Authoritative Answers, Fun, & Aloha -- no cost, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub     mobile?
Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


Removing carbon layer from mild steel

⇦ (tip: readers like to learn from your experiences; they seem more disposed to respond to your actual situation than to abstract questions   smiley face

[editor appended this entry to this thread which already addresses it in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread]
Q. How to clean carbon ? deposits or are they ... I really hope someone can help searching on Internet bicarbonate of soda but don't work.

Bobhope gill
- Peretborough cambs [Peterborough UK]
February 2, 2024

on eBay or


(affil links)

A. Not knowing what these deposits are on, or how they got there, I can't hazard a guess as to whether they are carbon or not.

But there is a commercially available product called "Carbon-Off" [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] . Note that it contains 40-70% methylene chloride plus some other nasty materials, so gloves [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)], goggles [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] and excellent ventilation are required. Personally, I can't recommend spraying or aerosolizing methylene chloride, so I'd suggest the liquid version and working outside, from upwind.

I don't think bicarbonate of soda will do anything as a chemical solution. But people might have been talking about using a soda blaster [soda blaster on eBay or Amazon (adv.)]
Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Hi you have to excuse me, not very tech savvy. I've read some of your stuff so I know you know what you are talking about. I'm trying to clean these in picture.

stove top burners are burnt

They're off top of cooker made of cast aluminium, and need cleaning they are black with burnt on oil splashes or carbon? Hope you can help.

Bobhope gill [returning]
- Peretborough cambs [Peterborough UK]
February 3, 2024

A. Hi again. If you don't like the Carbon-Off idea, or it isn't available to you, Thread 41066 has several entries about aluminum cooktop burners. Among the suggestions were Silvo metal polish [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] and Brillo [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)].

But doing this manually with metal polish or a Brillo pad sounds like it might take forever. I'd suggest trying a polishing buff on a Dremel [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] or a Mothers powerball mini [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] on a low-power battery-operated drill, using a compound like Mothers Aluminum & Magnesium Polish [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)]
Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

⇩ Related postings, oldest first ⇩

Q. Sir please help me to remove a hard black carbon layer from ms plate by using any alkaline based treatment.

Hemant Sharma
owner of company - Faridabad, Haryana, India
December 14, 2010

A. Dear Mr. Sharma,

You can try the following steps:
1. Hot Degreasing
2. Anodic Cleaner (I)-High Alkaline
3. Acid Pickling - HCl 40% v/v + inhibitor or and accelerator
4. Anodic Cleaner (II) - High Alkaline
5. Acid Dip
6. Next treatment.

We tested and got good result.
Try and you can see the result.

Good luck.
Best regards,

Tony Chandra
- Jakarta, Indonesia
January 21, 2011

A. A high pressure water jet can be very effective. Don't try it on small parts - it will throw them all over the shop.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England
January 22, 2011

A. Dear sir
first what kind of metal finishing you will make in the surface of this carbon steel ?
if you will make any kind of electroplating you must work in the following sequence
1- hot soak chemical degreaser
2- cold rinsing
3- hot cathodic degreaser
4- rinsing
HCl 40% by volume at room temperature
5- rinsing
6- hot anodic degreaser
7- cold rinsing
7- complete the sequence of electroplating
if you will painting it you must make the following sequence
1- hot soak or spray pre-chemical degreaser
2- hot soak or spray chemical degreaser
3- hot (50- 65 °C ) sulfuric acid 8 - 10 %
4- cold rinsing
5- cold rinsing
6- alkaline passivation
7 hot dryer
best regards

ali gomaa farid
metal finishing - Egypt
February 17, 2011

A. Lots of ways and options. Put a picture of the part on to enable select the right one for you.

Khozem Vahaanwala
Khozem Vahaanwala
Saify Ind
supporting advertiser
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
saify logo
March 19, 2011

A. In addition to one of the pre-treatment sequences already mentioned, the use of an ultrasonic transducer in the first rinse after the sequence should help to remove any residue that is still on the steel.

Lyle Kirman
consultant - Cleveland Heights, Ohio
March 23, 2011

A. The advice given is good. Just one final comment. Are you sure it is carbon? It could very well be iron oxide.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
March 29, 2011

A. Remove carbon from steel, steps:

2. Ultrasonic.
3. Rinse
4. 40-50% Hydrochloric acid
5. rinse
6. 40% hydrochloric acid

popat patel
Popatbhai B. Patel
electroplating consultant - Roseville, Michigan

May 14, 2024

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"