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Old September 12, 2010, 06:15 AM   #1
tomwalshco
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Stained/discolored matte SS slide

Long story, but I've got a SS slide that got stained and discolored. Made it worse by trying clean it up with Clorox on a Q-tip.

Anybody got a secret technique for making it look good again?


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Old September 12, 2010, 09:51 AM   #2
Dashunde
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What stained it in the first place?
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Old September 12, 2010, 09:57 AM   #3
cougar gt-e
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Uh-boy! You had a small problem and may have made it worse.

I home-brew and found out that chlorine bleach attacks stainless steel causing near permanent discoloration. The brown probably wasn't a "stain" it was probably rust. Lots of info on surface rust on stainless steel and how to remove it safely.

Sadly, I don't know a way to get the chlorine damage off without radically changing the surface of the material. You may eventually have to polish it, if you want the matte finish, you could have it lightly bead blasted (guessing). Maybe there is a smarter person than me here with a way. I'd like to know if there is.
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Old September 12, 2010, 10:04 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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I agree.
I don't think there is a magic potion that will restore the color and texture of the metal.

The only way to improve the appearance of that slide is to bead blast, brush, sand, or buff it to whatever texture of naked stainless you like.
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Old September 12, 2010, 10:32 AM   #5
tomwalshco
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House fire, smoke, fireman's hose, ash residue..........

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Old September 12, 2010, 10:54 AM   #6
chris in va
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Bead blast it?

I'd contact Kahr and ask what they recommend.
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Old September 12, 2010, 02:37 PM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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Soak it for about 1 minute in hydrochloric acid-available as "muriatic acid" at pool supply & hardware stores.
Rinse in water with ammonia added, then clear water, dry, and flush with WD 40. Dry, and oil.
Remove all parts first, including sights.
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Old September 12, 2010, 03:35 PM   #8
tomwalshco
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Thanks a lot, Billy. I'll give that a try.

If something simple doesn't work, I'll just live with it. She still shoots great. Function before fashion anytime...

I was thinking - the tub in my washer is all stainless, it's been hit hundreds of times with Clorox and still looks brand new ?? I wonder if Maytag makes autoloaders?
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Old September 12, 2010, 04:02 PM   #9
gb6491
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FWIW, an acid bath is going to remove the bluing on the rear sight.

As the current finish is already damaged, I think I would hit it with a green scrub pad (maybe give it a brushed look). Metal polish might be worth a shot as well.

I have a small compressor and used a hand held blast gun (about$20 from Harbor Freight) to redo the slide on my CW45.

Regards,
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Old September 12, 2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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I would see if I could find some Mother's Billet or Mag/Aluminum polish at an auto parts store first.
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Old September 12, 2010, 07:16 PM   #11
Dashunde
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Just send it in with the story, they may fix you up with a quick bead blast and charge next to nothing.
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Old September 12, 2010, 07:31 PM   #12
tomwalshco
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I sent them an email a while back with my sob story. I thought they might be interested in one of their polymer guns going through a house fire and rising from the ashes after a little cleanup. But I was kinda ignored. They did shoot me back the retail price on a new slide...

I think I'll try the chemical solution 1st. It's evident the staining has penetrated into the metal. The abrasive solution seems like trying to get a blood stain out of a pair of jeans with sandpaper.........

I'm not too concerned about the sights. They're a mess anyway. Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm still open for a simple bath type fix. There's always a Krylon solution.
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Old September 12, 2010, 08:08 PM   #13
mete
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Chlorine compounds should NOT be used on stainless steel .The best thing is to use abrasive .Try 400 grit wet/dry to give a nice matt [brushed ] finish.
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Old September 12, 2010, 09:28 PM   #14
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I would never opt for a chemical solution where a mechanical one will likely work.

I would use Scotch Brite and/or aluminum oxide (sandpaper) to "rough-up" and then "smooth down" the slide. Mechanical stain removal will not significantly affect the integrity of the slide unless you remove a large amount of metal...and with Scotch Brite/ sand paper, that will take a while.

