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Rust stains on a patch


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#1 ocsfollowme

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:15 AM

Greetings,

 

I wanted to start a thread specifically on rust stains on a patch. There is a lot of great info on this site with the removal of rust on webbing, straps, duffle bags, etc... with the use of the product "WINK."

 

However, moving to a less durable material such as a cotton fully embroidered patch...I want to run some experiments and hear from others that have had poor luck, mildly succeeded or have seen great success. I am guessing that the success is due to the nature of the rust stains, if they are surface as opposed to thoroughly saturated, or the color of the cotton of the FE patch.

 

So here is my issue.

 

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It's a great patch. Worth more than $100, but is hurting pretty bad with rust stains. Luckily, most of the rust stains are on the seems, but it was laying next to another patch that rusted--and the bird was messed up a bit--though the staple did not go through it...so it is surface rust on the bird.

 

I have a bunch of test subjects to try out, with one being the perfect tester as it is all white on twill--and just worth $10--the cadet nurse.

 

So I know there are several tricks.

 

1. Lemon juice and salt. Let it lay out in the sun. (currently located in San Diego, so sun won't be an issue)

2. WINK: should this be used on a FE patch?

 

Test Subjects

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Any advice as I move forward tomorrow, on Sunday on my testing? I am not going to touch my 2nd corps cavalry patch until I perfect (if even able) the rust removal process.

 

1. Using lemon juice. Do I just dab it using a q-tip? Soak it? Sprinkle salt on it. Iodized vs table?

 

For my experiement I will use all forms...just hoping for a good lead before I go into it.

 

And maybe I shouldn't even touch the 2nd corps patch. It's just too dirty to put on my quilt for display right now.

 

Many thanks,

 

Steve


Edited by ocsfollowme, 07 December 2013 - 08:17 AM.


#2 ocsfollowme

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:22 AM

So I finally got back to this thread after some time this weekend.

 

1. I soaked the cadet nurse patch over night in a sauce pan filled with lemon juice 11% from concentrate to the point that the patch was covered.

2. I then dumped iodized salt on the patch where the rust stains were.

3. So after 8 hours I rinsed the patch in the sink with some regular hand soap and this was the result.

 

In the future:

 

1. I have heard of best practices on the internet saying that I should wait 24 hours and place it under sunlight.

2. I thought that I had gotten all of the parts of the staple out. Since it literally disintegrated within the patch, I should have used tweezers and a needle to push all of the rusted steel out. This would have produced a better result.

 

I have to confirm the lemon juice and iodized salt on this one. I am going to try on 3 more test subjects before I get the yellow bordered 2nd Corps patch out.

 

PS: this patch came from a collection that was built in the 1950s.

 

Let me know if anyone else has done this before with rust stains.

 

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Edited by ocsfollowme, 11 February 2014 - 09:31 AM.


#3 BROBS

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:58 AM

good results... waiting to see more.

 

I used lemon juice to remove verdigris from a GCM, and it cleaned the white on the ribbon to pure white again.

 

I used only pure lemon juice, no water.

 

rinsed with only pure water.

 

-Brian


Edited by BROBS, 11 February 2014 - 09:58 AM.


#4 ocsfollowme

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:06 AM

There is a lemon tree by my apartment that I am going to make use of rather than using the concentrate from the store!

 

I am also going to do the nurse cadet again to see if I can fully remove those rust holes.


Edited by ocsfollowme, 11 February 2014 - 10:06 AM.


#5 BEAST

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:22 PM

Really nice results.  I'm looking forward to seeing more results  of your experiments.  From a uniform collectors point of view, this could be very useful to remove rust stains from hangers, staples, etc.

 



#6 Bearmon

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:50 PM

Nice Experiment! keep us posted on further tests.

Thanks



#7 patches

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:54 PM

Hey will using Lemon Juice make the patch glow afterwards? :P 



#8 doyler

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:23 PM

Hey will using Lemon Juice make the patch glow afterwards? :P 

 

 

Maybe not Kev but Im thinking it would be a nice garnish for a vodka sour or a vodka & 7 :D

 

Great work on the patches by the way.THanks for posting the results ;)



#9 ocsfollowme

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:43 PM

Patches: just checked, no glow after the lemon juice and washing it with regular hand soap.

 

Here is test number two. Over night, 8 hours.

 

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#10 36-tex

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:13 AM

Nice job and very good information.  Many collectors simply leave the patch as we find them, but I suspect this was because of fear of making things worse.  So you may be the "go to" man as your results show positive results.



#11 skautdog

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:31 AM

ocsfollowme,

 

Thanks for starting this thread and  the information.

 

BROBS, any additional details (soak with lemon juice, dab it on, etc.) you might provide would be helpful. Verdigris  definitely makes a nasty stain.

 

Anyone use the lemon juice treatment for verdigris on cotton field gear (pistol belts, pouches, etc)?

 

Ken



#12 BROBS

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:09 AM

BROBS, any additional details (soak with lemon juice, dab it on, etc.) you might provide would be helpful. Verdigris  definitely makes a nasty stain.

 

Anyone use the lemon juice treatment for verdigris on cotton field gear (pistol belts, pouches, etc)?

 

Ken

Ken,

for the ribbon, I did nothing besides letting it soak in the lemon juice and rinsing.

There wasn't really much soiling on the ribbon, but after rinsing it came out bright white when it was dingy looking before.

I would just be sure to rinse really well or I would think your ribbon or patch might become "sticky".

