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rust remove from swim ladder

Aug 10, 2013
50
Catalina 36 MKII 1721 New London Crockers Boat Yard
Seeking advice for removing rust from the stainless steel and plastic steps on the swim ladder. I've removed the ladder for a little winter project.
I am not opposed to removing the steps, cleaning them and re-stalling the rivets. What's the best product to remove the rust from the stainless steel and plastic? Thanks for any guidance.
 
Feb 10, 2004
3,365
Hunter 40.5 East Greenwich, RI
The best product I have used for removing rust stains form stainless is called Spotless Stainless. It is a gelled solution that is applies and left to work. No elbow grease at all.

As for the plastic I have no suggestion.
 
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Aug 10, 2013
50
Catalina 36 MKII 1721 New London Crockers Boat Yard
The best product I have used for removing rust stains form stainless is called
Seeking advice for removing rust from the stainless steel and plastic steps on the swim ladder. I've removed the ladder for a little winter project.
I am not opposed to removing the steps, cleaning them and re-stalling the rivets. What's the best product to remove the rust from the stainless steel and plastic? Thanks for any guidance.
. It is a gelled solution that is applies and left to work. No elbow grease at all.

As for the plastic I have no suggestion.
Thanks Rich,

The brochure states it works on plastic. I'll try Spotless Stainless. Thanks,
 
Aug 12, 2020
53
Lancer 36 Pago Pago
Bartenders Friend is great for cleaning rusty SS, along with those Magic Eraser scrubbing pads.
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,812
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Never use steel wool on a boat. Little bits of the steel will come off and embed themselves in whatever and then rust. Use bronze wool or a scotch bright pad. Maroon and white scotchbrites are less aggressive than green and blue.
 
Oct 22, 2014
14,208
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
A buffing wheel and some stainless steel buffing compound of varying fineness will get most of the tiny scratches from the above cleaning methods. When buffing to a high shine or you get tired, then take the ladder to a business that will dip it in a chemical tank and passivate the metal. It will clean the metal allowing the metal to create its natural protective surface.

 
Jul 7, 2004
7,531
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
You might take at least one step off of the ladder and see how bad the rust is under it, The lowest step I would think. I use Collinite No. 850 Metal Wax over my stainless for protection and shine.

 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,180
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
What keeps all those shiny white cruise ships from looking like rusty hulks between paint jobs is phosphoric acid, commonly and inexpensively found in any hardware store under many trade names, Ospho being the most expensive.
It is a very mild acid and I've used it bare handed most of the time. Spotless Stainless is very expensive and we found it not worth the money. Brush it on, wait wash it off. Repeat as necessary.
 
Feb 10, 2004
3,365
Hunter 40.5 East Greenwich, RI
The brochure states it works on plastic. I'll try Spotless Stainless. Thanks,
Actually now that you mention it, I have used Spotless Stainless to remove rust stains from the plastic lifeline covers. It works better on actual metal, but give it a try.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,531
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Acids are such useful chemistry.
What keeps all those shiny white cruise ships from looking like rusty hulks between paint jobs is phosphoric acid, commonly and inexpensively found in any hardware store under many trade names, Ospho being the most expensive.
It is a very mild acid and I've used it bare handed most of the time. Spotless Stainless is very expensive and we found it not worth the money. Brush it on, wait wash it off. Repeat as necessary.
I use it for the brown waterline on the hull too. It comes in the form of toilet bowl cleaner. :poop:
 
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Likes: jssailem
May 27, 2004
1,592
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Try "Rust Stain Remover" from West Marine or Defender or local chandlery or big Ace hardware stores.
It's sold in a spray bottle. Spray it on, wait 20 minutes, wash off with fresh water and wipe down.
Then attack any residual dullness with mild rubbing compound if necessary.
Thereafter, rinse your stainless with fresh water often to remove salt spray.
 
Mar 20, 2016
422
Beneteau 351 WYC Whitby
Oxalic acid off amazon is the key ingredient to most rust remover products, Instantly removes rust off plastic, gelcoat , stainless etc
  • 99.6% PURE OXALIC ACID Powder! HUNDREDS OF USES!
  • GREAT FOR: Rust Removal, Iron Stain Removal, Metal Cleaning, Bleaching Agent, Wood Stain Cleaner, Pool Stain Remover & Much More!
  • USE for Home, Garden, Industrial & Commercial Applications
  • SAFE Resealable storage container with child resistant cap
Bartenders friend has Oxalic acid in it
Captain Phab , etc
 
Last edited:
Jul 23, 2009
444
Beneteau 31 Oceanis Grand Lake, Oklahoma
I bought oxalic acid at a paint store. Ask for wood bleach. I used it in a radiator but I've never tried it on stainless.
 
Oct 29, 2005
2,131
Hunter Marine 326 303 Singapore
The best product I have used for removing rust stains form stainless is called Spotless Stainless. It is a gelled solution that is applies and left to work. No elbow grease at all.

As for the plastic I have no suggestion.
I too uses Spotless Stainless on both SS and plastic and decks. Clears rust quickly and no fuzz.

Ken Y
 
Oct 10, 2011
619
Tartan 34C Toms River, New Jersey
I would use a cut and color compound to remove the rust and shine stainless. You could then use a color compound to add protection. When using the cut and color use a sisal buffing wheel. Also use a grinder not a polisher, you’ll need speed for the cut to work properly. I offer this advice as I was a plant manager for a stainless steel railing company.