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Old 04-15-2014, 10:20 PM   #1
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Polishing Stainless Steel

I found what I consider a great polish for my handrails, BBQ, etc. I would love to see other ideas and suggestions.....Click image for larger version

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1983 Present 42 Sundeck
Lehman 135 Twins
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:44 PM   #2
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I don't believe you, Steve. I think you should come to my boat and prove to me that it works! Maybe an hour or so should do.

I've heard vinegar reduces or removes rust spots on stainless. I had some success with that years ago on my previous boat just before I sold it. Don't know if it lasted.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:18 AM   #3
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:36 AM   #4
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Ha!!
The only reason I brought BKF to the boat recently was that I had read a while back where oxalic acid was sometimes used to lighten teak. I was stripping the varnish and trying to minimize a dark area caused by a past water leak and googled products with oxalic acid and Bingo! We had some at home in powder form for SS pots and so I picked up the "liquid form" to experiment with. I taped off a test area and you can see it actually helped lighten the stained teak too. Fly me out Flywright and I will bring my own bottle ! Everyone should have some .........Click image for larger version

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1983 Present 42 Sundeck
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:48 AM   #5
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The oxalic acid in barkeepers is what makes it work.

A long term no rust result can be had by mixing JOY and oxalic acid.

Put it on and let it dry , it will eat the loose iron in non electropolished SS.

Depending on the area and the quality of the SS being treated , it can be done once or twice , then not needed for a couple of years.

Back in the day it was how TT dealers displayed their wares.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:36 AM   #6
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An engineering friend of mine said they used to use green CoolAid to polish SS in the USN. Never tried it myself.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:40 AM   #7
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Bar Keepers Friend is good stuff. We use it for heavy cleaning, then rinse well and use a polish that leaves something behind to help seal the metal. Our favorite or I should Lena's is, Collinite No. 850 Metal Wax.

Liquid Metal Wax » Collinite
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:52 AM   #8
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
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Bar Keepers Friend is good stuff. We use it for heavy cleaning, then rinse well and use a polish that leaves something behind to help seal the metal. Our favorite or I should Lena's is, Collinite No. 850 Metal Wax.

Liquid Metal Wax » Collinite
X2 on this. You should only need the BKF once. The Metal Wax will clean up almost all stains very nicely without the need for BKF. And it lengthens the time between cleanings quite a bit. The issue with BKF in salt water environment is that stains will come right back if that is all you use. I splurged on a detailer once, and she applied Rejex after cleaning with Metal Wax. I didn't have to break out the Metal Wax again until well after six months of heavy salt water use. Just mist down or wipe off with a damp towel to get the salt off. A lot of the super high end sportfishers in our marina use this routine.

Having a boat with what seems like miles of stainless, we tried all the miracle products, including Nevr-Dul, Naval Jelly and many others. Got turned on to Metal Wax by a boat washer / detailer at the ritzy Turnberry Isle Marina in Aventura. He gave it that professions highest rating " Dude, I've got like dozens of boats to keep perfect and I don't want to waste a bunch of our time always doing the metal".

Another great product for cleaning up cruddy stainless is Prism Polish. Seemingly expensive but a little goes a very long way. Wonderful product with many uses on a boat. Works nice on glass, polycarbonate, etc for minor scratches, hazing, hard to remove water spots, etc.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:07 AM   #10
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PB Blaster works well on stainless for cleaning up rust spots. I've used it on icemakers at the camp and on my meat grinder at home. It's advertised for loosening rusted nuts/bolts etc, someone at the fish camp figured out it cleans up stainless too.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:59 PM   #11
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BKF is one of my favorite products for cleaning almost everything! After cleaning I polish with Flitz, you can find it in almost and hardware store. Polishes SS great and leaves a very light protective coat behind. I have used it for 20+ years.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:11 PM   #12
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Bar Keepers Friend is mildly abrasive. Fine for stainless steel, probably not for surfaces like gelcoat or paint.

I use chrome/stainless steel polish from the auto parts store. Flitz is great but expensive.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:22 PM   #13
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I had also been using BKF to clean the "Carolina beard" from my bow. But any weak acid will do it and so I switched to lemon juice in a spray bottle. Just spray it on and wait a few minutes.

Also while we're sharing, brown scum around the water line from the boot stripe down that doesn't come off any other way, use toilet bowl cleaner. Just don't get any on gel coat as it will probably eat through your hull!
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:53 PM   #14
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We use Flitz, great results.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:24 PM   #15
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Flitz is a great product as well, similar to Metal Wax. I used some for awhile when I couldn't find a bottle of MW. Seems pricey but like others, a little goes a very long way.

Egregious: You can avoid the Carolina beard by cleaning your hull with something like Collinite Fiberglass Cleaner then applying Rejex or similar polymer sealant. Once I went Rejex, the tannic beard was no longer an issue. Just hosed down when I could.
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:53 AM   #16
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....I polish with Flitz, you can find it in almost and hardware store. Polishes SS great and leaves a very light protective coat behind. I have used it for 20+ years.
I am reviving this thread simply to covey a huge thank you to THD for recommending Flitz to clean and polish stainless steel. We have been trying for years to figure out the best way to get those rust-like stains off of stainless, an annoyance I have been reminded of every time we use our dinghy because our Weaver Snap Davits had developed these stains in the corners of joints and on welds.

We brought our dinghy home a few weeks ago to do some maintenance on it and have some things done to the motor. Today I gave it a thorough wash and wax job in preparation for loading it back onto the truck to go north tomorrow. i remembered this thread and looked it up in the archives and read through it. There was THD's comment about Flitz. We had to get some hardware to finish a project on the dinghy and in the marine store I saw Flitz on the shelf so we bought a bottle to try.

This stuff is bloody amazing. Cleaned up the Weaver hardware in minutes. Used an old toothbrush to get the joints and welds free of stains and clean places I couldn't get a rag into.

Absolutely brilliant product. The bottle is going north with us tomorrow to the boat; there are all sorts of things we've been wanting to clean but couldn't find a product to do it effectively.

So thank you THD for your comment about Flitz. You've solved a longstanding, aggravating problem for us.
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