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Cleaning up rusty bottle caps


Well-Known Member
May 24, 2014
It'll work, I've done it before. It's probably similar to using lemon juice on cans, it'll make them legible but not provide the same level of results that oxalic does. I assume oxalic acid would be best, but it's more of a commitment to get into working with.

Wildcat Wrangling Kat

Active Member
Mar 19, 2021
Is lemon juice the way to go for removing rust? There is some writing under the rust (or cork, hard to tell) so would appreciate any input. Thanks!
When I used to dig vintage cone top beer cans, covered in rust, we used to have nice results using oxalic acid. Since then while rock climbing straight up a mountain, quite by accident I found a whole bunch of huge crystal clusters. Knowing nothing about cleaning crystals they mentioned using oxalic acid to remove the calcite from the quartz crystals. Since that day, last September, I have climbed at least 1-3 times a week, and always brought home SO many crystals. 4 weeks ago I won an estate sale auction of 5 big boxes of some really nice bottles, mostly not cleaned- and there was this bottle from owl druggists, (castor oil) with this ugly rusted out lid, as well as 2 old Horlicks malted milk bottles, complete with lids which the lids are almost more valuable than the jars. 1 is there very first lid that they used. I had the oxalic acid already out back so put them in- over night? They came out just amazing! You would want to rinse them really well and then soak in baking soda water, for a day or so- they say 7 times longer than they were in the acid, to neutralize the acid. I was afraid they would rust again if I left them that long in that, so I pulled them out after a day. That’s the best way I know of. Another way would be to use something called “iron out” in the powdered form, mixed with water. We use that to remove any iron stains off the crystals. Oxalic is my go-to, though. There’s a short answer! Gloves are important with any of that.

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