Super-strength rust/iron remover needed

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The tenants at my daughter's rental property let the bathtub faucet drip for a couple of years, building up a rusty area about 12 inches in diameter beneath the faucet, except directly under the drip where the build-up was washed away. I tried a spray-on iron/rust remover, but it only helped around the edges. I was able to scrape off a little portion using a screwdriver, but am scared that I may damage the tub. Can anyone recommend a super- strength remover? I vaguely remember something about oxalic acid as being useful, but not sure.
TIA,
Bob Hofmann
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I've removed some pretty nasty rust stains from countertops and sinks with Barkeep's Friend cleanser. I know, cleanser seems whimpy for such a task. Not sure how much it will help for you.
Make a paste and put it on. Let it sit for a bit then scrub with a Greenie pad. You will need to repeat several times as the rust removal ingredient gets "used up" working on the rust.
It's worth a try. Stuff is cheap, can be got at Walmart and you can always just use it as an everyday cleanser. I think Zud is a similar product but not sure.
Here's a countertop that was badly rusted under the cast iron sink rim. It took time, elbow grease and repeated applications but the end result made the countertop salvageable.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pichmgdu&s=4 http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2uxuw0j&s=4 http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic9nu3c&s=4
Don't forget to check out the light duty shutoffs that were there :-)
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Red Green wrote:

At first, this picture really confused me.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pichmgdu&s=4
I couldn't figure out why the cold supply was T'd into the hot supply. Strangest plumbing I'd ever seen!
The 2nd and 3rd pictures resolved the issue.
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On Fri 12 Sep 2008 09:48:42p, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net told us...

ZUD
This link is just for the description. You should be able to find this in a hardware store or in some supermarkets.
http://www.instawares.com/zud-heavy-duty-powder.00750rc.0.7.htm
--
Wayne Boatwright

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1. Any acid will dissolve/remove some minerals. Your problem may be that the rust is iron but you do not know the composition of the bathtub surface, and do not want to dissolve that as well. 2. Prepackaged CLR (calcium/lime/rust) chemicals do most such tasks.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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Don Phillipson wrote:

What you say is true but he's not trying to remove a metal. Rather he's trying to remove the salt of a metal, rust or iron (ferric) oxide. Oxalic acid will react with the red ferric oxide to yield ferric oxalate. The importance of this is that unlike many iron salts, including ferric oxide (rust,) ferric oxalate is soluble in water.
Oxalic acid is found in Barkeeper's Friend, and numerous other stainless steel cleaners, but when confronted with large quantities of rust I prefer to use just oxalic acid to remove as much of the stain as I can. It's readily available as wood bleach. Usually all of the rust stain will disappear.
I would not expect oxalic acid to damage bathtub surfaces.
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.
Boden:
Thanks, your reply is what I was hoping someone would be able to do, confirm the Oxalic acid route. I'll hit the local Big Orange Box Hardware store tomorrow and see what's available in the paint department. If not there, it's off to the local full-service hardware store, a little farther away.
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On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 21:48:42 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

OxiClean usually a laundry soap contains oxalic acid. It is sold at Home Depot.
Iron out can also be used.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Oxiclean does not contain oxalic acid. It is a percarbonate which hydrolyzes when mixed with water to ultimately produce free oxygen.
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snip

You are right. OxiClean contains oxygen bleach
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On Sep 14, 10:57am, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

I bought some CLR, could not find anyone that sold any oxalic acid- related products in our city, maybe it has been banned. Any ideas on the HCl-based iron stain/rust/lime removers??
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I wouldn't do it. Hydrochloric acid is far too reactive, even when diluted. You run the risk of damaging plumbing and the drain assembly.
I recently saw a neighbor attack rust stains on his concrete driveway with HCl only to immortalize them.
Try to find Barkeeper's Friend...even our one grocery store carries that. It contains some oxalic acid. Make a paste of Barkeeper's Friend and water and apply that. Let it sit for an hour or so. Replace it as needed. The paste needs to remain wet. Ultimately the rust will be gone...I've done this many times.
The only possible problem is if you or someone else has tried a different approach and converted the rust from ferric oxide to another compound.
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Hi Boden:
I finally found some Barkeepers Friend, will try it later this week when we go back to the house for more work. it is 3.5 hours away, so we only go when we are going to spend a very long day doing maintenance, before we try to sell it. I've been helping work on this place for 10 years and hope they finally get rid of it.
Bob Hofmann
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In article <cc49ba84-9861-4fd0-abbe-5268657fad59

If all else fails, "Whink" has taken off every rust stain I've ever used it on. But do read the label, it's basically thickened, dilute hydrofluoric acid, and HF can do nasty things.
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org wrote:

As I recall the rust stain was on a sink or tub. HF will dissolve glass. I can recall in the 40s and 50s when HF was sold in waxed cardboard because glass containers couldn't contain it. Then plastic bottles (Nalgene)came along and the spills became less frequent. Porcelain will be attacked.
Also, HF has the interesting property of penetrating the skin and then burning out from deep within. Some of the most painful acid burns I've had were from HF.
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wrote:

The MSDS http://www.whink.com/msdsrr.pdf reads like a description for WMD's!
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I gave the chemicals I bought to my son-in-law and got a quick telephone report Monday night that they helped remove some of the built-up rust/lime/whatever. Will post more informtion when I get to talk to him Tuesday night.
Bob H
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wrote:

Oxiclean is dehydrated Hydrogen Peroxide?
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Mike wrote:

No. When water is added to Oxiclean hydrogen peroxide is released from the percarbonate.
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wrote:

I recommend a PRO ACTIVE MAINTENCE INSPECTION FOR THE FUTURE!
With occasional walk thrus asking whats broke? and fixing it right.
sadly many landlords just want the rent money and dont care about their homes condition:(
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