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Help Removing Rust from an M1 helmet and liner


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I picket this helmet up recently and it has rust on the inside of the helmet shell and on the liner. From the past posts I've read I'm going to try and use a WD-40 and a bristle pad on the outside of the helmet shell. Any suggestions for in inside of the shell and the top of the liner?

 

Thanks

 

Craig

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Thank you to all that have served our country and to your families that have sacrificed without your presence at home. Thank you to all that have given their lives for my freedom and to their families that suffer. May God bless you!

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Please read this thread first before you make the mistake of using WD-40:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/45336-oiling-your-helmets-other-helmet-preservation-misconceptions/

The proper product to use to remove rust stains is: WHINK, which can be found in most hardware stores. And please, do not use a bristle pad,

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Please read this thread first before you make the mistake of using WD-40:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/45336-oiling-your-helmets-other-helmet-preservation-misconceptions/

 

The proper product to use to remove rust stains is: WHINK, which can be found in most hardware stores.

 

Thank you. I missed this one somehow and will scrape the WD-40 idea. My intent is not so much to alter the look of the helmet but to get most of the surface rust off. I would like to put a salty WWII USMC cover on it that already has a few rust stains of its own, I just don't want to make them worse.

 

Craig

Thank you to all that have served our country and to your families that have sacrificed without your presence at home. Thank you to all that have given their lives for my freedom and to their families that suffer. May God bless you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a liner just like the one the OP posted, will WHINK work on it, or is it just for the shells?

 

Ben,

 

I used Whink on the liner that came out of the shell in the photo above. It was in nearly identical condition to the OP's and all rust stains were successfully removed. I used a rag saturated with the solution and lightly wiped the affected areas. There were traces of paint on the rag afterwards but it was very minimal. The paint on the liner was original, so I cannot say how it may affect a liner with overpaint.

 

The only article that I have had adverse affects using Whink on was a rusty M1 Carbine magazine. All traces of the finish on the magazine were removed within seconds of being submerged in the solution.

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  • 3 years later...

Hey coolhandluke can you tell me how to clean the helmet with Whink?

First, will it harm the paint?

Second, do you rinse the helmet off with water afterwards?

The Whink solution comes is a bottle with an integrated spout hole. When treating the exterior of a shell, I just hold the helmet over a container that will catch the run-off and lightly rinse the surface of the shell. No scrubbing is needed as it may cause paint loss. When treating the inside of a shell, I just pour a small amount in the interior and agitate it around for a bit.

 

Since the solution is likely caustic, I've always tried to neutralize it by rinsing all surfaces thoroughly with tap water afterwards, followed up a little bit of Dawn soap rubbed over the surface, thoroughly rinsed again, and pat dried with a towel. Again, no scrubbing with the soap either...just light finger pressure with bare hands.

 

I have only used this method on shells with little value and always made sure to cover the chinstraps to keep anything from getting on them. This probably goes without saying, but I'd never take this route with anything valuable that is untouched condition.

 

Hope this helps.

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Never, Never, Never use naval jelly. It is a form of paint remover designed originally for marine use. Whink was made for removing rust stains from fabrics and works well on fabric yet it is highly caustic in conjunction with paints and metal so, spray it on with a squirt bottle, preferably outside the house, do not let it sit longer than a minute, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. Let it dry, as mentioned, do not scrub. Repeat but do not look for perfection. There eventually comes the "OMG!" moment where you knew you should have stopped sooner.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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  • 2 weeks later...

I prefer oxalic acid (wood bleach) over wink, there is lots of information available if you google 'oxalic acid' and it won't harm the paint.

I use savogran wood bleach, available at Amazon or the local Ace hardware store.

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