Cleaning Exterior Corrosion from Copper Pipes?

I have a copper pipe that has a good coating of green corrosion from a slow water leak. Its about 5' so I would prefer to not struggle with emory cloth or steel wool to get it clean. Is there a magic solution of something that will remove it? Or do I just need to use some elbow grease or a drill/wire brush?
--Jeff
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Steel wool is probably your best option. You'll probably be surprised that it comes off pretty easy - not that much elbow grease involved! I wouldn't use a drill or any other power tool. One slip and you could rip a hole in the pipe and end you with a really nice shiny NEW one courtesy of a plumber!

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replace that section of pipe. so where is it exposed and causing cosmetic troubles?
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paint stripping pads clean copper well, espically the rougher ones. no wires in foingers:)
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replying to Mark, Joe the Plumber wrote:

If it is Leaking? You Better Disconnect the Join clean if with Eroy Paper and ReSolder it.. For it WILL Get Worse, not Better , just when you Don't want it too..
For ust Cleaning th eCopper Pipe? Same as your Car Battery Connectors
Plain Old Baka Soda and Some Water.. Then Start with a ToothBrush , then Scrub brush then a Wire Brush If Needed..
If Going to Replace the Pipe? use the PVC..won't corroded anymore..
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On 2/26/2014 7:44 PM, Joe the Plumber wrote:

Because you did not respond in a timely manner to this 7 year old thread, 5 years ago the leak got worse and filled the basement. The OP did not notice, and when he went down to the basement he drowned.
A timely reply would have saved a life.
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On 2/26/2014 10:51 PM, bud-- wrote:

pressure. Should have used Pex or CPVC. The white PVC pipe blew up, and drowned him.
--
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JB wrote:

Getting it clean won't solve the leak and if it has a leak removing the patina around the fitting will probably increase the rate of the leak.
Fix the leak first, then worry about the otherwise immaterial corrosion.
--
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The corrosion was due to a minor slow seepage from a 30 yr old soldered joint. The water ran the length of the pipe for quite some time. I finally fixed the leak by removing and resoldering. Unfortunately, it was the 1" main and even tho the leak was just above the main shut off, the corrosion ran down below the valve so I didn't replace the entire length of pipe.
I'm not a "neatness nut" who just likes shiny copper! I'm getting ready to put the house on the market and would prefer no flags by an inspector due to obvious indications of a leak. A shiny pipe is easier to explain than a badly corroded one!
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JB wrote:

OK, one never knows on usenet the reason for a request so caution is often advised...
I'd do a little maybe to knock any major stuff off then clean up the area around the joint so it's clear it's no longer leaking and call it good, myself, but if it makes you feel good, go for it! :)
--
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JB wrote:

Try vinegar or (believe it or not) Coke. Same technique as corroded battery terminals.
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Interesting idea. I'll try it. Diet or regular? :-)
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JB wrote:

In place more of a mess than worth it imo. Got to make sure to clean up every bit of the residue or the sugar/syrup will attract every ant in the county plus it's sticky goo...yech!!
Can't be that hard to simply take some emery paper and go to it a little. Might even scrape some of the worst first. As noted above, if the point is to demonstrate the joint no longer leaks, the area at the joint itself is sufficient for that purpose.
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ... :)
--


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Diet. Otherwise you'll have sugar residue.
Although I'm not capable of endorsing or opposing this idea. I used to know what oxalic acid was good for, but I"ve forgotten.
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mm wrote: ..

One of most common uses is as a wood bleach/cleaner. It's the "active ingredient" in many (most?) of the deck cleaners (other than those that are advertised as "green")...
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If you don't wan the little pieces of steel wool hanging around, use the synthetic stuff...works just as well...and not as messy.
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replying to DAC, A Wong wrote:

Use water and then WD40 with old tooth brush , does the job
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replying to JB, peter wrote:

Jeff ITS a piece of cake - cut a lemon in half, pour on the cut lemon common salt and rub it in so it dissolves. Rub it on pipe till it is entirely clean and shiny. THEN mix bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) and water and thoroughly rinse the area. The bi-carb neutralizes the corrosive properties of the vinegar/salt, if it is exposed to the air for any length of time, without neutralizing the acid first, it will quickly corrode again. Cheers!
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