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Old 03-17-2023, 10:36 AM
dmuro2 dmuro2 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: San Rafael (San Francisco Bay Area)
Posts: 15
Default Concrete dust on my parts!

Howdy y'all! Long story short, I'm having some yard work done and after breaking up a concrete slab, the dust made it into the garage via a vent and put a good size layer of concrete dust on everything including finished pieces (VS, HS, Rudder), and parts to be primed.

Question: Is it corrosive? What's the best strategy for removing it, or should I just leave it for now?

I'm worried about scratching if I'm wiping it off dry with a microfiber, and blowing it off, I imagine, would just lift it only to return.

Also, I left it on a rack, uncovered because I've heard of stories where plastic trapped humidity, as well as blankets, leading to corrosion.

Very open to ideas. Thanks everyone!
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David Muro II
Bay Area, CA
RV-10 N738TR (Reserved)
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Last edited by dmuro2 : 03-17-2023 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-17-2023, 10:48 AM
TX7A TX7A is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 757

I'd say vacuum it off as best you can then wipe with soft damp cloth. I wouldn't rinse it... it could get captured in the seams.
Others may have better ideas.
Sam Evans
RV7-A O-360 C/S
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Old 03-17-2023, 10:50 AM
Everwild Everwild is offline
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Maumee
Posts: 141

A quick search shows Portland cement has a PH around 11. That article states that any acid or base will eat through the oxide and cause pitting.

I would rinse everything off with a hose.
David Woodward
Holland, Ohio
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Old 03-17-2023, 04:04 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,391

You could take the parts outside to blow off the worst of the dust and then wipe down. It's a good idea to keep parts dust free otherwise moisture in the air can contribute to corrosion. I cover parts with bed sheets to keep the dust off and this has been effective. The rest of the shop can be vacuumed.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Airframe structure 95% complete, now working on integration, plumbing and wiring.
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Old 03-17-2023, 04:37 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,639

Since the concrete dust is alkaline, you might consider adding a small amount of vinegar, which is acidic, to some water, and washing it off with that. Note that soap is also alkaline, so perhaps you should avoid that in this instance. In any case, rinse with distilled water, wipe dry or at least damp, and then dry.

An alternative would be something like Stewart System's EkoEtch. When I've used EkoEtch, I've done it before priming the parts, so I don't know how it works here. But for that, it's fast and easy.

Anecdote: I sometimes can get itchy from my laundry. Guess I'm allergic to some laundry soaps. I now put a small amount of vinegar in the softener compartment, which is used after the soap compartment, and most of that has gone away.

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Old 03-17-2023, 04:44 PM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 6,029
Default Vacuum

I prefer a big vacuum. Blowing works but particles can still end up back on the surface. Static cling.
A big vacuum will remove most of the particulates.
Then wipe with clean water changing the water often.
Chems are your choice.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
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Old 03-17-2023, 04:50 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,196

Might even hit it with phosphoric etch (the paint prep stuff) after you've dusted it well. That would neutralize any particles.

But honestly, I think blowing it off, then wiping it down, then maybe repeating the process would be adequate.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019? (actually 2022) RV-10 N46BX
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Old 03-18-2023, 05:40 AM
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BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 7,002
Default YES concrete dust is corrosive.

Agree with above vacuum, then clean with distilled water dampened. I have dealt with water and it all contains dissolved solids - NO tap water for sure.

Sorry, but it all needs to come out.
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Old 03-18-2023, 10:19 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,567

You’re at home…. with water, and a hose. I would definitely spray it off with a hose. If it’s not completely cleaned after that, get your bucket of water with car wash in it and a soft sponge and wash it again with plenty of water and soap. Then rinse again. This is much less abrasive than a bristled shop vac sucking up cement dust. No big deal how you do it really, but you need to clean it off.
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Old 03-19-2023, 06:23 AM
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Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
Posts: 1,987

Looking to understand the OP's aversion to dry-wiping as much off as he can, as quickly as possible.

Unless this will be a polished aircraft, there is a day coming when it will be hit all over with a random orbital sander prior/Scotchbrite to priming, no?
Bill Boyd

Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
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