View Full Version : Removing Galvanized plating the easy way

05-06-2010, 06:20 PM
Kept forgetting to take the camera out when I would be throwing a batch of galvanized hardware, pipe ends or fitting in to remove the plating before welding etc. with no worries of everything with in fuming distance, Starting to rust and no disposal problems.

I had bought two of these 1 1/2 gallon bottles over a year ago just cracked the last one for this job.
Along with the washers and buts bulk hardware @Tractors supply $1.99/pound. Eye Bolts are Stanley brand.


Placed them in a plastic coffee can with lid @ 11:30am shook it a couple times when walking by and around 3:30pm they were down. 4hours and done rinse and then dry off and you are ready to go.

You can see were the vinegar didn't get to there are couple of plated patches but they won't cause a problem, same as the shiny on the threads were the nuts were.

By the way it will also remove most mill scale, and fire scale too from steel.

05-06-2010, 07:09 PM
And if you want to PAINT galvanised metal, a quick rinse in vinegar will etch the surface. Duffy

Mike Hunter
05-07-2010, 03:20 PM
I like to use Lye (liquid drain cleaner), takes a little longer ..about a day but no after rust.


05-07-2010, 05:51 PM
Windex will stop the etch.

05-07-2010, 07:43 PM
Were the parts hot dip galvanized or just zinc plated?

05-07-2010, 07:48 PM
Were they proper hot dipped galvanised or just electroplated zinc??

Looks like electrplated zinc to me...

05-08-2010, 11:00 AM
You missed the boat. Lye would have removed your zinc and also reduced the rust along the way. Your parts would have been perfectly shiny and looked new, not still rusty. Vinegar just is a weak acid and as such eats things. It will eat the zinc first but then it will start in on the steel. The lye won't touch the steel ever. Why does it dissolve zinc? Ask a chemist. I only know it does.


05-08-2010, 04:17 PM
Ferrous Sulphate... a.k.a. the liquid black stuff used as lawn moss killer.. removes galvanizing from the insides of watering can and roof gutters (if you don't read the directions..) immediately.

05-08-2010, 05:40 PM
To answer your questions.

Not having to deal with the issues, that the other methods mentioned bring with them.

And all the pluses in my book.

The vinegar is a safe around children,pets and wildlife, you don't have to worry about fumes rusting other metal objects in the immediate area, as you do with some of the acids.

As to what kind of plating it is since I'm removing it, I don't care as long as I don't have to weld thru it.

Another advantage is no mixing, pour and use.

Relativity cheap, and has a long shelf life.

And disposal isn't a problem or concern as with some others.

Rinse and dry nothing else to make sure you have on hand. To neutralize it. Although I have a baking soda blaster so I have at least a hundred or more pounds of Arm and Hammer blasting soda around.

Time wise it is fairly fast probably was done in two hours, I got busy and didn't check.

Also the rust isn't a problem as it is only slight surface oxidation. And the part that is unplated will be coated and buried in cement.

DOT placard for (80% solution) is 2789
DOT placard for (10-79% solution) is 2790
It is a class 3 Flammable liquid, it also can be found in crystal forms.

NFPA 704 placard is:

Blue 2 (minor or temp health hazard)
Red 2 (moderate preheating flash point above 100'F below 200'F
Yellow 0 (reactivity hazard stable)
White blank (Specific hazard none)

Synonyms are: Ethanoic Acid,Vinegar Acid,Methane Carboxylic Acid, Acetic Acid and Glacial Acetic Acid