25% acetic acid vinegar for paint/rust removal?

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I'm in Bali and trying to do a jungle bike rustoration. Total newbie here.
I have a found bike that was left in the jungle for a few years. I want to strip its paint down to at least some degree then keep it as is as a rust/ratrod bike.
We have a local cheap vinegar that comes at 25% concentration.
Any idea how much would I need to dilute it to soak the frame and also de-rust other parts?
We have autosol here also as well as BLO, but a lot of the other stuff is either not available or too costly for this project.
Any suggestions as to how to apply these to my project? I'm still reading the how to section here, but since my resources are limited I thought what the heck!
Thanks for your help!
 
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Bali sounds exotic to me here in middle America. I am not sure about acetic acid but I would try it. Only on a small, hard to see underside of the bike. And just to see how much I can gain and or get away with. I have 30% acetic acid and it sure smells strong. Kind of like the developer in the old film type Xray. That stuff had warnings on the side of the box. Not sure what concentration it was. Good luck and Be Well. SS.
 
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Acetic acid is just undiluted vinegar. Vinegar is about 5-8%. I'd try undiluted vinegar and steel wool first. For your solution, water the 25% down 5:1 ish? I think? Not a scientist! It's easy to go too far if you are hoping to preserve the paint. If it needs more, I'd suggest a wire brush in a drill, or sanding. Angle grinder is super aggressive, for when ALL the paint must go. When you get it to a point you are happy with, clean with soap and water, and apply wax, BLO or clear coat
 
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Bali sounds exotic to me here in middle America. I am not sure about acetic acid but I would try it. Only on a small, hard to see underside of the bike. And just to see how much I can gain and or get away with. I have 30% acetic acid and it sure smells strong. Kind of like the developer in the old film type Xray. That stuff had warnings on the side of the box. Not sure what concentration it was. Good luck and Be Well. SS.
Bali is a great place to be, at least it will be once we all get back to normal!
Anyway, at 25% strength this vinegar burns the skin if it gets on you and I'm guessing it would corrode metal pretty fast. So I think I need a "solution" to this dilution question. It is diluted 5-1 for use as food grade vinegar (this is made from star fruit) so I'm guessing it is safe to try it at that strength.
Thanks for your input and be well too!
 
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Acetic acid is just undiluted vinegar. Vinegar is about 5-8%. I'd try undiluted vinegar and steel wool first. For your solution, water the 25% down 5:1 ish? I think? Not a scientist! It's easy to go too far if you are hoping to preserve the paint. If it needs more, I'd suggest a wire brush in a drill, or sanding. Angle grinder is super aggressive, for when ALL the paint must go. When you get it to a point you are happy with, clean with soap and water, and apply wax, BLO or clear coat
Thanks so much for your reply.
Would you suggest then try it undiluted and apply directly with steel wool, or soaking first then using the steel wool? the 5-1 dilution you suggested also is what is used when this stuff is used for food grade vinegar (it's made from star fruit) so that would be safer. however, I am interested in getting a rust rod look since the paint is already trashed and it is rusty from being left out in the jungle for a few years. So I don't care about the original paint, I just don't want to wreck it!
I appreciate your really good advice regarding wire brush, grinder, sanding, and finishing. We can get BLO here so I think I'll try finishing with that, but there is a lot to do first.
Thanks again and cheers!
 
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Sorry bud, I wasn't speaking clearly. I was saying use food grade undiluted. For the strong stuff you have, I'd say water it down some, especially if you are scrubbing, it could splash and burn you.
Got it! Thanks so much again for the clarification. Slowly a strategy is coming together in my mind for this. Appreciate the help!
 
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As Matti suggests, get it to a 'diluted state' i.e. what white vinegar comes as a food grade % and then use that on a #0000 steel wool pad for your initial removal of heavy rust, etc. As you get closer to the look you want, then reduce that already diluted mixture to a 50 / 50 of the reduce vinegar and water. This will prevent you from removing original paint, if there is any, and help retain any of the stripes or darts or other designs that may be on your bike frame / fenders.

If you have the capability, post some photos of it's present state, and your progress. You could also start a thread in the Other Builds forum and keep a running report of how the bike, and you , are progressing.
 
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What i consider the simplest solution is to create a ¨ vinegar custard¨ made of ordinary vinegar and starch. Get the vinegar to a boil, add starch mixed with vinegar (maize, tapioca, whatever) to create an emulsion.(no-one digs lumpy custard) Do not breath in the fumes from the hot vinegar!! Apply the custard to whatever parts you want to de-rust. You can use cling-foil to prevent it from drying out. leave on overnight, wash off, voila, derusted. Apply linseed-oil for protection against further corrosion and shine. The advantage is that you don,t need litres of vinegar or a bath that fits your frame..
 
