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Old 12-15-2013, 10:14 AM   #1
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rusty filings in gel coat

Hi guys,

I need some ideas.

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I was filing some metal the other day on my fore deck and did not rinse of the metal filings.

Today, I noticed millions of little rust holes eating their way to China (where is Jane Fonda, when we need her) thru my awlgrip gel coat.

Any suggestions?

Richard
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:42 AM   #2
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Today, I noticed millions of little rust holes eating their way to China (where is Jane Fonda, when we need her) thru my awlgrip gel coat.
I don't know what JF could possibly do to help remove rust stains, nor did I know that Awlgrip made gelcoat.

I sure as heck didn't know that the rust from metal filings would "eat their way" through gelcoat of any kind. Iron oxide makes nice rusty stains but unless you were filing some amazing new material, it doesn't make a solvent that can dissolve polymerized resins.

There are many home remedy rust stain removers along with off-the-shelf products if you look for them.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Looks like the rust stains are on an anti-skid surface. A bunch of us at our boat yard had similar stains from the yard driving and cutting steel pillings for new boat house footings. Created a real mess. I would first start out with a less aggressive solution, then move to more aggressive. I've had good luck with similar stains on gel coat with... 1. Lemon juice, 2. CLR, 3. Davis FSR, 4. Mr Clean Magic Easer sponges, 5. fg cleaners like Colonite #920, 6. Flitz. After that, you're into rubbing out. You mentioned it's Awlgrip. You may want to try some of their cleaners and stain removers first.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Thanks Ric,

Same thing happened on my mother's car that she pushed under the el. Went right thru the clear coat.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for suggestions.
Tried the first two, lemon, then clr, nit much difference.
Then I Unleashed the wood bleach.
That works, but I'm still rinsing.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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I've had pretty good success with barkeepers friend cleanser and a scrub brush. Have to catch it quick when you notice it though because otherwise the rust will sink deeper. The oxalic acid or whatever it is seems to get most of the rust but not all. Then I wax and buff to get the shine back unless it's on the textured deck. I've tried naval jelly too which works great on rusty tools, but it doesn't seem to work very well on gelcoat. Used to come in a pink bottle, now its made by loctite in a different looking bottle. Phosphoric acid I believe.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Richard,

I had the same rust spot problem on the former boat. The spots were in the non skid Awlgrip. Oxalic acid bought in powdered form at the hardware store and mixed up did the trick. Spread it on, let sit for a few minutes and scrub with a soft brush. You might want to try weaker solutions first and have a hose handy to rinse well.

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Old 12-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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Thanks Rob and all,

Oxalic acid, wood bleach, worked well.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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Plus 1 for Wink, just put it on the rust and watch the rust disappear, hose off.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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Ask me how I know that STEEL WOOL is not allowed on the boat also...
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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Another vote for Whink. I've tried a lot of rust satin removers and Whink or Erusticator (both hydrofluoric acid based) work the best.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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Ask me how I know that STEEL WOOL is not allowed on the boat also...
How?
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:04 PM   #14
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Ask me how I know that STEEL WOOL is not allowed on the boat also...
And don't even think of using a grinder the hot sparks will melt their way into the finish. No, I didn't do it but was around some guys at work who sprayed sparks from a grinder all over the hood of a service truck. But, that wasn't as bad as the guy who caught one of the trucks on fire from hot steel splatter from an acetylene cutting torch.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:16 PM   #15
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And don't even think of using a grinder the hot sparks will melt their way into the finish. No, I didn't do it but was around some guys at work who sprayed sparks from a grinder all over the hood of a service truck. But, that wasn't as bad as the guy who caught one of the trucks on fire from hot steel splatter from an acetylene cutting torch.
Hmmm, one time my uncle laid a hot torch the bed of his truck, it ended up the tip melted through the hose catching his truck on fire.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:51 PM   #16
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Thanks guys. I feel better already. To think, I was just filing an anchor shackle that I have already replaced :-)
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #17
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What a fortunate spot for a water truck, even if it was too late!
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
Thanks Rob and all,

Oxalic acid, wood bleach, worked well.
That, and a clean with one of those pressure cleaners like a Karcher or Gerni should do the trick fine. Next time - it there is one - a quick blast with one of those, (which are cheap and worth having just for general boat clean downs anyway), should get it off easily before the filings have time to rust and stain...just sayin'....
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #19
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Many of the commercial "hull cleaners" contain oxalic acid. They also work on rust stains. Just be sure whatever you use is labeled for use on fiberglass if your boat is fiberglass and gel coat or labeled for use on painted surfaces if your boat is painted.

Mr. Clean Erasers and Barkeeper's Friend are slightly abrasive and should be used sparingly or not at all on gel coat or painted surfaces.
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