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Forming Iron Oxide Quickly with Bleach and Vinegar

  1. Sep 4, 2014 #1
    I have heard that when Hypochlorite bleach and vinegar mix they react to create an even stronger oxidizer than bleach alone, that doesn't reach equilibrium as fast as bleach alone.

    So, I wanted to make rust quickly for some experiments and tried this method with steel wool. Not kitchen steel wool with protective coatings, just plain steel.

    I used about 1:1 bleach:vinegar, and noticed that the water started turning reddish-brown as soon as I added the bleach to the steel wool and vinegar already in a plastic container.

    One problem with this is that the reaction appears to be creating heat which I hope doesn't get too intense.

    Another thing I was hoping was that a bleach/vinegar mixture wouldn't create a kind of corrosive that could dissolve plastic. :confused:

    Does anyone know if this is the best way to make quick rust? And if it has any side effects, such as becoming very corrosive to plastics?

    I also know that the reaction between the vinegar and hypochlorite create chlorine gas, but this isn't a problem for me as I am doing this outside. :biggrin:


  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2014 #2
    try this solution called a CASS test: I causes wicked amounts of rust in a few days...
    Test background:
    The ASTM B 368 test method is used to determine corrosion resistance of various aluminum alloys. It is also used for testing chromium plating on zinc and steel die castings. It was developed specifically for testing decorative electrodeposited coatings of nickel/chromium and copper/nickel/chromium. Uses include research and development, specification acceptance, manufacturing control of product or process, and simulated service evaluations.

    Test description:
    A standard ASTM B 117 salt solution of 5 parts (by weight) of salt to 95 parts water is prepared. Reagent grade copper chloride dihydrate is then added at a rate of 1 gram to 4 litres of salt solution. The solution is mixed and atomized in a cabinet maintained 120° F (49° C). Fog is collected and tested, and the salt-copper solution is adjusted to a pH of 3.1 to 3.3 by adding reagent grade glacial acetic acid.
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