they're simply chrome plated, and the newer ones are cheap chrome process, not the very well done chroming of past decades.
Well, that explains it...

Key word being "cheap"... Thanks!

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