Although oxalic acid is safer to handle than nitric, sulfuric, or hydrofluoric acids, oxalic acid is still fairly strong and quite poisonous so proper
safety gear is important
Cleaning alloy wheels
There is a safer option. That option is oxalic acid, although poisonous and somewhat irritating to skin, is much safer to use and handle. For cleaning automotive aloy wheels, a hot solution of 3 ounces crystals to 32 ounces of water will suffice. There is only minimal scrubbing involved and the break dust rinses away with a garden hose. Heavily deposited break dust may need two or more applications.
Also, on a somewhat related note, there seems to be a consensus that oxalic solutions will cleanup rusty chrome plated steel. I found an interesting thread in My Tractor forum about how to clean up rusty antique BMX bikes and such.
Removing rust stains from concrete
Other Uses for oxalic acid
Reducing Gold Chloride solutions
- Oxalic Acid in Spinach (rawlivingfoods.typepad.com)
- Making Ethanedioc acid (or commonly known as oxalic acid) (elephantchem.wordpress.com)
- Is raw better than cooked? Not for these veg! (outofselfishreasons.com)
- Eliminating Stains On Your Own Hardwood Floor (martianssay.com)
- Reductive Reactivity of Iron(III) Oxides in the East China Sea Sediments: Characterization by Selective Extraction and Kinetic Dissolution (plosone.org)
- The Foods that Should NOT be Mixed (peaceinpiece.wordpress.com)
- Ten Foods not eaten with Milk (healthslimiwant.wordpress.com)