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  1. #1
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
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    Hydrofluoric Acid to clean wheels?

    Hydrofluoric Acid to clean wheels?


    Found out that one of the local express detailers are using this to clean customer's wheels (it's their "go to" wheel cleaner from what I'm told) and this struck me as an astronomically bad idea.

    Am I out of the loop here or is it indeed a bad idea?



  2. #2
    Senior Member Ryan509's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    At toyota in ontario Canada to be exact, we are told to use Tire Acid. Boy that stuff stinks and it can turn the tires an ugly brown.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jamesboyy's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    Yes you can clean your wheels with Hydrofluroic acid though it is better options out there as we know but when your that kind of dealer or detailer that thinks of only money you will resort to the most strongest, stinkiest product to get the job done faster but as a result it will do more harm than good to both you and the item begin cleaned

  4. #4
    Senior Member AZ Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    Even diluted, I would not want to deal with this.

    Hydrofluoric acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride (HF) in water.

    It is a precursor to almost all fluorine compounds, including pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine (Prozac), diverse materials such as PTFE (Teflon), and elemental fluorine itself.

    It is a colourless solution that is highly corrosive, capable of dissolving many materials, especially oxides.

    Its well known ability to dissolve glass has been known since the 17th century, even before Carl Wilhelm Scheele prepared it in large quantities in 1771.[2]

    Because of its high reactivity toward glass and moderate reactivity toward many metals, hydrofluoric acid is usually stored in plastic containers (although PTFE is slightly permeable to it).[3]

    Hydrogen fluoride gas is an acute poison that may immediately and permanently damage lungs and the corneas of the eyes. Aqueous hydrofluoric acid is a contact-poison with the potential for deep, initially painless burns and ensuing tissue death.

    By interfering with body calcium metabolism, the concentrated acid may also cause systemic toxicity and eventual cardiac arrest and fatality, after contact with as little as 160 cm2 (25 square inches) of skin.

    This is from Wikipedia. I also looked up the MSDS. This is nasty stuff.



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  6. #5
    Senior Member TundraPower's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    Extremely dangerous and toxic substance. Stay away.
    -----------------------------------
    http://www.birminghamautodetailing.com

  7. #6
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Am I out of the loop here or is it indeed a bad idea?
    Many popular wheel cleaners contain hydrofluoric acid or its cousin, ammonium bifluoride. Meg's Wheel Brightener and Poorboy's Spray & Rinse, to name a couple that are sold here. It's a common pre-treat at tunnel washes and in truck cleaning.

    I'm with others that have chimed in that I choose not to use products that contain these compounds. The problem with these fluoride compounds is they require specific neutralization products, as opposed to "regular" acids for which any base will do. There are other acid-based wheel cleaners that use oxalic acid, etc., which do have their place in removing stubborn residues.

  8. #7
    Senior Member swanicyouth's Avatar
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    It's a bad idea to use it generally IMHO, bit it's a good idea to have Wheel Bright around in case you run into a spot something that just won't respond to anything else. Basically it has it's place as a last resort product.

    My guess is those who use it frequently are using it because it's powerful, quick, and fairly cheap. But, it's acid - so it's corrosive. It may discolor painted plastic, stain bare aluminum, and etch paints if left to dry or in contact for too long.

    So, as long as it's a last resort - your already using it on something that is probably less than perfect. The key is to only use it on that item or area - and not get it on areas that don't require it.

    I can't imagine what would be on wheel wells that would need HF acid to remove.

  9. #8
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    Works great but too aggressive and too dangerous. Ok for emergency use when all else fails. If someone uses it routinely, they can't really justify the use of the 'detailer' term.

  10. #9
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    I just started using a wheel cleaner that has butoxy ethanol and potassium hydroxide. I know nothing about these chemicals. Are they harsh? The directions state let dwell 20 sec then rinse. I found I need to agitate most of the time but it seems like a strong cleaner. Its not sold at AG but a MSDS is available if someone knowledgeable can PM me please. Thanks

  11. #10
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    Re: Hydrofluroic acid to clean wheels?!?

    Just to add to what everyone has said...STAY AWAY. This stuff is just plain nasty.

    Even in a diluted state, a lot of human damage can still occur.

    I'm sure "PiPUK" will be chiming in this one with his wealth of facts.

    Bill
    In dog beers, I've only had one.

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