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  1. #1

    chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    Do any of you have a suggestion for something you can brush onto big bronze seacocks that have a lot of verdigris oxide on them to restore them to at least close to their normal reddish-brown color?

    Mine have been like that since I got the boat (about 4 years). I could care less aesthetically, but I'd just like to be able to tell whether the hose or one of the fittings is weeping at all, however gradually. I figured if I could clean it up well initially, i'd be able to spot a little trail of green if there is any kind of leak. My guess is there's no weeping, and they just look the way they do because of where they are.

    -- Paul

  2. #2

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    Use a mild acid. The easiest way to make some on-the-spot is to mix vinegar and salt. Brush a little on, wait a few, and rinse with water. Copper based alloys -bronze, for instance- come out shiny clean.
    "The older I get, the faster I was......."

    1979 60C "Ohana"

  3. #3

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    Wow, thanks for the quick reply. I'll try that. Can you give me a rough idea of the proportions of vinegar (I assume white vinegar) to salt?

    -- Paul

  4. #4

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    I've used muriatic acid before and it works well. Need to take all the heavy acid precautions though , safety glasses, gloves,good ventilation. I brush it on and let it bubble and then rinse with the hose. Nice to have the hose handy if any splashes around. Also a great way to clean those old zinc anodes out of the brass plugs when they break off; just submerge them in a cup of muriatic overnight and you can re-use the brass again. This of course done outside in a safe place, Good Luck!...........................Pat

  5. #5

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    There's no exact ratio re the salt and vinegar. I make a runny paste...............my wife taught me that trick. Artists do it all the time to clean copper.
    "The older I get, the faster I was......."

    1979 60C "Ohana"

  6. #6

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    Once they are clean, if you spray them with Corrosion-X they will stay that way. The stuff is amazing.

  7. #7

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    Does anybody have a solution to clean aluminum? The channels that hold my enclosure on the bridge are awful looking. Need something to get them looking decent again.

  8. #8

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    The acid used to etch (clean) aluminum is hydroflouric. You can buy a dilute solution on it combined with some detergents at a welding supply house, ask for "weld-o" or equivelent. It's used to clean aluminum before X-ray quality welding. You can't use it on aluminum that is "in place", but must instead remove the parts and etch them alone, because the acid will eat anything else (glass, paint, gelcoat, etc.) that it contacts. Also, hydroflouric is readily absorbed through the skin and settles in the liver. So gloves etc. are mandatory.
    Sure does work great on aluminum, though.
    "The older I get, the faster I was......."

    1979 60C "Ohana"

  9. #9

    Hydroflouric Acid

    Luckydave,
    You are technically correct regarding HF Acid and Aluminium, however we need to underscore the dangers associated with that material. HF acid is much more agressive than hydrochloric (muriatic). I would not recommend its use by a casual DIY boat owner.

    Remove the piece to be treated and send it to a plating shop specializing in anodizing or conversion coating.

  10. #10

    Re: chemical to clean bronze oxide?

    I tried removing the track but it has 5200 under it, won't budge. The acid is not an option because it is overhead, under my arch. I may try the vinegar and salt treatment. Thanks for your help, Ron

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