The badly rusted bicycle wheel shown in the top two pictures is made of steel with a chrome plating.
For comparison purposes, one half of the wheel was de-rusted using muriatic (hydrochloric) acid (bottom left) and one half was de-rusted using Evapo-Rust™ (bottom right).
Notice the damage to the chrome caused by the acid in the bottom left photo.
In the bottom right photo, Evapo-Rust™ has removed the rust and left the chrome wheel un-harmed.
There are many companies that represent their products in misleading ways, which can be very confusing to an end customer.
In most cases, these companies represent their products as “rust removers”.
Therefore, it is very important to understand the different classifications of products.
In general, there are four categories of products that are involved with rust:
1. Metal Cleaners:
Metal cleaners are designed to remove grease, dirt, and heavy rust prior to the application of a rust remover.
These cleaners will remove the heavy, flakey rust, which will allow a rust remover to penetrate to the surface of the metal where the rust has formed.
Metal cleaners will not remove all of the rust, therefore the rust will reappear very quickly.
Metal cleaners are typically less expensive than a rust remover.
Therefore, it is economically practical to use the metal cleaners to remove grease, dirt, and flakey rust prior to the application of a more expensive rust removal agent.
2. Rust Penetrators (to loosen rusted parts):
Rust Penetrators will loosen rusted parts, but they will not remove the rust.
Generally speaking, these products are petroleum based penetrating solvents (WD-40 is the most commonly known product in this category).
These products are industrial strength, low viscosity penetrants designed to loosen and free seized, bound or frozen fasteners.
However, the rust will remain after the application of these penetrators.
A second treatment with a rust remover will be required to remove the rust.
3. Rust Inhibitors (keep rust from forming):
Rust Inhibitors are designed to keep rust from forming.
Rust inhibitors do not remove rust once it has formed.
Rust inhibitors are best used as a secondary process once an effective rust remover has been used to remove the rust.
Most rust inhibitors are advertised as “rust removers”. This is misleading and inaccurate.
Rust inhibitors will keep rust from forming for a period of time, but they will not remove rust once it exists.
Most rust inhibitors that are used during shipping form a coating on the metal that must be removed on the receiving end.
The removal of this coating adds to the overall cost of using the rust inhibitive product.
4. Rust Removers: True Rust Removers will remove rust from metal.
There are three primary types of rust removers:
Most of the products in this category are acid based treatments, and have the added liability and added cost associated with this type of treatment.
Many of these acid based treatments are designed to prepare a surface for painting.
These products only remove a very thin layer of rust, and they do not remove rust from pits and pores.
These products are not meant for industrial rust removal applications.
Sand blasting can be effective for removing rust from large surfaces.
However, both the acid treatments and the sand blasting can weaken the metal and cause damage to surrounding materials.
They also pose health risks, require special equipment, and require special disposal procedures.
Tanic acid (an organic acid) is used to remove low levels of rust.
Heavy rust must be removed through a grinding process before the tanic acid can be effective.
Once the heavy rust is removed, tanic acid can be applied like paint using a brush, roller, or dipping.
It only penetrates approximately 1 micro millimeter so it won’t get into pits or other hard to reach areas.
This type of acid treatment prepares a surface area for an application of paint.
Other types of acid treatments, such as phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, or sulphuric acid, are used to remove low levels of rust.
Heavy rust must be removed prior to treatment with these acids.
Once the heavy rust is removed, these acids can be applied like paint using a brush, roller, or dipping.
Phosphoric acid forms a layer of iron phosphate that makes it easier for paint to adhere to.
By applying phosphoric acid to bare steel, it will enhance the binding factor for paint.
This acid forms a good binder but it is not an effective rust remover. It is designed to facilitate the maintenance of bridges and other structures that require constant painting to combat the effects of weathering.
Many acid treatments claim to be safe and environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, this is not the case and they are mis-representing their products.
When confronted with these claims, tell the competitor that you will pour Evapo-Rust™ in your hand and hold it there if they will pour their product in their hand and hold it there.
This challenge has been offered multiple times with no takers from the “competitors”.
They know that their product is acid based and will harm the skin.
Evapo-Rust™ is the only rust remover that is safe, effective, and environmentally friendly.
When all the factors for using the product are considered, Evapo-Rust™ offers the best solution at the lowest cost for the end user.