Removing Rust Naval Jelly

Bloom Bike Shop is just like your friendly neighborhood bike shop… except that it is online and open 24/7! Dupont makes an etching solution that works well after wire brushing or sand blasting to then remove all microscopic rust, then prime and paint. Active rust left in the barrels of guns will continue to deteriorate the steel, due to its hydroscopic nature, so it is a good idea to remove it. Electrolysis works well, but will remove any plating that has any corrosion under it. It would be difficult to submerge an entire frame for electrolysis. However, the manufacturer cautions against using Naval Jelly on aluminum, chrome, stainless steel, cement, fiberglass, marble, plastic or painted surfaces.

This can be a very handy feature as some places that develop rust are practically impossible to de-rust properly. Naval jelly contains phosphoric acid and must be used cautiously; to apply it, wash and dry the metal, then coat the surface liberally with the jelly, using a paint brush. I have never left it overnight because I didn’t want to remove too much metal and it usually doesn’t take that long. As with any type of rust removal, the job isn’t done until the cleaned surface is passivated with Jasco’s Ospho or a similar product. The table was full of rust as well as all of the ways and pretty much everything that had bare metal was rusted.

First they’d use naval jelly to remove rust, then something else to clean up the naval jelly residue, and then they’d apply a coat of Navy gray paint over it. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Navy ships don’t show corrosion above the water line and why they can last for decades before being mothballed. Finally, remove any remaining rust with either a piece of emery cloth or an abrasive pad like synthetic steel wool. The solution is harmless, but you may want to use gloves if you have sensitive skin, but again, not needed.

Primer will help to isolate the steel from the other two requirements for rust creation: water and air. A sandblaster makes quick, thorough work of removing rust – as well as paint, dirt, grime, grease, tar,glues and oil. Rust will eventually bring about the complete disintegration of the iron it attacks. After my beater commuter bike had accumulated four seasons of being neglected outside it worked so well in seconds that I ran around the apartment removing every bit of rust everywhere. Do not use Naval Jelly on aluminum, chrome, fiberglass, cement, marble or plastic.

Very often, the rust isn’t as bad as it looks but if you let it go, it will get worse than it looks! I’ve given a number of rust removal demonstrations using electrolysis and wrote a hand-out to go along with it. Many of the stores that I have been to carry Naval Jelly more than any other rust-removing product. There are several ways to remove the rust from the iron, but most involve physically removing it by hand or with a power tool using either a brush or sandpaper. Despite its age, Naval Jelly proved its chemical makeup still capable of taking care of rust. A bit of fine finishing with sandpaper or steel wool helps remove any residue that may remain.