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JENOLITE/rust treatment. Comparison.


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Have used Jenolite for the past 50 years and never felt the need to change. That's untill I nearly had a heart attack at the current price of just short of £100 for 5L. Wot!

So thought I'd try milkstone remover(MSR), £20 for 5L: Dilute phosphoric acid by any other name.

First go with MSR seemed good (pic 1) based on a two hour soak.

But what about a comparison? Pic2 shows, left to right: warm water with Fairy (control), Jenolite, then MSR  - all immersed to the depth of the orange line for 60 minuites.

Ideally one would run repeat (and possibly blinded) trials but for £20 v £100 I'm, happy with the MSR!



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Machine Mart also do a rust remover (which  is phosphoric acid) 

It is sold under their  Clarke brand name simply  as ‘Rust Remover’

I find it indistinguishable to Jenolite.

However, there is a big price difference:

  - £8.39 for a litre bottle compared with Jenolite @  £34.99 ( or 5L is ~£100)  at B&Q

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Yes, I've long advocated MSR!    And well done for your "Which?" style comparison, Chris!

Any acid will attack rust, but you need a "Weak" acid so that it won't corrode the original iron.   That means, usually, an 'organic' acid, and any will do the job of removing rust, from Acetic (vinegar) to Uric acid. There isn't one that starts with a 'Z'!

But phosphoric acid has the unique property of reacting with rust to form an insoluble product, iron phosphate.  So you get a layer of the phosphate bonded to the iron (steel) that is a good foundation for primer and paint, when others leave the surface naked and prone to 'flash rust' on exposure to moist air.   The only drawback is that once the acid has formed the insoluble layer, it cannot attack any deeper rust, when the others will take it away, right  down to the metal.   So any heavily rusted piece must be vigourously abraded first to get off as much rust as possible.   


PS before someone else points it out, yes, Coke will do the same, as it contains phosphoric acid!    It's what give the revolting stuff its 'bite', but that needs less than 1% acid in the drink, so it won 't do much more than make a penny shiny!  J.

Edited by JohnD
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