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Old 11-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
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Aluminum Cleaner

Does anybody know of an aluminum cleaner product that does not contain hydrofluoric acid? The only one I found does, but that acid is too hazardous to use and I don't want it near me, let alone taking a risk of getting it on me.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
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Does anybody know of an aluminum cleaner product that does not contain hydrofluoric acid? The only one I found does, but that acid is too hazardous to use and I don't want it near me, let alone taking a risk of getting it on me.
Why is it to hazardous to use?

I have been using allbright heavy (10% hydrofluoric ) for near 30 years and have had no issues whatsoever.
Of course I make a reasonable attempt not to swim in it or drink it and wash it off if I do get it on my skin.

Henkel - Henkel Indusrial Chemicals - Cleaning Enhanser - Turco Albright Heavy - Telford Industries
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #3
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Xsbank, Without knowing your project, I had good results from "Autosol Marine Shine", in 100gm tube, 750gm tub. 3" aluminum cockpit trim edging was so degraded I applied it with furniture grade steel wool initially, graduating to cloth.Comes from Germany. I used it on brass,s/steel, and for marks/stains on gelcoat or painted surfaces where polish won`t do it. Could be expensive for a large area, eg may not suit reviving a pitted aluminum dinghy.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:41 AM   #4
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Cool, Bruce, I appreciate the info but:
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:08 AM   #5
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Try a two liter bottle of coca cola in a less conspicuous area as a test. For that big of a job a mop and bucket may be the set up. Experiment for desired result but I've found it to be cheap and effective for larger aluminum cleaning jobs.

Sounds crazy but it's worked for me.

Edit: Have a bottle of rum handy for any left over cleaning solvent.
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:53 AM   #6
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Cool, Bruce, I appreciate the info but:
I vote for she looks fine how she is.
Making her shiny will just hurt your eyes.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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You can stay away from Hydrofluoric acid based products, as Craig said Coke works quite well, trouble is It's pretty sticky lol, the reason it works is that it contains phosphoric acid....that's why I never drink it

Do a bit more research, I found this in 10 seconds

http://pc.dupont.com/dpc/en/US/html/...n_Finishes.pdf
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:04 AM   #8
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You have to neutralize it with rum before drinking Robbie
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #9
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You have to neutralize it with rum before drinking Robbie
Throw a chicken bone in some coke, wait and see what happens...
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
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Cool, Bruce, I appreciate the info but:
But keep in mind that that offending oxide layer is what protects the aluminum from corrosion.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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I don't want it shiny, merely clean. Hydrofluoric acid is evil, it sinks into your skin like water into a sponge and it basically dissolves you from the inside out. There are specific responses to exposure that can mitigate the damage but it doesn't even burn your skin until sometime after exposure, by which time you have been seriously injured.

The aluminum oxide will return very quickly but the rust streaks and black streaks will have to start all over. The anchor chain is rusty and as it is on a drum winch not a chain locker, it has left rust stains on the hull sides that I'd like to remove. I can probably show you a photo and you will see why.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #12
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Use phosphoric acid for the rust. Coca Cola or Ospho. No need to use hydroflouric.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #13
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Sorry about the squint photo...

I'm looking for new chain.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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I don't want it shiny, merely clean.
Well, allbright heavy which is only 10% makes it shiney
Imagine what a 100% solution will be like.
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Hydrofluoric acid is evil, it sinks into your skin like water into a sponge and it basically dissolves you from the inside out.
Yes I know that but thats why they make appropriate clothing.
Like I said, I have used it several times a year for 30 years and haven't dissolved myself yet.
Worst I have had is a burn the size of a match head on my hand now from a few days ago, probably because I wasn't wearing gloves.

I would think if you wore gloves and shoes and used a $10 weed sprayer to apply on a windless day doing a few m2 at a time and hose off, there would be little to no chance of you dissolving.

Of course if there is something else that works as well as a simple brush/hose on hose off, and is perfectly safe, I'd use that.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:19 PM   #15
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Cool, Bruce, I appreciate the info but:
Helps knowing the actual job. I got close at 'pitted aluminum dinghy". Sounds like a good use for Coca Cola.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:06 AM   #16
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Ken, thought of CLR for the staining? Could also consider soda blasting next time she's on the hard. - Boyd
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:40 AM   #17
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Hi Boyd, I'm going to have her bottom soda-blasted (or dry ice or...) in order to prime and bottom paint her. I don't think I can afford to have the entire lump done, although she would certainly look terrific. I'll ask the yard, their workers might enjoy labouring upright?
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:08 AM   #18
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The French cruisers seem to use a big grinder with a soft pad on which they stick a pad like a scotch brite pad.

These come in a large variety of aggressiveness .

Leaves a very fine swirl in the hull finish , and is easy to spot refinish as required.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:51 AM   #19
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FF has it.

Here's a link for what Steve Dashew does for their aluminum hull.

SetSail» Blog Archive » Aluminum Hull Maintenance (AKA the Grind)
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:25 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=CPseudonym;195073]Try a two liter bottle of coca cola in a less conspicuous area as a test. For that big of a job a mop and bucket may be the set up. Experiment for desired result but I've found it to be cheap and effective for larger aluminum cleaning jobs.


I can hear a USCG boarding crew "Sir, there are traces of Coke all over this boat"
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