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oxalic acid in a galvanized container?

Posted by Jason Duke  
Jason Duke July 26, 2012 02:05PM
I am using oxalic acid to clean amethyst. The only container I have that is big enough for a particular piece is a galvanized metal wash pan. My question is will the oxalic acid react with the galvanized container. I am assuming it is galvanized with zinc? Any advice is appreciated.
Steve Hardinger July 26, 2012 04:52PM
True galzanization is a zinc coating. I suspect that oxalic acid would react with the zinc. I also suspect that Peter Haas would know for sure. So when in doubt don't do it.
Reiner Mielke July 26, 2012 04:59PM
Don't do it, use a plastic container.
George Creighton July 26, 2012 05:08PM
Quote from Rock Currier thread cleaning quartz:-

" It is best that this chemical is used in plastic or ceramic containers and not metal ones, because the oxalic acid will attack most metals. "

The article is a very good read.

Regards george
Rock Currier July 26, 2012 09:57PM
You can often get away with using iron containers or metal containers, but it will sometimes make a mess and in time will eat the iron and I suspect the zinc coating as well. The guys in Arkansas have found that a particular kind of steel will stand up to the oxalic acid cleaning method without any problems. But you can read about that in my Quartz cleaning article. Don't you have a big plastic tub around you can use? You cant heat it up much so the oxalic acid may take longer to work. But you can put the tub on the sun and cover it with black plastic to warm it during the day and that will not heat the plastic too much. Usually about 55 degrees centigrade is about all polyethylene can take without deforming. Just hot enough that you can barely keep your hand on it is OK

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Bart Cannon July 27, 2012 02:50AM
I once had a stainless steel hospital style heated tub that I used for oxalic acid treatments in the back yard.

It eventually corroded and started leaking into my dog's stainless steel "limb bin" based food container. A fabulous foot pedal controlled revolving door and huge repository designed to throw human arms and legs into in the operating room. Sweet !.

I now use a very large ceramic tub "crockpot" for oxalic. It has been working well for years. It was a Christmas gift from my mom. She doesn't know that I don't make chile or stew in it. Don't tell.

Chris Krietsch July 27, 2012 03:13AM
Try a large rubbermaid tub or go to the local home center and get a garden tub. If they are not big enough go to a soda company and get a 55 gal syrup container and cut the top off. Commercial laundey places buy liquid soap in large plastic containers. You could get a plastic bath tub and plug up the outlets. If you need something bigger go to a place that services commercial trucks, they get fluids delivered in 275 to 300 gal containers that have a base that is the dimension of a pallat, 4 foot x 4 foot x 4 foot with a metal exterior frame and a drain on the bottom. The biggest problem will be getting the rock in and out of the tub. I brought a 100lb plus boulder back from Arkansas, treated it with super iron out a real challenge, now it resides in my back yard.
Jason Duke July 27, 2012 12:31PM
Thanks for all the advice folks. I think I will pass on using the galvanized tub and find something plastic. I will try heating the solution slightly also.
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