Chemical treatment is a whole 'nother animal. Unless you have a chemical engineering degree, you have no idea what short or long term effect chlorine or any other chemical will have on the stainless steel.
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Old September 12, 2010, 10:01 PM   #15
AustinTX
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Orionengnr nailed it. I'm always blown away by how quickly and carelessly people will adopt "chemical solutions" to a variety of problems in life. I'm not an engineer, but I did study enough chemistry in college to know not to go around applying reactive, corrosive chemicals to other materials without doing a great deal of investigation beforehand.

Chlorine compounds promote a phenomenon called stress corrosion cracking in certain kinds of steel. (This is one reason that, out of an abundance of caution, you'll not find Eezox within 100 yards of any gun I own.)

Quote:
The chemical environment that causes SCC for a given alloy is often one which is only mildly corrosive to the metal otherwise. Hence, metal parts with severe SCC can appear bright and shiny, while being filled with microscopic cracks.
Just because something looks fine to the naked eye doesn't mean you haven't royally screwed it up on a microscopic level.
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Old September 12, 2010, 10:17 PM   #16
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If you don't want to try the acid, here is another suggestion-
Use a scouring cleanser- Barkeeper's Friend, etc. and make a thick paste. Rub it on gently with your fingers, scrubbing it in all directions. Rinse, WD40 flush, oil.
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Old September 12, 2010, 11:22 PM   #17
Dashunde
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In order for a chemical to weaken the slide it would have to penetrate into the center of the metal - thats not going to happen with Bill's idea, its not the same as liquid nitrogen or extreme heat, its not going to change the inner molecular structure of metal.

Even if Bill's technique is striping or "etching" away an outer layer, it could only be measured in ten-thousants of an inch or micrometers.
And that sort of thing is sometimes done prior to hard chroming and other coating processes.
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Old September 12, 2010, 11:29 PM   #18
AustinTX
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Quote:
In order for a chemical to weaken the slide it would have to penetrate into the center of the metal
Simply not true at all. I understand that that seems intuitive, but it's also completely inaccurate.
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Old September 13, 2010, 12:03 AM   #19
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First try "Flitz" a mild abrasive cleaner for stainless steel.


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Old September 13, 2010, 12:56 PM   #20
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Amongst other examples of SCC with chlorine this one stands out .While I was in the Submarine business there was a fire in one of the subs that was at the base. They put out the fire with city water which of course contains chlorine..They should have known but were clueless. The water soaked the lagging [insulation] should have been removed and everything [stainless steel piping] should have been flushed with deionized water .Instead months later someone thought 'shouldn't that have been flushed ?' All the piping in the compartment had to be replaced due to SCC.
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Old September 13, 2010, 02:03 PM   #21
EdInk
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Nevermind the slide. Let's see the grip frame!
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Old September 15, 2010, 04:19 PM   #22
tomwalshco
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Update

did Bill's suggestion with the HCL I got at the hardware store. It was successful in removing the staining I did with the clorox, but I'm still back where I was with the fire stained issues. The polymer is fine except where the fireman's axe nicked it a little. The same axe smacked a Glock 36 right on the slide and it narrowed the channel to where it wouldn't come apart. A little vise action and persuasion got it straightened out. Runs fine now just like the Kahr.

Saw a guy who polished his CW slide and it looks great. Might try that. Borrowed this from Kahr Talk forum:

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Old November 28, 2012, 08:28 PM   #23
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Better late than never. Wonder if anyone has tried the suggested "FLITZ" resolution? I have used Flitz on a lot of things and it is surely very very gentle. In fact we used it to polish our plastic headlight covers back to as new condition from being frosty.

There are several variations of Flitz on the market these days, one is called MAAS. Etc.

Anyone have any luck?

I have a Glock slide that appears to be stained by something.... on one side it looks like somebody put their initials onto it and the other side just looks like it got doused with some chemical. These parts are "shiny" to a small extend... the rest of the slide is matte.

Bugging me; I may get the slide redone and be done with it.
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Old November 29, 2012, 03:41 PM   #24
Bill DeShivs
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Just send me the slide and I'll bead blast it for you.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:06 PM   #25
Dashunde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashunde
In order for a chemical to weaken the slide it would have to penetrate into the center of the metal
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinTX
Simply not true at all. I understand that that seems intuitive, but it's also completely inaccurate.
I noticed that reply two years ago and let it slide.. but now that its revived I'd really like to know the rational/science behind it. Please elaborate.
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