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jimbbski Reader
1/5/11 11:53 p.m.

I just picked up 50 lbs of glass beads at HF for less then $40. I use it on brass, copper, & aluminum and also on lightly rusted steel & iron parts.You can use it in any kind of blaster, pressure or suction.

The product to use to clean aluminum is phosphoric acid. It or muratic acid are the common ingredents in concrete etchers and/or cleaners. Just read the label and it will tell you which is in there. It will most likely be phosphoric acid as muratic acid is sold and labeled as what it is. I use a mild solution to clean bare aluminum wheels and use it on my painted wheels as well to remove the rust colored coating that builds up on them, and it really is rust as it is dust from the rotor and the steel fibers in the pads.

bravenrace SuperDork
1/6/11 6:24 a.m.

In reply to jimbbski:

I have some muriatic acid left over from etching my floor. On aluminum, do you use it full strength or dilute it?

jimbbski Reader
1/6/11 10:29 a.m.

Do not use Muraitic acid on Aluminum. Only Phosphoric acid. Reread the first line of the second paragraph of my first post. I only mentioned muraitic as both are sold as concrete cleaners/etchers and will be found at you local home improvement store next to each other.

bgkast HalfDork
7/2/13 11:46 p.m.

I love this forum! Google "cleaning cast aluminium"...first result: this thread.

I'm trying to clean an aluminium transmission case from my SRT4 engine donor. It's covered in large amounts of white powder corrosion. A wire wheel on the angle grinder took care of the flat areas, but there are tons of nooks, crannies and ridges that are a pain. I'm debating spending hours with the dremel or some of the suggestions here. I want a uniform finish when I'm done, and don't want the powder corrosion to return (it will be going in a "nice weather" car, so I don't know how much of a concern this is).

jimbbski HalfDork
7/3/13 11:07 a.m.

IF all you want is to clean it then use the Phosphoric Acid. A common product that contains this chemical is "Lime Away". I found this product sold at Lowe"s - http://www.lowes.com/pd_99271-78-QJPP00717_4294729410__?productId=3586944&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1

There are many other products sold that contain phosphoric acid. Some places sell it in gallon containers which when mixed with the correct amount of water can make up to 5 gallons of solution. Small items I just let soak in a tub.

bravenrace UltimaDork
7/3/13 11:09 a.m.

Would that work well for the outside of a motorcycle engine?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
7/3/13 11:11 a.m.

gasoline and a toothbrush

kb58 HalfDork
7/3/13 11:51 a.m.

I'm pretty sure that the liquid cleaners are phospheric acid, and can state as fact that disposable Latex gloves will NOT protect your skin. The stuff seems to permeate right through the Latex... so use real gloves.

Vigo UltraDork
7/3/13 12:02 p.m.

I clicked this link thinking i could contribute but the response has already been above and beyond what i had to say, which makes me happy, because people here are so helpful!

bgkast HalfDork
7/3/13 2:26 p.m.


Phospheric acid+transmission seals = ??

I don't want to damage the internals, just clean the outside up.

7/3/13 11:38 p.m.

I buy 1-gallon bottles of muriatic acid at my pool store for $5.

Disclaimer: I'm not making any recommendations for use. While the label does not specify its' purity, the merest whiff of fumes will confirm to you that it is >strong<. Like, I'm surprised something this strong is sold retail. [All the strong stuff in the auto parts store has been outlawed, right?]

But if muriatic acid is what you need, try a pool store. And be careful. Please. And don't blame me.


44Dwarf SuperDork
7/4/13 8:47 a.m.

AlumaBrite cleaner is ~80% phosforic acid but has some other minor stuff i it to help keep it from staining and drying out to fast. Works great with min work. Or use Ospho

viking Reader
7/4/13 9:22 a.m.

I have used the cheap $1 toilet bowl cleaner from the dollar store on my pontoons. Spray it on, leave it sit for a few min. and wash it off with water. Works good. If they were real bad I would scrub with a brush before washing them off.

evildky SuperDork
3/9/15 4:09 p.m.

Zombie in a canoe! or a canoe'd zombie?

erohslc Dork
3/9/15 5:16 p.m.

Phosphoric acid is the active ingredient in just about every household cleaner - 409, Fantastik, Simple Green, etc.

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