Rust - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-26-2003, 03:42 PM   #1
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Thought I would give rust it's own thread. I asked about removing rust on my scamp's exterior. Well, I have used the rust remover for laundry (you buy in the cleaner section of the discount store) on my fiberglass shower when dripping faucets have left a streak on occasion. Any comments using this same treatment on some rust streaks on my trailer? (I figured it was worth a try!)

__________________________________________________ ___
Pete suggested this on my other post:
With fiberglass boats, one can remove rust stains by spreading application of mild swimming pool acid. Be sure to take acid precautions for personal safety and also be darned sure not to get the acid on metal parts (best way is to rinse down lower areas beforehand so they are already wet , apply acid and then rinse everything thoroughly, trying not to get acid on the actual metal that caused the rust, just the rust stains themselves).

Pete and Rats
Ron replied with this:
The acid that Pete suggests will remove calcium and rust deposits but it is very dangerous to use. And it will eat the zinc coating off of any hardware and cause it to rust later.



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Old 02-27-2003, 09:19 AM   #2
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Rust remover for laundry?

Renee, I'm not familiar with the product.

Do you know what the active ingredients are?

How well did it work on your fiberglass shower?



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Old 02-27-2003, 10:26 AM   #3
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rust and fiberglass products

Hi Mary -
You know, I ran out a couple of months ago and never replaced my laundry rust remover yet - I'm shopping tonight and will have to check. In the meantime, I get a catalog called "The Clean Team" also found at They carry a rust remover product with this explanation at

"Finally there's a better alternative to those other harsh rust removers. Our Rust Remover is a biodegradable and organic formula that overpowers tenacious rust stains without caustic, irritating chemicals or fumes. Use it on countertops, sinks, faucets, window frames ... even carpets, upholstery, and laundry. This easy-to-use, fast-acting formula never ceases to amaze."

(In their Q&A I found this:
Examples of products with oxalic acid are "Rust Remover" (our product), Barkeeper's Friend, and ZUD. Oxalic acid is toxic, so follow the manufacturer's directions respectfully and completely. Don't use chlorine bleach on rust because it sets the stain and actually makes your problem worse.

Fiberglass keeps a death-grip on grime, yet you can't use abrasive cleaners on it or the poor sensitive thing will scratch. Most fiberglass cleaners we've tried (up to and including serious formulas for boats) claim a lot but do little other than work up a sweat and frustrated expectations. Our Fiberglass Cleaner removes scum and soap build-up like a dream. Also great for Corian, all kinds of marble, and outdoor furniture.

I have another product called "Simple Green" you may have heard of - on the label it says it is safe to use on fiberglass.

You asked how the laundry rust remover worked on my shower - it worked beautifully! I did not detect any "erosion" or damage to the surface of the fiberglass - I use it about once a year on the fiberglass shower and marble sink - kind of a "spring cleaning" ritual.

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Old 02-27-2003, 11:08 AM   #4
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Thanks, Renee-

Yes, we use Simple Green for some jobs.

It's interesting that chlorine bleach will set a rust stain.

Seems like if your rust remover worked on your shower, it would work on your Scamp... especially since you're happy with the finish, etc. (You'll be waxing over the spot on your Scamp, right?)

So, instead of getting your question answered... you just got more questions that YOU can answer, for us!


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Old 02-27-2003, 03:47 PM   #5
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In another thread, "fiberglass cracks" I asked for help in repairing some gel coat and fiberglass cracks. One rust spot was created by a latch/rivet that I need to drill out. Plans are to repair all the cracks, replace all or most of the rivets, and wax, wax, wax!

Here is the picture of my rust damage (which many people suggested to sand out)
<img src=>

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Old 02-27-2003, 04:21 PM   #6
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Just about any large hardware store will carry "naval jelly" use the pink version and a 3M scotchbrite pad and its gone!

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Old 02-27-2003, 07:36 PM   #7
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Renee, that's exactly where my 91S13 has rust, and is NOT a good place to use swimming pool acid (unless you were to remove all the metal hardware first). As I said in the quote above, and Ron warned again (and it's worth re-repeating), don't get swimming pool acid on the metal parts like the rusting clip or it will eat even more of the coating off and cause more rust (and the stuf is dangerous to eyes and skin).

This is a good place to try Naval Jelly.

There is also a product out there called Extend, comes in liquid or spray, and seems to have phosphoric acid in it , which stops the metallic oxidation process (doesn't clean up rust in fiberglass I don't think, and might turn it black and look worse) and then forms a primer-like coating over the metal for painting (must dry at least 24 hours with no dew). The commercial fishing supply places in Tampa sold the liquiud in gallon jugs to the boats for swabbing down decks, masts, and other gear to retard rust.

Also, when using "rust proof" paints, like Rustoleum, read the labels, as the primers are indeed rust-retardent (but water-permeable without a top coat), but the top coats are nothing special beyond the brand name.

Not sure about this, but I believe the usual water system "rust" is usually caused by an iron bacteria and the rust is some sort of byproduct of theirs (corroding galvanized steel pipe is real rust), so treatments may actually differ.

Pete and rustless RatLadies


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