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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

As I've been riding non-stop since picking up my '05 Wee in November, I've obviously taken the bike through a fair bit of salt and sand, etc, over the winter. While I've tried to spray/wipe down the bike as much as possible, I live in an apartment and don't have easy access to a hose or washing bay, etc, and as a result the salt has built up and eaten away a bit at some of the metal bits.

Particularly some of the nuts, bolts, screws, and metal housings at the front/bottom of the bike, have been exposed. The oil cooler (I think? the smaller radiator-looking thing in front of the oil filter) has some salt built up.

I'm wondering what would be the best way to properly clean & remove any salt or corrosion/rust that's built up on these bits. I've tried wiping them down with water and/or a wet rag; I've tried WD40 or kerosene.. while they seem to help a little, I'm still finding sections where the build up is noticeable.

Any recommendations? And are there any products I should specifically NOT be using to try and remedy this? Seems like WD40 and kerosene are some of the most commonly used solutions...
 

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For salt, just soap & water. If it is really baked on, look at a boating supply store for a salt remover for the internals of outboard motors. Or try white vinegar. Follow with soap & water.

There are rust "neutralizers" that are a phosphoric acid product to convert iron oxide to iron phosphate, which is a good base for paint. If you have rusty iron or steel, try one of these after you've wire brushed off the loose & rough stuff. Prime and paint after that. Check a paint store or paint section of a hardware store or a boating supply store.
 

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I put Fluid Film Rust and Corrosion prevention spray on my bike in fall. It doesn't wash off and keeps rust from forming. Stays kind of liquid. Lasts almost a year too.

If i spray it on anything rusty, it works its way under the rust and protects the metal underneath. I can see it foaming as it works its way through the rust. Also works on battery terminals to get that white corrosion off that can cause poor connections. Can use it inside connectors too. Good stuff.

Someone told me once, if you want to get salt off, be sure to use cold water only, as warm or hot water causes the corrosion to accelerate. Use a brush to get it off, then give the bike a good wash followed by some rust prevention spray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the quick responses guys, I'll try some of the methods above. The white vinegar is one thing I never thought of, seems like a cheap and effective alternative to buying some of the more expensive products out there. :p
 

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Or you can try West Marine to get stainless fasteners to replace your mild steel ones. Remember, though, that in some applications SS is less suitable strength-wise than regular.

For bare aluminum (like a bash plate) I spray on that rubberized undercoating stuff. If I lived in an area where a lot of salt is used I'd be spraying that stuff around very liberally.
 
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