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I Forge Iron

Vinegar to remove Galvanized coating.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone, I'm removing the zinc from a 20 gallon trash can with vinegar. I like the idea of using the vinegar in the garden after removing the zinc. I have a few blueberries which would love the acid I'm sure, and I've just planted 100 norway spruce trees. I'd like to put the vinegar on these trees and berries but I'm concerned that there might be too much zinc in the vinegar. Can anyone tell me if the zinc would just be too much for my plants or if it would be OK to give to more than 100 different trees and 5 blueberries. Thanks!

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Vinegar in the garden is a BAD idea. In the quantities necessary to change the pH of the soil, it's going to have a substantial negative effect on the beneficial microbes in the soil. Here's some useful information: http://gardenprofessors.com/vinegar-a-garden-miracle/ and http://gardenprofessors.com/a-tale-of-two-herbicides/

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Welcome aboard Kenneth, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many members live within visiting distance.

Ditto John, that's WAY too much vinegar, especially in one dose. It'd probably take months to introduce it slowly enough to not degrade the fertility of your soil. Microbe make dirt into soil. You don't want to make soil into dirt.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 1 month later...

W.- girl,

Check wiki with the search phrase "rust removal"

let me quote a bit of it.

"Rust removal from small iron or steel objects by electrolysis can be done in a home workshop using simple materials such as a plastic bucket filled with an electrolyte consisting of washing soda dissolved in tap water, a length of rebar suspended vertically in the solution to act as an anode, another laid across the top of the bucket to act as a support for suspending the object, baling wire to suspend the object in the solution from the horizontal rebar, and a battery charger as a power source in which the positive terminal is clamped to the anode and the negative terminal is clamped to the object to be treated which becomes the cathode.[13]

Rust may be treated with commercial products known as rust converter which contain tannic acid or phosphoric acid which combines with rust; removed with organic acids like citric acid and vinegar (a.k.a.  acetic acid), or the stronger hydrochloric acid; or removed with chelating agents as in some commercial formulations or even a solution of molasses."

Regards and welcome to this forum,

SLAG

 

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Welcome aboard Weldergirl, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many members live within visiting distance.

There are better things than vinegar but it will work. What are you wishing to derust, it can make a real difference.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Vinegar is an easy to source and use rust remover but you need to have full immersion of the piece otherwise you get an etched in line where it crosses the liquid/air boundary.  So better for smaller items.  As long as you are just removing rust then disposal of the used solution is fairly easy.  I used to pour it on my limestone gravel driveway for weed control.  Once you have a sealeable  tub of it it can be reused until it slows down to inefficient times. DO NOT use it in the shop as the fumes promote rust on items like tools!

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I have a larger glass tupperware container with a lid that I keep full of vinegar for removing forge scale, rust, galvanization from various things. The glass is just so I can look inside and for easier cleanup, not because a plastic one wouldn't work. When it's used up, it seems to last a pretty long time, I just dump it in the woods.. maybe that's not the best disposal method, but considering what's in the container and the volume of liquid (about a quart or so) I figure the trees don't notice. 

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Neutralize any remaining acid with baking soda (add just until it stops foaming), dilute heavily (a quart of used vinegar in a gallon milk jug, top off with water), and disperse over a large area rather than pouring in one spot. 

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  • 4 months later...

To test it's acidity, sprinkle a little baking soda in there. If there are lots of bubbles, it's good, if there are very few bubbles, replace with fresh stuff. 

You don't need much, you're not trying to neutralize it, just test it. Compare to fresh vinegar if you want a baseline.

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  • 2 months later...

Until the bubbles stop. It depends on the thickness of the galvanized layer, the strength of the vinegar etc. Sometimes a few hours, sometimes overnight. It's not an exact science.

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