DIY video: Removing rust and paint the easy way


Cleaning parts can be one of the biggest tasks (and headaches) in a restoration project, but Hagerty’s Davin Reckow is here to help in this week’s DIY video.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/06/08/diy-removing-rust-and-paint-the-easy-way


I believe Muriatic acid attacks aluminum…so its not wise to use for cleaning mixed metal car parts and will really damage pot metal ( mazac for Brit cars) … phosphoric acid (the actual active ingredient in ‘coca cola’ that ‘armchair experts’ recommend for freeing stuck pistons etc) would be a far more sensible and practical solution…


This cleaner IS Phosphoric, NOT Muriatic. I use milkhouse cleaners myself and it is, relatively, mild. I mix 1 gallon of cleaner to 3 1/2 gallons of water in a 5 gallon pail. The Phosphoric acid creates a zink compound and that is the film that needs to be removed. Muriatic doesn’t have a film and metal will begin to flash rust as soon as it is rinsed from the part.


I’ve had real good success with zero rust and POR15 products. The only drawback with zero rust, that I’ve found is that it leaves a ferric oxide residue that can is annoying to remove. I’m new to rust removal, but have a couple of Jaguars from the 70’s that you can hear them rust. I’ve used POR15 on a trailer and had great results.


POR15 is great at night only. It breaks down in daylight/ultraviolet .

Phosphoric acid turns iron oxide(rust) into iron phosphate/creates an iron phosphate coating on ferrous surfaces (steel) that primers love to stick to. One such product is OSPHO. I now use it inside rusty motorcycle gas tanks after I rattle nuts/washers/steel BB’s inside to remove the loose rust. Then I fill up the tank with 100% ospho. I just leave it for a couple of days and drain it out. Do a flush with some of this new terrible ethanol fuel or alcohol from rite aid.
Put a cap full of marble mystery oil each tankful. Works great. No more messing with any two part interior fuel tank coatings .

For exterior steel surfaces_I use Rust Destroyer red oxide primer over the iron phospate coating . It’s the one-two killer way to control rusting steel.
There is a similar product to ospho for aluminum alloys but, I can’t remember what it is.
Coca Cola is ok but I like it mixed with a good Jamacian Man rum like Mount Gay mmmm.


2 thumbs up on the Mt Gay rum. However, I believe it is made in Barbados, not Jamaica