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Thread: rust spot removal from stainless steel?

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    I've got a thing for stainless steel. However, this past week, I noticed a couple little rust spots on my full-time carry pistol and would like to clean it up without damaging the finish. Does anyone have any 1st-hand knowledge of how to effectively do so?
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    If you have a rust spot on stainless, it has to be superficial,a little bit of "Neverdull" goes a long way..

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    red rubber pencil eraser works well. Finish up with 0000 steel wool to feather out the edges and blend everything back together. I like to add a bit of 3-in-1 oil to the steel wool because the guy who mentored me told me the BSfairy tale about doing itthat waygets the oil "deep" into the metal.

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    Carnivore wrote:
    If you have a rust spot on stainless, it has to be superficial,a little bit of "Neverdull" goes a long way..
    It IS superficial but I grew a little concerned when the good 'ol Hoppes No.9 and some oil didn't take care of it complately. ...Or completely for those who know how to type...
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    hopnpop wrote:
    Carnivore wrote:
    If you have a rust spot on stainless, it has to be superficial,a little bit of "Neverdull" goes a long way..
    It IS superficial but I grew a little concerned when the good 'ol Hoppes No.9 and some oil didn't take care of it complately. ...Or completely for those who know how to type...
    Neither Hoppes or oil are designed to remove rust by themselves. You need a bit of abrasiveness - the smallest amount the better. Neverdull is less abrasive than 0000 steel wool, but more abrasive than a pencil eraser, if I remember my Mohr scales. They are both very low on the scale and you can control the amount of abrasion by working with a very light touch.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member Springfield45's Avatar
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    For use on Stainless Steel, I would recommend neverdull as well. For instances where that's not enough, use extra fine scotchbrite. I would strongly advise against
    the use of steel wool on Stainless Steel. Unless of course, the steel wool is Stainless
    steel also. Using Carbon steel wool on stainless steel will impregnate the S.S. with
    carbon steel and will cause future rusting.

    Other than that, follow skidmark's suggestions, great ideas.

    ~~Springfield

    Edit for Spelling

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    Looks like sound advice, thanks. I thought the red eraser idea was interesting, too - creative. The thought of using steel wool kinda made me cringe a little, and your explanation seemed to affirm my thoughts on it. I'll try the nevrdull, I imagine it'll do the trick. Appreciate the input, fellas.

    Think there should be a "guncare & maintenence" thread? You know, for various tips, pointers, what different methods people use, etc. I would think that there would alreadybe one somewhere on OCDO, but if so, I haven't seen it.
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    Yeah, the steel wool made me cringe a bit, also. A bit harder to find but safer is bronze wool; gentle enough that it won't remove a blued finish. I've also got some Flitz polish arriving from Brownell's today, will post back on how well it works.

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    maybe a little naval jelly on a J-tip. Naval Jelly is splecifically designed to remove rust. It will quickly ruin the bluing on a gun but on a stainless one that shouldn't be a concern.



    I second the suggestion about the NeverDull. It is a great product. I use it to keep my S&W Model 36 (nickle plated) shinny. It also keeps my antique pocket watches nice and shinny.

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Toilet bowl cleaner will work. It's hydrochloric acid. We used to use it to clean rust from parts that have been in the wire EDM over the weekend. It will also remove welding discoloration from stainless steel. You have to be very careful of course. Once you use it the rust will go away almost instantly and you should neutralize the acid by running water over the area. If left on for a long time, it will eat the metal.

    Don't forget PPE like goggles and gloves if you decide to use it.
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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    'RED' (Iron oxide) Scotchbrite and water.

    The green stuff is aluminum oxide and will cause further corrosion by introducing a dissimilar metal. Steel wool will introduce iron deposits and cause further rusting.

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    Brass Magnet wrote:
    Toilet bowl cleaner will work. It's hydrochloric acid. We used to use it to clean rust from parts that have been in the wire EDM over the weekend.
    Once you use it the rust will go away almost instantly and you should neutralize the acid by running water over the area.
    My red flag went up when I read 'hydrochloric acid'. For some reason I recall being advised not to use hydrochloric acid. I was reading the backs of a couple bathroom-type cleaners, and I think I recall reading that it shouldn't be used on stainless steel. There was another product that contained other acids, that claimed to be safe for stainless. ...And I'l just pretend to know what a "wire EDM" is.

    The thought of running water over my slide doesn't sit real well with me, either. Since it's such a small area, I'd wipe with a damp cloth a couple times at most. My gut says water and guns don't mix real well...I suspect that's the reason for the rust spots in the 1st place! Looks like nevrdull has got the biggest concensus so far.
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    Water isn't gonna hurt your pistol, it's the neglect to attend to the pistol on a regular basis that let the rust appear, the rust came from the pistol coming in contact with a piece of steel over a long humid period of time.. I've washed my firearms in Hotwater w/ Dawn dish detergentquite a few times after a degreasing and a thorough cleaning.. Thorough drying and re lube with a few drops of oil on moving parts and action is a good time to bond with your firearms

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    Carnivore wrote:
    ...it's the neglect to attend to the pistol on a regular basis that let the rust appear, the rust came from the pistol coming in contact with a piece of steel over a long humid period of time..
    ...thorough drying and re lube with a few drops of oil on moving parts and action is a good time to bond with your firearms
    I do tend to it on a very regular basis - that's why I was so surprised to see these spots appear. My pistol doesn't come into contact with any steel, ever. It's kept in a soft holster 100% of the time - either on me, or next to my bed. It never stays home when I don't, so it's not like it's sitting or being stored for long periods of time. Never more than a matter of hours. I'm right by a lake so it is very humid here but I regularly clean and lube it, sometimes even without having been fired between cleanings.

    ...And if you're indicating that I haven't "bonded" with it or ever take time to maintain it, the above paragraph should clarify that. I consider myself somewhat anal about the cleanliness of my firearms, particularly my handguns. I guess I'm just saying that I don't feel like it's been neglected. The rust spots do indicate neglect but I don't feel that the frequency of its cleaning would qualify as neglect by anyone's standards.
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    I didn't mean the above comment as an attack, I thought the pistol in question might have been a stash gun..

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    Carnivore wrote:
    I didn't mean the above comment as an attack, I thought the pistol in question might have been a stash gun..
    OH! That makes sense, it didn't occur to me that I hadn't specified - didn't even consider that it could havebeen a stash pistol I was talking about. I completely see where you were coming from, sorry for the defensive post. Good point if it were a stash pistol. Still food for thought, thanks.
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    Update: Used Flitz polish on a bit of bronze wool and easily removed some rust spots that had popped up on my stainless gunsmithing hammer.

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