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Old 02-23-2012, 11:54 PM
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Cleaning Stainless Steel Rods

I bought two different stainless steel rods at my LHS a good two weeks back and they've significantly helped me in achieving very smooth curves. I've tried using wooden dowels, but the results with stainless steel succeed that of the dowels.

However, the stainless steel seems, for lack of a better word, dirty. I believe it's a coating around it, perhaps grease (?), but I've noticed that a rather sludgy, graphite colored residue smudging the paper and any substance that comes in contact with the rods.

I'm taking a metals class this year, and I remember when I used wire to make a project, it was covered in a substance similar to the rods I purchased. I used a steel wool patch to clean the wires.

So I guess what I'm asking is, is it advisable to use steel wool to clean stainless steel rods? Moreso, what is the correct method of cleaning stainless steel rods? I've tried leaving them in a basin of lukewarm + detergent for a day, and I've yet to see improvements. I've tried using successively higher grits of sandpaper, and it seems to be working, though, only at a really slow pace.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:02 AM
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You might try using a degreaser. There used to be a brand called Oileater that worked great. When I worked in a fast food restaurant, we had acres of stainless steel (counters, grill and fryer flues, fridge and freezer doors, etc), and whenever we used degreaser on them, we had to reapply a stainless steel polish to get the shine back.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:52 AM
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I have used Plastic solvent cement with excellent results as a de-greaser. Mek-Pak or Plastic-Weld are the best for this. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:54 AM
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I've recently had excellent results on metalcleaning with cellulose thinners, once the thinners have done their job, rub down with meths, and you should have pristine rods
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:26 AM
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Try using a bit of mineral spirits on a scotch brite pad. That should do the trick.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:50 PM
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Try some vinegar. Stainless steel is passivated (basically removes any loose iron particles that may rust) in industry using acetic acid - ie. vinegar. Rinse afterwards in water. Should do the trick.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansls1 View Post
Try some vinegar. Stainless steel is passivated (basically removes any loose iron particles that may rust) in industry using acetic acid - ie. vinegar. Rinse afterwards in water. Should do the trick.
Leave it soaking in vinegar or just run it under vinegar?

I forgot to add - It would be nice if the tips were limited to household items - though I do appreciate the input.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:15 PM
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Think Dan's hit the nail on the head - we use white vinegar to wipe down our stainless steel benches and they come up looking great, cuts through any grime or residue...aroma is quite good for clearing the sinuses too...
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Orange View Post
Leave it soaking in vinegar or just run it under vinegar?

I forgot to add - It would be nice if the tips were limited to household items - though I do appreciate the input.
I would soak it rather than just wipe, but something like 30 seconds to a minute should do the trick.

Dan
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:52 AM
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Without putting any ideas into your head I have stainless steel stairs in my house and was advised to use 'Baby Oil' to clean and then wipe off. For what it's worth ...
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