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Old 09-17-2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Cleaning Stainless

We have wrestled with cleaning our stainless steel cleats and hawse holes of rust spots for two years. Our last cleaning used Bar Keepers Friend to clean off the rust, then a coating in Ospho to deactivate the rust areas, and then a coating of a good paste wax. Needless to say it takes time and elbow grease. Then in a month or two, repeat the process.

We visited the Newport, RI boat show this past weekend and came across a product called Spotless Stainless. The display showed all kinds of rusted stainless steel items restored to like new. The process is to brush the product (which is like a white jelly) onto the surface to be cleaned, let it sit for 30 minutes, then hose it off. No rubbing or elbow grease required. OK, sucker that I am, I bought a bottle for $30.

Yesterday I coated a couple of cleats with it, waited 30 minutes, and hosed them off. I was freakin' stunned for lack of a better term. The cleats were like new!

I have no connection with this product or company whatsoever. Just thinking others might like to hear of my experience.

Howard
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:42 AM   #2
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I use this product as well. It works as advertised.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
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You can do the same with easy-off oven cleaner, pool acid (muriatic) and several other products. The deal is you get the acid to clean off the "stuff" on the stainless, then rinse ALL the acid off and seal the stainless with polish. Be very carefull to keep the acid off your teak and fiberglass. That is probably why the "spotless stainless" is a gel; it sticks where it's supposed to work and doesn't flow down to cause damage.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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Interestingly, you can use Spotless Stainless to clean rust stains off of fiberglass too. The directions also say that you should not wax the stainless. It forms a compound that protects the stainless for an extended period of time. We will see about that part.

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Old 09-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #5
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So when you hose it off it doesn't street or spot the fiberglass or bright work?
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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When you rinse the acid off you are massively diluting it. Use a lot of water and pressure and wipe with a cloth. There are different theories about leaving stainless bare so it isn't oxygen deprived and polishing it so you protect it from salt.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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The nice thing about this product is that it removes rust that you can't easily get rid of with mechanical means like the heads of phillips screws.

I haven't noticed any harm to nearby gelcoat.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:40 PM   #8
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I don't let it sit on bright work---I wipe it off bright work with a very wet cloth. I apply it directly to fiberglass to remove rust stains. There hasn't been any damage.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:29 PM   #9
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We've been using Spotless Stainless for 3-4 years now....great stuff. Will not work very well if the temp is under 70 degrees though. Fantastic on fiberglass rust streaks. Not good to deprive stainless of oxygen...... Check out the article.....Beware of Stainless-Steel Corrosion | Cruising World
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
We have wrestled with cleaning our stainless steel cleats and hawse holes of rust spots for two years. Our last cleaning used Bar Keepers Friend to clean off the rust, then a coating in Ospho to deactivate the rust areas, and then a coating of a good paste wax. Needless to say it takes time and elbow grease. Then in a month or two, repeat the process.

We visited the Newport, RI boat show this past weekend and came across a product called Spotless Stainless. The display showed all kinds of rusted stainless steel items restored to like new. The process is to brush the product (which is like a white jelly) onto the surface to be cleaned, let it sit for 30 minutes, then hose it off. No rubbing or elbow grease required. OK, sucker that I am, I bought a bottle for $30.

Yesterday I coated a couple of cleats with it, waited 30 minutes, and hosed them off. I was freakin' stunned for lack of a better term. The cleats were like new!

I have no connection with this product or company whatsoever. Just thinking others might like to hear of my experience.

Howard
Well, I'm sold! Just bought a quart from Amazon. I have a few spots that really need it. Thanks for the tip Howard!
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:27 AM   #11
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Ospho and Joy mixed will stick and grab the surface rust from non electro polished SS..

Rinses off easily , and is perhaps already on board.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:51 AM   #12
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Ospho and Joy mixed will stick and grab the surface rust from non electro polished SS..

Rinses off easily , and is perhaps already on board.
Well now that's interesting, and yes already on board except does it have to be joy.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:31 AM   #13
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No, any liquid that will dry out and hold the ospho in place works.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:15 PM   #14
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Have been using SpotlessStainless for years on two boats and it works great. No damage to fiberglass or even teak trim on the sailboat. Still working through the first quart we bought. I believe it is citrus acid so not very caustic. Don't let it dry. If it is a hot day, need to keep a spray bottle of water in one hand to hit it once in a while (other hand can be used to hold beverage of choice). When we have pulled deck hardware, we put the small stuff in a plastic bag with the stuff and everything comes out shiny. They claim it prevents rust by repasivating the surface of the stainless - not sure about that, but it does work.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Carolena View Post
They claim it prevents rust by repasivating the surface of the stainless - not sure about that, but it does work.
That is what it is doing.

"The corrosion resistance of stainless steel depends on the formation of a 'passive surface film' composed of nickel and chromium oxides (Cr203 & Ni0). Passivation involves removing free Fe or 'tramp Fe' from the stainless steel surface."
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:29 AM   #16
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What is the active ingredient in Spotless Stainless? They say not to put it in a glass container which makes me think it's hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is a very good rust stain remover and it will etch glass. I use hydrofluoric acid sold as Whink near the laundry soaps in grocery stores. It works very well but it is a liquid not a gel.

Will somebody please read the label and see what's in it?
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:02 AM   #17
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It's citric acid.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #18
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I once read a post somewhere that said you can clean brass reading lamps to like new by soaking them in lemon juice. Has anyone tried Spotless Stainless for this?

Howard
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:56 PM   #19
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Great idea, Carolena. Used it the first time this weekend. Dried out in about 10 min. Like an idiot, I followed the directions and added more goo. Pleased with the results - want to see how durable it is. No, I did not wax based on what I've read and know regarding SS corrosion.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:31 AM   #20
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I just happen to have a bag of citric acid crystals in my cheese making supplies ( yet another hobby) Yesterday I mixed some up with some dishwashing liquid. As I was at home, I did not have a boat handy, but the fiberglass horse trailer with metal fittings all over it makes a good surrogate boat. I applied the paste and let it sit. I have not looked at it this a.m. as it is still dark, but the rusty old nut I brought into the house that I left sitting in the paste looks like new.
I've used muriatic acid quite a bit for auto restoration to de-rust parts. Undiluted it does a great job but it would not be suitable for use on a boat. I wear a carbon cartridge mask, face shield and thick rubber gloves, and, stay up-wind when using it.
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