The stuff I used is not exactly a rust remover. It removes rust, corrosion reaction triggers and impurities from within the surface of metal, to totally passivate metal. So it "holds the blast" as they say in industrial and welding terms. My use, however is to remove rust quickly and easily. Later I will spray tools with clear coat to keep them rust free over the winter out on the back porch. Removing the microcontaminants from the metal will help my clear coat adhere and prevent delamination from interior corrosion. If you want the metal to look pretty, sand it or blast it first before decontaminating the metal with CleanWirx. I didn't care, so I did not do any scrubbing or sanding.
The main thing for me is that I DON'T want to spend a lot of time cleaning my tools. I do not want to scrub my hands off. I do not want to have to do this again next year, at least in the case of my tools. Since I won't be coating my pans, I'll probably have to de-rust them next winter. Regular rust removers require way too much effort on my part. That's why I decided to try this method.
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Step 1: You Will Need:
- CleanWirx kit (Gel powder and Rinse)
- Distilled or filtered water
- A bucket for mixing.
- A bucket or two for storing (Mine were 50 cents each)
- A power drill with mixer attachment
- Something to put the Gel onto the metal (I used a cheap paintbrush, but you drop stuff into the bucket or spray the Gel on, too. Covering the metal with the Gel is all that matters.)
- Something to spray the Rinse onto the metal with. I used a $1 spray bottle.
- Rusty stuff to clean rust off of
- A tarp to capture spills and drips
- A towel to wipe stuff up with
- Optional: Paint or clear coat to put on stuff after you are done.
I was intrigued by some new stuff a colleague had, that removes rust and impurities from metal. I tried it out on some camping gear and garden tools first. Here's a peek at some of my experiments.
Step 2: Make CleanWirx Gel
TO MAKE THE GEL: for half a gallon (more than enough for my tools and pans) I mixed a packet of CleanWirx powder with half a gallon of distilled water, in a bucket, using the mixer attachment on my power drill. Mix for about a minute or so. Let it sit about 20 minutes to make sure it has time to set up into a gel consistency. At this point, it should look like a bucket of snot.
Brush a generous amount of gel directly onto your metal. It should look like it's been slimed (see picture). You have to let it sit on the metal undisturbed for about 30 to 45 minutes. I've let it sit longer (about an hour) because I forgot about it. It worked fine.
Save any remaining Gel in a clean, sealable bucket. It's not fussy. You can keep it in your garage for up to about 4 months and it should still de-rust stuff just fine. Rinse your brush with water. Make the Rinse. (Next step)...
Step 3: Making CleanWirx Rinse
The Rinse part of CleanWirx is pretty self explanatory. Mix at 100:1 ratio. 100 parts distilled water. 1 part Rinse concentrate. I took a 27 ounce spray bottle, added a quarter ounce of the Rinse concentrate, then added 25 ounces of distilled water. Put the cap on, shook it a little to mix.
After the Gel has sat on the metal long enough, you can spray down the metal to remove the rinse, pour rinse over the metal, dip stuff into the rinse. I found the spray bottle way to slow for my needs, so I made rinse and dumped it into the storage bin instead. Then I cleaned the Gel off the items by dumping them into the storage bin and swishing around. Worked faster and got all the Gel off.
At this point, I let some of the stuff air dry and patted the rest dry with a towel. Rust was gone. I was happy.
The video explains the process somewhat better than I have. It was shared with my from my co-worker.
I plan to try this process out on my old truck, if it ever quits raining so I can get to it and take some decent pictures of the process for another instructable.