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Using Toilet Bowl Cleaner on Brass

Noah Britt

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Does anyone have advice on how long to leave the toilet bowl cleaner on the brass or whether to dilute the cleaner in water and soak the brass in the solution? I don't want to turn anything pink. 

Also, do I have the right stuff here?




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That should work.  It will turn it pink, and you will have to polish it out.  I use it for a first round of cleaning/scrubbing using a scotch brite and/or steel wool.  Then on to machine and hand buffing.

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Posted (edited)

I use 0000 steel wool. Have the water dribbling from the faucet. I wet the steel wool and the wing I’m working on. Then remove the wet wing from the water and squirt some cleaner onto the steel wool and apply to the brass wing. The action I use is more like I’m trying to work the cleaner into the brass, not a scrubbing action.  Each side of each wing usually needs 3 applications as the water dilutes it a little, but my stuff rarely turns pink. 

After you clean each side of each wing, rinse it, then move onto the next one. After you’re all finished, apply Formula 409, or Dawn dishwashing soap to the blade, let it soak for a little, then rinse it off.  That neutralizes the acid. 

Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection and don’t breathe the fumes.  If it’s a sink you care about, make sure you get every single bit of steel wool residue out of it or it will rust and ruin the sink.  

Make sure to strip the remaining lacquer clear coating off of the blade before cleaning it. 

Yes, you want the Lysol with the blue cap. Read the label. It should say acid.  If I recall it’s phosphoric. 

Edited by Lane Shirey
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Below is an excerpt...

     (by Dick Boswell)
Presented at Fan Fair '03


Pour supply of Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner in china bowl and saturate pad of 0000 steel wool in Lysol. Some folks use rubber gloves for this effort. I don’t. Apply liberal quantity of Lysol with the pad to the Brass. Let stand for perhaps one or two minutes – depending on how really thick the yuk on the brass might be. Then rub with the pad till the brass is nice and yellow. Does not take long. RINSE RIGHT AWAY with water and 409 – otherwise might turn brass red. Using a cloth, 409 & lots of water, be certain that all of the Lysol is gone. Dry with cloth so no spots will form from water droplets.

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Wiki sez,...
Hydrochloric acid,
aka muriatic acid...


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As to  turning pink, no big deal just te apply a light coat of tb cleaner rinse it off & you’re good. Be care using steel wool you must turn it often & use new pads , if it fills up with dirt /debris from the blade it will scratch your surface being cleaned. 

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Thank yall for all the great tips and advice, especially you Lane, for the full how-to. Jim, thanks for posting that fantastic resource by Dick Boswell!

I did some struts with the TB cleaner and was pleased with the results. They did have a pinkish hue, but that came out with a little bit of hand polishing followed by the buffer. The cleaner sure saves some elbow grease!

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