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Thread: Acetone and Hydrochloric Acid

  1. #1 Acetone and Hydrochloric Acid 
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    I refinish old decorative metal objects. I use acetone to remove lacquer from brass objects and muriatic (hydrochloric) acid to remove corrosion. I've found that by mixing about 4 parts acetone to one part acid I can perform both functions in one step; however, the mixture seems to go flat after a little while. What's happening? Do you think there is an acid I could mix with acetone that would remain stable? Thank you for your time.


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  3. #2  
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    It is not clear what you mean by going flat. Does your recipe lose its power to dissolve lacquer or to remove rust? Not that it matters much... you may be having some reaction such as the slow chlorination of acetone.

    My only suggestion is to substitute phosphoric acid for the HCl. Phosphoric acid is not as strong as HCl. It is the active ingredient in naval jelly and similar rust removers.

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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G Barron View Post
    I refinish old decorative metal objects. I use acetone to remove lacquer from brass objects and muriatic (hydrochloric) acid to remove corrosion. I've found that by mixing about 4 parts acetone to one part acid I can perform both functions in one step; however, the mixture seems to go flat after a little while. What's happening? Do you think there is an acid I could mix with acetone that would remain stable? Thank you for your time.
    Acetone will undergo aldol condensation with any strong acid and basically form some different compounds in short order. It wont work with any of the common mineral acids.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purnendu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David G Barron View Post
    I refinish old decorative metal objects. I use acetone to remove lacquer from brass objects and muriatic (hydrochloric) acid to remove corrosion. I've found that by mixing about 4 parts acetone to one part acid I can perform both functions in one step; however, the mixture seems to go flat after a little while. What's happening? Do you think there is an acid I could mix with acetone that would remain stable? Thank you for your time.
    Acetone will undergo aldol condensation with any strong acid and basically form some different compounds in short order. It wont work with any of the common mineral acids.
    Good point, but you are replying to a thread from 13 years ago.
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