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Rust stains on a patch


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On the finished scan, it appears that the blue ran into the white border on the left hand side, That was just the damp threads sticking straight up. No dyes bled into others.

-Steve

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Here is a better scan of the patch after it has dried. About a week later, I smelled the patch and it has that old attic foot locker smell to it. No lemon (I let it soak in water baths around 4x to remove the lemon and salts).

 

Question: Do you think the white came out too white for a restoration process? Still better than the rust obviously.

 

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-Steve

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I don't think it came out "too white".. it's the correct white we just aren't used to seeing a patch so clean (I think).

 

I think it looks boss.

 

I guess it's a possibility that a tiny amount of the blue leeched into the white thread, which would actually (to the eye) make the white look "whiter".

 

-Brian

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  • 4 months later...

Project #2 with tabs.

 

I am going to soak them again and place in San Diego sunlight for 6 hours since process inside did not work as well as I had hoped.

 

8031040_orig.jpg

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

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Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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5 hours in the San Diego sun did wonders. Brought the stains down to a minimum.

 

6000784_orig.jpeg

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

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Thanks for sharing your results, Steve!

 

I have an 88th OD border with a rust stain from a paper clip. Thinking of giving this a try.

 

Let me know your opinion if you think it's a good candidate.

 

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Thanks for sharing your results, Steve!

 

I have an 88th OD border with a rust stain from a paper clip. Thinking of giving this a try.

 

Let me know your opinion if you think it's a good candidate.

 

uqamy6aj.jpg

 

MasonK,

 

I'd classify that more as surface rust which would come out super easily. Usually the only rust that remains after this process are the holes that the staple went through. Or unless water got onto the patch due to humidity and soaked the patch pretty heavily (worst is twill). My $150 yellow border 2nd corps had 4 staples through it that basically disintegrated after 40 years. Although I am not happy with the results, the before photo was horrible.

 

Did you try GENTLY taking a soft bristle tooth brush to the rust already?

 

I know with a $150-200 patch is may sound scary, but you could even try pouring a little on the affected area and then putting a little salt on it.

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

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Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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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.

 

When letting it sit in the sun, have you removed it from the solution or is it still soaking?

 

Looking forward to trying these techniques!

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When sitting in the sun, it is still in lemon juice with salt on it. I have found that the lemon juice really just needs to be 4-5mm more than the patch. And then put a generation pile of salt on top of the stains. Not huge, but enough to come out of the water. Every 2-3 hours I go back and put more salt over the rust as the lemon juice takes it away in solution.

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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Thanks Steve!

 

I did find the following which explains why the lemon juice and salt solution works.

 

Lemon Juice Treatment

From a chemical perspective, rust happens when the iron particles in metal come into contact with oxygen, creating iron oxides that have a characteristic red-brown color. One of the best ways to break down these compounds is to apply a mild acid; most acids digest or dissolve metallic compounds, which in the case of rust stains means that the stain can actually be “eaten” or lifted out of the fabric, almost from the inside out. Lemon juice is an ideal acid for this purpose that most people have or can get relatively easily, and it is concentrated enough to get good results in many cases. Distilled white vinegar can also make a good substitute.

 

Simply saturating the garment in the juice or vinegar will sometimes work, though you’re likely to get better results by first mixing the liquid with a bit of table salt to form something of a paste. The salt helps the acid bind to the stain and holds it in place, allowing it to do its work on the metal particles. How long to let things sit depends in part on the severity of the stain and the delicacy of the fabric you’re working with, but you’ll likely need at least fifteen minutes and up to an hour or more.

 

When it looks like the stain is breaking free, blot the area with cool water and gently wash the salt mixture off. You’ll want to be careful not to scrub the mixture into the fabric since this can make things worse; setting the garment under running water or using a clean wet cloth to slowly pat away the paste is usually best.

 

Harnessing the Sunlight

 

Natural sunlight also has bleaching and sanitizing properties that can be a good compliment to lemon juice treatment. Once you’ve gotten as much of the rust out as you can, try setting the fabric in a sunny window or on a clothes line to let the sun’s UV rays penetrate the material. Many people find that any remaining rust simply flakes off once the clothes are dry.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is my try. As you can see in the first photo, this VN Cross of Gallantry was improperly stored and the steel pin-back rusted and bled through the ribbon. I soaked it in the lemon juice and salt for 24 hours and then let it sit in the sun for about 5 more hours. The results are mixed. Something I didn't pay attention to was the pendant. At some point it fell into the mix while I wasn't around. It probably sat in the solution for 20-30 minutes until I came back to check on it. Even though I rinsed it and wiped it down, you can still see the verdigris and the lighter patina.

 

The rust weakened the ribbon, almost making a straight cut on the back where the ribbon was in contact with the pin. While I considered this medal a loss when I started, I think the results turned out fair. However, I would be much more careful with this thin of material, keeping it under close observation.

 

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View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
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  • 1 month later...

Picked up this 94th greenback today for $6. Haven't done one of these rust removals in a while, however, this patch is a perfect candidate for one. Should turn out very nicely.

 

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-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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Cool stuff guys!Thanks for posting this info!

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And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

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Wow great thread I am going to have to try this

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I used a large lemon and squeezed it. Added salt. 7 hours in the San Diego Sun, though it did rain here last evening I found out. Scattered clouds. This is the result. I am going to give it another run later in the week to remove the last bit of rust...if I can.

 

9917431_orig.jpg

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did a 4 hour treatment today with the sun. Going to do another treatment tomorrow.

 

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-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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  • 9 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Bump. This could be a good candidate for a thread to be pinned.

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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  • 1 month later...

I've been wanting to try this technique myself and I finally got around to it today. I picked six soiled and stained patches for treatment. I'm using the same procedure as outlined above. Being winter in Ohio there's not a lot of direct sunlight right now. So that may affect the outcome, we will see. I photographed them before and under a UV light. This is going to be a long soak out on my patio. I'll post my results in a few days.

 

Scott

 

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Nice! This is exciting. I would always put a mount of salt over every major rust stain. I think you could do several soaks and get away without the sunlight.

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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This is after 48 hors of soaking in a lemon juice and salt bath. Not much change unfortunately. I think the missing element is the sun. Unfortunately we don't have much sun right now. I'm gonna give it a try in spring.

 

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"The history of gunfighting fails to record a single fatality resulting from a quick noise...speed's fine, but accuracy is final." William (Bill) H. Jordan, 1965

 

North Coast Military Antiques

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"preserving history, one piece at a time"

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  • 5 weeks later...

Greetings,

 

And to think all the years I've used CLR. Just kidding. AWESOME thread and it has applications beyond what is posted. Thanks for your research and submitting Guinea Pigs.

 

Best,

 

Peter

An Army Officer with too much affection for USAAF/USAF uniforms and flight jackets; donation2015.gif

 

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