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  • Molasses??

    Has anyone used a molasses solution to remove rust? Not sure how I even came across this but it was fascinating to watch.

    I am in the middle of restoring the bench seat in my '48 B-1 PW and the springs and frame are very well "seasoned." I have a sandblaster but could only imagine the tedium of blasting each individual spring. I could take the easy way out and use a rust converter but after seeing this I thought what the heck? I have used Evapo-Rust with good results but that stuff is $30 a gallon and I need to fill my 100-gallon horse trough for the purposes of this experiment. I went to the local feed store and bought 10 gallons of raw blackstrap molasses for $15. Added to 90 gallons of water my magic brew is ready. You really can't beat 15 cents per gallon.

    Supposedly this works as a chelating compound, just like Evapo-Rust, the only downside being it works 15 times slower. Instead of 24 hours you'll have to wait two weeks. I've got two weeks to burn and if this works I've got plenty more metal looking to take a bath. If (when) it works I'll post some pics. If not, forget i said anything...

  • #2
    Ha, I was watching the first part of that video series not 5 minutes before I logged onto here. Something about great minds...

    I'm going to try my hand at an electrolysis setup today. I'll report what happens, but it seems like a DIRT cheap way to do it, and it's supposedly relatively fast too.

    Let us know how the molasses treats you. Should be a sweet deal...get it?

    I'm here all week.


    • #3
      Funny guy

      I think the electrolysis has good potential but I don't see doing anything much larger than a headlight bucket unless you ratchet the cost way up. The molasses is cheap but it doesn't remove paint so I guess nothing is perfect. Post some pics if you don't shock yourself during the process.


      • #4

        I've heard you can imerse a rusted part overnight in white vinegar and it'll also remove rust, haven't tried it. I have removed lots of paint and grease/oil with oven cleaner, I noticed it turns orange or brown on rusted areas and they seem a little cleaner afterwards. If you do it, get the ez off in the yellow can, the great value stuff from wallmart doesn't work nearly as well.


        • #5

          Vinegar definitely works since it is dilluted acetic acid. The problem I have is the cost. Vinegar is cheap but it is still dollars per gallon where the molasses/water combo is cents per gallon.


          • #6
            another approach

            I have cleaned some stuff in the past with muriatic acid, works instantly and you can brush or dab it on, just use all possible saftey precautions, gloves goggles long sleeves etc. I watched the video on molasses, I'm pretty impressed, just don;t have any horse troughs and it's 20 degrees here in Jersey


            • #7
              Just used a 50/50 solution of muriatic acid and water to clean a radiator and (separately) an engine block of corrosion. I let the solution sit in each for a half hour and then drained and flushed with lots of water. Looks like it did a great job and didn't seem to do any damage.

              Remember to take precautions (especially eye protection) as muriatic acid is pretty caustic. Neutralize the parts after treatment with a baking soda/water solution.

              I wouldn't try this on a complete engine/radiator assembly as you need to be able to flush out the parts really well. And, don't use this process on newer engines with aluminum or other susceptible metals. You will dissolve the metal.

              Brass and cast iron seem fine if you don't over do it and the parts are in reasonable good shape.

              If you clean steel parts with this process, you have to protect the metal after cleaning or the metal will begin to flash rust right away.


              • #8
                acid - neutralize with baking soda

                I have used the electrolysis procedure on complete doors , works awsume , cheap , and for a tank I used an old plastic bath tub .


                • #9
                  And remember:

                  "For heavens sake, do as you oughta, add the acid to the watta."

                  But seriously, add acid to water if you go the muriatic acid route. Not water to acid.


                  • #10
                    Back to Molasses

                    OK, enough about acid. It has been 15 days since my molasses experiment started and I am ready to share the results. I started with a 100-gallon horse trough with a 10% molasses solution in water. My seat frames and floor pans took a bath for two weeks. Today I pulled everything out to have a look. The first thing I noticed was the scum layer on top of the water. It looked the crust on a pot of chili left outside for two weeks. It didn't stink hardly at all other than the same sweet molasses smell. Scraping the scum off I was able to pull out the frames. They were coated with a gooey tannish-brown gunk but I could already tell the rust was gone.

                    I pressure washed them with plain water and was AMAZED at the transformation. I started with rusty, crusty springs and frames and these almost looked new. You can even see the original spot welds. Note the rust line in the picture below. This part of the frame was high and dry, since it wouldn't fit down into the water, and obviously got no benefit from the soak. I left the frames to dry while I worked on my floor pans. The floor pans were the worst part on the truck and I didn't know what to expect. They too cleaned up like new steel. There was a little rust spotting on the back sides that didn't come off so they went back into the tub. I'll pull them out this weekend.

                    The spring frames had dried in the sun and they were coated with a flash rust. I sprayed them with Ospho, a phosphoric acid product that etches the steel in preparation for painting. The rust immediately dissapeared and the longer it sat the shinier the steel got. You can also use Pickle-X or POR's Metal-Ready or any other rust converter.

                    As easy as this was and as cheap as well, I'm a convert. All my rusty things will have a date with the trough at some point in the near future. I don't have to send out parts for sandblasting and risk warpage. The water solution gets into every nook and cranny - I can't wait to do my doors. If the trough were a little longer I could do everything but the cab. As it is the only parts that won't fit are the bed sides. The only downside is the two week wait but the results are worth it.

                    This is one of those things that sounds too good to be true and I would not have believed it had I not done it myself. You might be thinking maybe my seat frames weren't all that bad but there were cancer spots in two places on the seat back and the seat bottom was sitting in the bed of the truck for years slowly dying before I rescued it. There are a lot of new chemical chelating compounds on the restorer's maket but they are expensive. My total cost - $15 plus a cup of Oshpo ($30/gallon).
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Dang, that's pretty nice.

                      I wish I could do that, but I have a ton of paint to get rid of, rust isn't the main problem for me. Either way, I love the idea of molasses because you could take a dip in that solution and be totally unharmed. Splashing a little acid on your arm could cause serious problems.


                      • #12
                        I've been using molasses for years now, when I was working on my old willys I cleaned up all the bolts nuts and small parts, the hood bumpers still had the rubber blocks on them, and it didn't hurt them one bit. I also threw in some electrical junction blocks that had brass plates and screws, as well, no effect on the brass at all .... all I can say is keep spreading the word !!!


                        • #13
                          Looks good. Iíll have to try it on my front bumper and the misc parts for it. I have been dreading the day of having to sand blast these in my cabinet.