Tesserex's Cleaning article
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Joined: March 06, 2004
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Location: Edmundston, New-Brunswick, Canada

Tesserex's Cleaning article
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Posted on Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:43 pm
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Hi peepz,

This is mostly for Tesserex, actually. First of all, great scientifically done experiment. Shows the patience of mailler, hehe. Now, one little constructive critic: it's very hard to judge of shininess on a white backgroud. Maybe load the picture in photoshop and paint bucket the bg black? or even dark blue(orange's complementary color)?

And to further expand the test, why not try vinegar w/ salt? Saturate the vinagr with salt, and you should get some hydrochloric acid (stomach's acid) in a fair concentration... Far more corrosive than 5% acetic acid in plain vinegar.

And you should try plain old Coke. This stuff is nasty, and I stopped drinking it when I saw how it could clean pennies like a mad rat craving copper.

Keep experimenting and making the community profit from it! Wink


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Posted on Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:09 pm
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sure i could do those. I'm planning to update it sometime anyway. I didn't do vinegar and salt, one because I don't have enough cruddy pennies, and because no one on the board suggested it. I might also test that vinegar salt Al combo that supposedly works in seconds. I could use some muriatic which is 30% HCl, or 12M, I think it works out to that. Pretty strong. The reason cola works is phosphoric acid. Ever seen mythbusters? They did some scary tests. It cleaned blood and chrome.

Joined: March 06, 2004
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Posted on Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:27 pm
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If you really want to go industrial, you should try household cleaners like Tilex, Drano, Lime-Away, and some BASE stuff too, like ammonia based cleaners. Maybe Brasso? I tried cleaning the pommel of my one of my daggers with paint thinner, one, and acetone another time... But please, do all of this OUTSIDE! heheh some pretty harsh stuff, fume-wise...

You might be a mailler if you need a well ventilated area and twelve pairs of glove to clean your clothes....


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Posted on Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:14 pm
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Tesserex - what was the proportion of lemon juice to salt in that test?


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Posted on Fri Apr 09, 2004 6:00 pm
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We have all this stuff in our basement. Fume hood included. Built it ourselves, along with an oven for curing plastics. All sorts of fun stuff. I probably used about 5 grams of salt or so, I had to swirl it a lot before it was all dissolved.

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Posted on Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:48 pm
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Just some quick info, vinegar + salt will not make 'hydrochloric acid'... you'll increase the ionic strength of the water and probably allow the acetic acid (in vinegar) to dissociate a little more (thus making it slightly stronger).

I think 10% HCl aqueous solution is about 3M, so 30% is 9M. I should say that 3M (the 10%) is MORE than enough to immediately clean any penny I ever threw at it.... so I would dilute the stuff.

Tesserex -- do you have a scanner? That might really help get the true color of those pennies...

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Posted on Sat Apr 10, 2004 5:31 am
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No I don't have a scanner.

I think Quizad's thing about HCl was a totally separate idea from the vinegar and salt.

I got 12M because I found that 30%, if it's being measured by weight, would be around 440g HCl for 1000g water, also a liter. 440g / 36.5 grams per mole of HCl = 12.

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Posted on Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:59 pm
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Well... sorta. This will be more chemistry stuff than anybody wanted to know, so please stop reading now if it brings back bad memories Very Happy

HCl, muriatic acid, is traditionally sold as a 37% (weight/weight) solution, which IS 12M. It means 370g of HCl for every 1000g water. There's also the specific gravity (density) of HCl to factor in (1.2g/ml for HCl). That's how you get 12M. I think that's along the lines you went with, but 30% is more like 9.7M, the number I went with (9). I use that rough value of 10% is roughly 3M because it's roughly the same for sodium hydroxide, and easy to use w/o going for the calculator every time Smile

in any case, it still holds true, a 3M solution of HCl cleans pennies to a pristine state *immediately* (except for gunk, i suggest scrubbing w/ a brush first, though wire usually doesn't have that problem).

Joined: November 20, 2003
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Posted on Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:36 pm
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Ok that makes sense, the only confusion was that I thought 30% was out of total volume, not of the water amount. So I thought it was HCl : HCl + Water, not HCl : Water.

I don't mind reading it. I'm in chemistry right now as a junior in high school. I probably wouldn't remember most of this if I wasn't. Except I do enjoy the class.

What did you mean by density giving molarity? It's moles/Liter, so.... wait a minute, 370g HCl per liter comes to 10.7M. 10% NaOH, if you mean 100g/L, comes to 2.7M.

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Re: Tesserex's Cleaning article
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Posted on Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:11 pm
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Quizad Saderack wrote:
Hi peepz,


Ohmygawd, I've been called a "peep".

Quizad Saderack wrote:
And to further expand the test, why not try vinegar w/ salt? Saturate the vinagr with salt, and you should get some hydrochloric acid (stomach's acid) in a fair concentration... Far more corrosive than 5% acetic acid in plain vinegar.


Vinegar and salt is great stuff. It forms a buffered solution - only so much Cl from the NaCl disassociates, but as it's used up, more Cl disassociates, keeping the concentration up. Hydrogen does the same thing with the acetic acid. Works wonderfully! I use it a lot, not just on copper, but steel. Works good for "ungalvanizing" (for welding, etc.).

Quizad Saderack wrote:
And you should try plain old Coke. This stuff is nasty, and I stopped drinking it when I saw how it could clean pennies like a mad rat craving copper.


Contains phosphoric acid. (It won't hurt you - in fact, it's good for your bones. Or so I'm told.)


"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." - Arnold Edinborough

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Posted on Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:36 pm
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Another thing to consider - before 1985, pennies were 95% copper and 5% zinc, and homogeneous. After 1985, pennies were 97.5% zinc, and 2.5% copper - all the zinc inside and all the copper outside.

This means the surface of the post 1985 pennies is pure copper, but the surface of the pre-1985 pennies is not. Could this have effected your results?

As an aside:

I once cleaned a whole pocketful of change using vinegar and salt. I suspect the different metals in contact with each other in an electrolytic solution like that set up a battery of sorts, and I ended up with not only very clean pennies, but the copper plated out on the other coins! Copper-plated quarters draw lots of strange comments. Laughing


"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." - Arnold Edinborough

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Posted on Sun Apr 11, 2004 4:45 am
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good point WW, i did have some mostly copper pennies in the test too. still, i doubt it affected the results because it would only touch the surface.

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Posted on Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:21 pm
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Hi there,

Could these cleaning solutions be used in a tumbler to any good effect?

Just curious,

-FM


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Posted on Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:46 pm
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Frostmage, I'd imagine it'd be a good idea. Imagine a tumbler that uses a media, and a chemical solution to clean/polish it even better.
My only critical thought would be, I've done alot of chemical experiments myself, alot of times when cleaning alot of crud off things, waste builds up, and make effect the outcome of the entirety of it all...

Just a thought


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Joined: November 20, 2003
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Posted on Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:39 pm
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My problem with tumblers is how slow they are. Since I have matt stainless, I'd want to polish it, and I can do that by hand in an hour with the vinegar shaking method. In a tumbler, there might not even be enough vigor to mechanically polish them at all, even overnight.

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