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topic 54678

Itching from handling black oxided parts

March 29, 2010

I handle black oxide parts every day and have noticed my skin is itching and also my head.

I've been told before that this reaction is from the black oxide but never been told how to get rid of this itching.

I would very much appreciate any advise.


Sandy Sullenbarger
- Huber Heights, Ohio, USA

March 30, 2010

Hi, Sandy: Gloves.

Black oxided parts have been immersed in a very strong alkali. Although they have been rinsed, apparently the parts are still alkaline. Wiping your hands with diluted vinegar or diluted lemon juice might help.

Don't say you can't wear gloves unless you are prepared to be abused by the readers :-)


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

March 30, 2010

Well I'm not to certain how well received this will be with your coworkers but at almost every place I have worked we always stopped showering, shaving and or washing our hair a couple days before running a blueing batch. The oil in your skin and I suspect a certain amount of acid seams to counteract the caustic soda and make you semi itch and rash proof. One fellow would break out like he had a pet or ragweed allergy but it pretty much totally stopped after he let himself stink up for a day before a bluing run. We always used to keep a gallon pail with an inch of white vinegar on the bottom in case of accidents (to neutralize soda splashes on the shin and cloths). We also kept one of those window washer spritz bottles handy filled with white vinegar and if our scalp or an area of our skin began to itch we would give it a spritz or two and the itch would be gone. If you do get an itch from caustic soda DON'T SCRATCH IT! That only serves to make it much worse. At one shop we were sometimes called the douche bags in the back. Vinegar will strip the bluing off your parts so be careful with it.

rod henrickson
Rod Henrickson
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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