Whink makes several products with "Rust" as part of the name. Not all of
them contain HF acid. The MSDS for their product named "Rust Stain Remover"
and sold in a brown bottle, does clearly list "Hydrofluoric Acid
(Hydrogen Fluoride)" as an ingredient and has all kinds of warning
statements, including this line in the Emergency Overview section:
"Will penetrate skin and attack underlying tissues and bone."
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)
The scouring powder Barkeeper's Friend has oxalic acid in it. I'd
make a paste, apply it, and wait. Keep the paste moist if you
can. For example, lay a moistened paper towel on top.
BF is not very abrasive, but I'd be careful about rubbing it
on plastic, which is quite soft.
Rust doesn't "soak in" to iron anymore than soup does. Whatever rust
you see is on the surface. If you care about the appearance, get a
knife not to use, as some people do with copper pans. Remove the rust
with steel wool or (after wetting it with oil) with a razor-blade
paint scraper. Then sharpen it. Cosmetic damage is the least that
happens when a carbon steel knife is left wet. The first damage is to
the edge. If you can't tell, it wasn't sharp to begin with.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
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