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As Matti suggests, get it to a 'diluted state' i.e. what white vinegar comes as a food grade % and then use that on a #0000 steel wool pad for your initial removal of heavy rust, etc. As you get closer to the look you want, then reduce that already diluted mixture to a 50 / 50 of the reduce vinegar and water. This will prevent you from removing original paint, if there is any, and help retain any of the stripes or darts or other designs that may be on your bike frame / fenders.

If you have the capability, post some photos of it's present state, and your progress. You could also start a thread in the Other Builds forum and keep a running report of how the bike, and you , are progressing.
 
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That is great advice! I understand your very clear instructions.I will try that and post when I have results. In the meantime, the bike is on the introductions page under "greetings from Bali". I have the photo in my cell phone and am on the laptop now so, if you want to just have a quick look at that page! Thanks again!
 
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What i consider the simplest solution is to create a ¨ vinegar custard¨ made of ordinary vinegar and starch. Get the vinegar to a boil, add starch mixed with vinegar (maize, tapioca, whatever) to create an emulsion.(no-one digs lumpy custard) Do not breath in the fumes from the hot vinegar!! Apply the custard to whatever parts you want to de-rust. You can use cling-foil to prevent it from drying out. leave on overnight, wash off, voila, derusted. Apply linseed-oil for protection against further corrosion and shine. The advantage is that you don,t need litres of vinegar or a bath that fits your frame..
That is a cool idea. I will try this as well and let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for the help!
 
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M4RM x 2. That's the precise method I would recommend. I use baking soda for lots of things. I even buff out brass and such with the baking soda. Just always be sure to rinse it completely. If you leave some, it may cause an unwanted discoloration . Be Well, SS.
 
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M4RM x 2. That's the precise method I would recommend. I use baking soda for lots of things. I even buff out brass and such with the baking soda. Just always be sure to rinse it completely. If you leave some it may cause an unwanted discoloration . Be Well, SS.
Thanks, that totally makes sense and thanks also for the great advice and good vibes!
 
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A long time ago I used imitation house brand Coke a Cola on sale and put a bike seat and small parts in it In a bucket with a lid. It worked very slowly (two months) but eventually took out all the rust from even the deep pits. On several occasions I used horse feed molassis from a farm store in the bucket. This worked at the same speed as the coke but the top of the molasses got a nasty floating pad of mold before it was done. Both contain phosphoric acid, which leaves a coating of iron phosphate, which is a little more resistant to rust so an immediate oil coat is necessary. Now a days for small parts I use a bath in a bucket with Iron Out and Water. Iron Out is used to remove iron stains and is basic rather than acetic. This works pretty well. I follow up with vinegar or CLR, a calcium, lime and rust remover and is acidic. Then I use Ospho, a commercial iron treatment used to coat steel before painting. This also contains phosphoric acid and turns any remaining rust black. Ospho is pretty inexpensive and comes in quarts and gallons. I get mine at the local Ace Hardware and for wiping parts a quart will last years. I used final coat of Gibbs penetrating oil or Penetrol drying oil from Ace. I seldom use Gibbs as it is super expensive and might only be transmission fluid in a pressure can? I like the flower idea as almost no one has places to soak or containers large enough. I have a plastic Jet Sled for hauling firewood and I have vinegar soaked a standard frame and a tandem frame at the same time. I’m going to try the flower on a complete frame. If it works on a whole frame it would be less messy, less expensive, take up less space and I could try it in the winter in our bathroom with large garbage bags to contain it. Sounds like a great idea to me.
 
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That's a most thorough description of a couple of methods. The Flower? What is that about? I missed it. Maybe mix something with flour to make it stay against the metal? Sorry but I'm old and ADHD doesn't make for good reading comprehension. And I forget more easily. Did I mention I forget things? Edit: A vinegar custard? Be Well, SS.
 
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That's a most thorough description of a couple of methods. The Flower? What is that about? I missed it. Maybe mix something with flour to make it stay against the metal? Sorry but I'm old and ADHD doesn't make for good reading comprehension. And I forget more easily. Did I mention I forget things? Edit: A vinegar custard? Be Well, SS.
Yes, Karl has a great description of the custard, can‘t wait to try it
 
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That's a most thorough description of a couple of methods. The Flower? What is that about? I missed it. Maybe mix something with flour to make it stay against the metal? Sorry but I'm old and ADHD doesn't make for good reading comprehension. And I forget more easily. Did I mention I forget things? Edit: A vinegar custard? Be Well, SS.
I think he was suggesting a paste made with a thickening agent, like corn starch.
 

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