December 11, 2009

How Can Oxalic Acid Be Used In DIY Projects?

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For many homeowners, the thought of mixing acids and starting up a renovation project may be intimidating.  However, acids are typically nothing to fear when handled properly.  One example is the chemical compound known as oxalic acid, which can be prepared in a laboratory but is also found in nature, specifically in plants such as sorrel.  In direct doses, it can be lethal for human beings, but this chemical will come in handy around the house.  For the do-it-yourself homeowner with some improvements planned, use oxalic acid for any of these five projects.

1. Revamp wood on the outside of the house.

Looking over the wood on the exterior of the home, it is likely some patches have begun to dull over time.  There is a greying effect which comes on once wood has had its share of exposure to the elements – especially when there is saltwater in the air.  To get the wood looking bright and clean again, mix a solution using oxalic acid and use it to rub down the wood.  Of course gloves should be worn, as with the handling of any chemicals.

2. Give furniture a makeover before refinishing.

Oxalic acid can also be used to lessen the impact of stains in wooden furniture.  Once the process of stripping the wood is complete, apply oxalic acid and watch the intensity of stains soften.  After the area is completely clean, the process of refinishing the wood can begin.  The final product will be the closest a homeowner can come to that revived “like new” look.

3. Get rust off of several different surfaces.

There are few things more unsightly than rust, which seems to symbolise the ultimate in neglect.  Rust takes time to develop.  Homeowners can reverse the course with oxalic acid.  The rust stains that have appeared in ceramic sinks and tubs can be removed, as well as rust that has begun to form on kitchen countertops.  Perhaps even more valuable is the way oxalic acid can be used on antiques.  Even with valuable objects, the work can be handled with a professional look as long as proper directions are followed.

4. Treat any wooden beams and floors inside.

While wood on the exterior of the house will begin to age because of the elements, wood in the interior of the home is more vulnerable to man-made effects, such as stains and cracks.  Oxalic acid will get to the stains and lessen the impact or even remove them entirely.  As a general method for sprucing up wooden floors with a lot of traffic, oxalic acid can also come to the rescue once again.

5. Approach the impossible ink stains on fabrics.

While the instance of ink stains is somewhat rarer these days, once they occur it can seem like the end of a coloured tablecloth or napkins.  Oxalic acid will be able to neutralise the ink stains without ruining the materials or affecting the colour.  For white fabrics, on the other hand, a mix of salt and lemon is recommended to preserve the absence of color.

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