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Water based rust inhibitor

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pgrbff13/03/2021 13:34:01
249 forum posts
31 photos

Is there a product, water-based, that you can immerse small steel parts in, like nuts and bolts that have been cleaned up during restoration?

I use a small ultrasonic cleaner with water-based cleaning and oxidation removal products but have to dry each piece thoroughly and quickly after removal.

Clive Hartland13/03/2021 13:50:46
2838 forum posts
40 photos

Put them on a metal tray in a warm oven.

pgrbff13/03/2021 14:06:47
249 forum posts
31 photos

That's what I usually do but you can still get a film of rust with some steel.

DC31k13/03/2021 14:15:03
729 forum posts
2 photos

Somewhere else, I saw this product recommended:

Bilt Hamber Atom Mac.

If you look it up and then use some of the terms it uses to describe itself in a search, you will find alternative products that work in a similar manner.

pgrbff13/03/2021 14:40:33
249 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by DC31k on 13/03/2021 14:15:03:

Somewhere else, I saw this product recommended:

Bilt Hamber Atom Mac.

If you look it up and then use some of the terms it uses to describe itself in a search, you will find alternative products that work in a similar manner.

That would be too good to be true if it works.

mgnbuk13/03/2021 16:14:20
1210 forum posts
72 photos


IIRC water soluble coolants have a corrosion inhibiting as well as lubrication capabilities.

ScotOiler - a company that makes motorcycle chain lubrication systems - have a product called FS365 for all-year-round motocycle corrosion protection described as " FS 365 Complete Bike Protector is a water-based corrosion inhibitor, the idea is that you spray it on and the water content carries it into all the hard to reach places of the bike, we’re talking every tiny little gap. The water content then evaporates leaving a film of protection on all surfaces. " This stuff smells like synthetic coolant ! A litre spray bottle costs around a tenner & it can be had from Halfords and motorcycle dealers (or online). A bulk 5 litre refill container full is around £35

I have a bottle, but as I don't ride all year round now I cannot vouch for it's effectiveness. It has been around for a few years now & gets recommended in the motorcycle mags & forums for "year round" riders.

Nigel B.

Mike Crossfield13/03/2021 16:42:41
279 forum posts
36 photos

I can vouch for Bilt Hamber Atom Mac. Dilute with water and spray to prevent corrosion. Very high dilution ratio, so a small bottle lasts for ages. I use it to spray the brake discs on my cars after washing to stop them flash rusting. Works a treat. Incidentally, for any car enthusiasts out there, Bilt Hamber’s other car care products are also good value. Wide range of products, and all the ones I’ve used are excellent. Their “2 speed wax” is the best I’ve ever used (and I’ve tried a lot), and their alloy wheel cleaner regularly comes top in comparative tests. Same goes for their rust removal products. Usual disclaimer - no connection just a happy user.

Trevor Drabble13/03/2021 16:47:46
288 forum posts
5 photos

Have you seen the excellent range of Shield Technology products available from Arc ? No connection with company , but have used 3 of the 5 ST products with considerable success . Trevor.

Oven Man13/03/2021 17:21:21
185 forum posts
34 photos

How about central heating corrosion inhibitor?


DC31k13/03/2021 17:25:43
729 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by mgnbuk on 13/03/2021 16:14:20:

A bulk 5 litre refill container full is around £35

Compare and contrast to the Bilt Hamber product. Going rate seems to be £21.95 for 500ml and dilution rate is 2-5%.

Tim Stevens13/03/2021 18:39:58
1623 forum posts

the problem with a water-base product where the water is not intended to evaporate (complying with your spec, PGRBFF), is that water - even distilled water - contains dissolved oxygen. And if it doesn't, because it has been boiled five seconds ago, it will absorb it from the atmosphere.

Cheers, Tim

Bazyle13/03/2021 18:54:02
6387 forum posts
222 photos

Phosphoric acid. Leaves a dull grey finish so not suitable for clocks.
Other possibilities would include types of plating which generally take place in aqueous conditions so you might even be able to do both at once.

bernard towers13/03/2021 21:41:18
691 forum posts
141 photos

recoil used to do a metal protect which I use on freshly turned parts but sadly I am nearly out of it so like you will have to start looking again

bernard towers13/03/2021 22:29:56
691 forum posts
141 photos

apparently rocol still do it its called Metal Protect green fluid

blowlamp14/03/2021 00:44:38
1659 forum posts
106 photos

What about some Antifreeze?

jimmy b14/03/2021 06:38:26
791 forum posts
42 photos

I use ACF50 liquid. I used to use this stuff on my motorcycles and ride all through winter. Excellent!

That FS365 stuff was useless!!

For things that come out of my ultrasonic tank, I leave on the radiator for bit to dry.


AdrianR14/03/2021 07:54:06
597 forum posts
36 photos

If i want to dry something quickly I rinse it in meths or acetone. This absorbs the water and then the solvent evaporates much quicker.


Mike Poole14/03/2021 08:27:39
3383 forum posts
77 photos

Having cleaned your parts what are you going to do with them? Obviously water is only going to be a carrier for another chemical that provides the protection. If plating, paint or blacking or some other treatment is to follow then you will be cleaning it again. Steel rusts very quickly when clean so the protection needs to be applied quite soon after cleaning.


Martin Connelly14/03/2021 08:55:10
2183 forum posts
227 photos

We used to use an ICI product that contained phosphoric acid to pickle mild steel pipes, I think it was called Deoxidine. We then washed the parts in a tank of cold water to remove the acid then finally they went into a third process tank containing water and another ICI product that was basically sodium nitrite. The parts were immersed in the hot tank to allow them to heat up then when they were raised out of the tank the water flashed off leaving a fine layer of sodium nitrite that acted as a rust inhibitor for a day or two. This gave enough time for the parts to be further treated without a rust bloom, they were usually painted on the outside and the bores sprayed with an inhibiting oil. We got rid of all this stuff by going all stainless to get rid of the labour costs associated with mild steel processing which were making them more expensive than the stainless versions.

Martin C

pgrbff14/03/2021 08:59:09
249 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by Oven Man on 13/03/2021 17:21:21:

How about central heating corrosion inhibitor?


I have lots of that! I have around 7000l of water in my CH so I always have some to top up with.

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