Cleaning parts can be one of the biggest tasks (and headaches) in a restoration project, but Hagerty’s Davin Reckow is here to help in this week’s DIY video.

In the search for the most efficient way to remove rust and paint from parts, our Redline Rebuild expert discovered Dairyland Sterosol Milkstone Remover, normally used in the dairy industry. Paired with an ultrasonic cleaner, it removes a lot of the grunt work required to clean metal parts. Here is how he does it.

The first thing to consider is that Milkstone contains muriatic acid, so safety should be top of mind and gloves are the minimum protection required for a project like this. Eye protection is also recommended if working with odd-shaped parts that might cause a splash when they’re placed in the acid bath.

Davin uses an ultrasonic cleaner tank for the crankshaft pulley, but notes that he is only using the heating cycle. In a pinch, a crock pot set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit will accomplish the same task. After carefully dipping the pulley into the acid, cover it with a lid to prevent anything else from falling into the cleaner. Roughly half an hour later, Davin checks the part, pointing out that once any paint is soft and loose it is time to remove it from the acid.  

Once the part is out of the Milkstone, it is rinsed in water to remove any remaining cleaner that might cause corrosion. Davin notes that the Milkstone leaves a slight film that needs to be removed prior to applying a coat of paint. A quick scuff with a Scotchbrite pad removes that film and allows the paint to adhere.

Now that you have clean parts, it’s time for re-assembly. Where did we put the torque wrench?

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