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topic 11742

Degreasing steel


I need to clean hot-rolled rod, flat steel and pipe tube in preparation for primer/painting. Preferred cleaning method is to wipe the steel vs. spraying, etc. What should I use?

Rhonna Peterson
- Maple Grove, MN, USA


You'll never find a wipe-on process that really prepares the steel properly because ideally you should be doing cleaning, scale and rust removal, phosphatizing, and sealer rinsing.

But we understand the practicalities, and that you might be restricted to just solvent wiping the parts. This removes the majority of the oils and greases. In view of the fact that you can't do a really good job no matter what you choose, anyway, I would suggest not doing anything expensive or too dangerous. So I'd probably start with mineral spirits [linked by editor to product info at Amazon].

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


In my opinion Scale is a wonderful coating which should not be removed off if you are painting instead of plating. As suggessted already, just use thinner to wipe the surface, roughen by sanding and the surface is ready to paint. Rust is a different issue altogether and must be removed prior to paint.

Khozem Vahaanwala
Khozem Vahaanwala
Saify Ind supporting advertiser
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

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