Cleaning your finds

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Cleaning options

There are various cleaning options for your finds:-

Electrolysis

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What is electrolysis

This is a fantastic way to remove rust and oxidation from steel and iron tools. It is not recommended for brass, aluminum, copper or exotic metals and alloys.

Electrolysis is a method of removing iron oxide by passing a small electrical charge from a battery or battery charger through the rusty metal to stimulate an exchange of ions while the tool is submerged in an electrolyte solution.

This system is so simple, easy to make and to use that anyone that wants to clean up their magnet fishing finds should keep a small electrolysis system available in their garage.

There are many variations of the setup but this is the simple method that requires a minimum of time, resources and understanding.

Wire brush / wire wool

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Scrub away rust

Depending on the type of metal surface you are trying to clean, you may want to use emery cloth, steel wool, or a wire brush to get rid of rust build-up. Abrasive surfaces can be excellent tools for cleaning rust of metal. 

Simply scrub or scrape the affected area until the rust begins to disappear. Brush or wipe away the loose rust periodically and continue scrubbing or scraping until all of the build-up is gone.

This option can be effective for surfaces that don't scratch easily, but should not be used on soft metals or any item that needs to have a smooth appearance that is free from scratches.

Lemon & salt

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The less abrasive option

Sprinkle salt over the rusted area so that it is thoroughly coated and then juice a lime over the top. 

Use as much juice as you can get, and allow the mixture to set for 2-3 hours before scrubbing off.

Rub the salt all over the rusted area and, when it's thoroughly coated, squeeze the lemon or lime juice onto the salt. Squeeze out as much as you can, then leave it to work its magic for two or three hours.

Now you need to scrub it off. You could use a scourer, or even some steel wool. 

But to avoid damaging the metal any further, it's best to use the rind of the lemon or lime.

Vinegar

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Mild cleaning

The vinegar reacts with the rust to dissolve it off of the metal. 

To use, soak the metal in white vinegar for a few hours and then scrub the rusty paste off.

Acid, specifically citric acid or acetic acid, is a great way to remove rust, particularly if it has formed on parts which can be easily removed and soaked.

Single man's cleaner

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And of course for the single fellas amongst us

Chances are if are taking up this hobby you will already be single or soon be!!!!!!