 

For the verdigris removal on the medal, I let it sit in the lemon juice overnight... then used a soft bristled brush to remove the verdigris.  It takes all of it off, but beware that it WILL remove any patina on the medal itself.  For just a spot on a medal you might be able to use the juice on a qtip... but be careful.  The only reason I did this to the medal .. is because it was a named good conduct medal I bought off ebay with a horrible picture.  It was so badly corroded I couldn't even read the name on the back.  If I remember I will try to take a photo of how the medal came out.  I should have taken a before and after.

 

I don't see why it would hurt the field gear.. again you would just want to make sure to rinse it very well.

 

-Brian



#13 jgawne

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:29 AM

I have used lemon juice and salt on rust for many years with good result. The thing is, you HAVE to have strong UV light to really get the chemical reaction to work. It's really the UV light of the sun that does the hard work.

 

If someone tried this in the winter, or with lots of cloud cover, or weak sunlight it would not work as well.

 

Then, you HAVE to  be very careful about soaking it all out in clean water (I soak for a bit, switch the water, repeat, as otherwise you could be leaving some chemicals in the fibers that might weaken them over time.


Edited by jgawne, 12 February 2014 - 09:30 AM.


#14 ocsfollowme

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:06 PM

#3 down, the scan shows decent results. The patch was a little damp when I scanned it--didnt have time to do it later tonight.

 

Things that I learned. It is better to put heaping amounts of iodized salt onto the rust stain locations. At least coat with 1/2" as over the night it will dilute until the solution becomes saturated.

 

I used real lemons and squeezed them for this 3rd trial and I think that it provided the same results as the 11% juice that you get from the store. The juice from the store is cheaper too and will allow you more juice for 2nd or 3rd attempts.

 

I am going to do my $100+ 2nd cav corps this weekend. I think that it will clean up the surface stains 100% but will leave the staple holes like my other 3x attempts did.

 

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#15 ocsfollowme

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:07 PM

PS: the patch smells like a lemon ;) but in a clean way

 

but this disappears over time as the cadet and 4th no longer smell like a lemon. but maybe because I used the 11% and not the real lemon?


Edited by ocsfollowme, 14 February 2014 - 12:11 PM.


#16 zotig111

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:13 PM

That's still better than the smell of moth balls!

 

Thanks for the info on this.



#17 uplandmod

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:32 PM

Amazing! This should be pinned! 



#18 ocsfollowme

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:27 PM

I've committed.... =) Full report tomorrow.... (put in at 2:20pm EST, this is a note for myself)

 

1

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4

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Edited by ocsfollowme, 14 February 2014 - 02:30 PM.


#19 BROBS

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:54 PM

So then you let it sit in the sun?

Or not?

 

-Brian



#20 ocsfollowme

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

on the 2nd cav, i just let it sit in the sun for about 2 hours. I am gonna give it 4 hours today. My first two, I didnt use the sunlight at all. Then I bring them inside to continue soaking overnight. Some internet sites stated letting them soak for 24 hours. I have only done it for 8 total.


Edited by ocsfollowme, 14 February 2014 - 02:59 PM.


#21 BROBS

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:01 PM

Ok thanks..

I just wonder if the sun really does anything?

 

The patch seems pretty well blocked from any UV...

 

-Brian



#22 ocsfollowme

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:05 PM

I am not a scientist but I think the uv does a chemical reaction with the lemon juice and salt...which does something to the rust. Or maybe it is supposed to hit the rust, then, I am doing it wrong. I really have no clue, other than the fact that I put the same amount of salt on the patches before.

 

The first two patches, I didnt use sunlight and I thought that the results were still pretty awesome.


Edited by ocsfollowme, 14 February 2014 - 03:05 PM.


#23 jgawne

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 06:28 PM

Yes, you need the UV light to properly work the chemical reaction.  It does work slightly without, but you really do need a good strong sun.  I've waited until summer to work on patches I have gotten during the winter.  I suspect grow lights might work, but I am not sure on what wavelengths are really used.   Respect the Chemistry!

 

But one note: if you still smell lemons in the patch, it means you probably have some residue left In the fabric- which is acidic, and may have some damaging issues down the line.

 

Like I said, best to rinse them out, then move them in soaking clean water baths changing the water every so often. You may not see any problems for a while, but leaving acidic chemicals in the fibers can case a major problem some day down the line.

 

Also, be VERY VERY careful in trying this on a non-us standard made patch, as if an odd material is used It could prove a very expensive lesson. Like silk, some wools, or whatever might have been used for theater made or bullion.



#24 jgawne

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 09:05 AM

Oh, and too add, if you leave salt in it, and it will probably crystalize, which gives a sharp but tiny, edge for the fibers to run against- and eventually it will cause wear.    Hopefully, we should all be looking to keep stuff around for hundreds of years more.



#25 ocsfollowme

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:27 PM

I did 3x sessions with this patch. The first one went 8 hours with marginal results. I then rinsed with water, then did another 6 hour session which lifted the staple rust from the edges but left a good amount on the breast of the eagle. I did another 8 hour session and then rinsed 4x in water (found about 2 hours per, with new water on each). Make sure that you rinse with water to get all acidic lemon juice and salt out. Salt destroys fabric...from my time going to the NJ shore in the summer.

 

For this scan, the patch is still damp and patch looks better now after the threads are dryer. (the white looks too white in the scans, it has returned to the normal tint). I am happy with the results. Patch does not glow, no shrinkage of the patch. I pulled on it after each 2 hour session in the clean water making sure that it wouldn't shrink. 

 

Again, I am happy with the results and will be sewing this SSI onto my quilts underneath a regular 2nd Corps. Still trying to find an nice OD border version. Calling this thread closed.

 

I dried it between a folded up micro fleece towel (shamee material) rather than the sun. The sun can destroyer colors by fading them.

 

Hoping you great results saving some of your SSI that have been destroyed by rust. I put a $140 SSI to the test!!

 

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