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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Mon Oct 4, 2021, 05:31 PM

3. Iron actually reacts very slowly with water -- it is the oxygen in the air which does the work.

Water accelerates the process, by complexing reversibly with the iron atoms. So, a water solution of a chelating agent, exposed to air, would likely help accelerate rusting in the same way. I'm pretty sure the instructions say to wash and wipe it off thoroughly when you're done, and for good reason.

Coating steel tools with oil is the traditional way to prevent rust. Good mineral oil will do the job, though some vegetable oils are traditionally used. Camellia oil, for example, has long been used in Japan, but apparently mineral oil is better. One thing to try is to add a few percent of clove oil, or more economically, witch hazel oil*, to the mineral oil to inhibit bacterial growth which can accelerate rusting, though only woodworkers usually go this far, to protect their very expensive and very sharp tools.

You can even use spray vegetable oil: https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=16760


* NOT witch hazel extract, which contains water and alcohol ! I have a huge bottle of witch hazel oil which I bought for under $3 at the drugstore years back. It works as well as the much more expensive clove oil (which is favored by dentists, because it comes into contact with sensitive tissues, without any harm).

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intrepidity Oct 2021 OP
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