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cooling system flush with baking soda

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Old 02-19-2006, 10:13 PM   #1
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cooling system flush with baking soda

ok this might sound dumb but i was talking to my autoshop teacher and he said that a cheap way of clean out my entire cooling system was two put in about half a box of baking soda and run the motor untile it got hot then drain the system and flush it again with water. is this or could this acctuly work
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:48 AM   #2
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It does work. Baking soda neutralizes any form of acidic build up that your cooling system may have developed.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:12 PM   #3
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baking soda

Baking soda is also the best way to clean your battery connections. Baking soda, a little water and a wire brush and presto your car will have power again. I learned this trick the hard way (STRANDED).
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:04 AM   #4
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well i am going to be doing it this week and i will be using only water and that royal purple water wetter. summer is coming around and the last thing i want to do is over heat hopefully this will take out all 14 years of gunk in my cooling system lol
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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My assumptions:
Naval Jelly is a rust remover and contains phosphoric acid as the main active ingredient. I'm assuming then that acids are the best thing for removing rust. Baking soda nuetralizes acid. I'm assuming then that baking soda is not a good rust remover.
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Old 02-26-2006, 07:54 PM   #6
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My understanding, correct me if im wrong is
Baking soda is not an acid nueralizer exactly. The House hold product baking soda, is SODIUM BICARBONATE , and it is an alkalinity based chemical that counters ACIDIC Base by moving the PH from below 7.0 ( which 7.0 is nuetral) to above like 8 or 9 . A measurable scale of 0 - 14 ( zero being close to that of ALIEN BLOOD) So given the correct amount of baking soda, to the volume of water will move a PH a certain amount...... Thus coming out of Acidic ranges and going into or at 7.0 or nuetral.

Rust removal is done using an acidic base, and can be accelerated with a Direct current ( 12volt charging ) .
So if you really want to Clean your block out, do it using some Safe chemicals. Such as the following.

1 bottle of CLR , circulated for 2-4 hours at running temperature. then flushed with fresh water, and balanced out with Baking soda and antifreeze ( and a few other solutions ) to inhibit Block rusting.

You also have seals in the pumps which erode from acid conditions. Copper sensors erode very quickly in a 6.5PH or less. They infact disolve into solution.

This is actually a Cool Topic, no pun intended..

This is my
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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so wat should i use some CLR, naval jelley, or just plain baking soda. whith the jelley whould it flow well with the outher water or will it stick to stuff. i was thinking of CLR but i was worried it might eat through some of my gastkets but i will researxh thhis a lil more to find out wat i am gonna do
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:52 AM   #8
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baking soda.

naval jelly? what? that's what you're trying to AVOID here, pay attention
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:59 PM   #9
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Would a can of coke work too? You always here about the acid in coke can clean rust of a chrome bumper. I have rusty coolant in the GTA to deal with also.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:27 AM   #10
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Stick with a bottle of radiator flush that you can buy for a couple of bucks at any auto parts store. it even comes with instructions so there will be no questions. little piece of advice, dont do anything that you dont know what it or you may do to damage your vehicle. no offence to those with tried and true home remedies, i just cant afford to kill my car, as I'm sure most of us can't, otherwise we would all be driving new corvettes!
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:30 AM   #11
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The radiator flush kits sold in the parts stores are usually acids. They're not a good idea if you have aluminum parts on your engine, like your heads, intake or radiator.
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:32 AM   #12
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Like said before, unless you have the money to replace everything you mess up, i would not recomend using "home remedies", or more specifically, stuff that wasnt designed and tested for your exact purpose.

I think the baking soda would clean by mechanically eroding corrosion(like and abrasive polish) from the system and not actually by any chemical reaction. Its desirable chemical attribute would be its rust inhibition. This is good, but leaving it too long would eventually result in errosion of good metal, esp. aluminum.

Naval jelly is great, but it is made for disolving rust from iron and steel. It's likely too acidic for aluminum, bronze or copper. If any of your cooling components are made of this i would not recomend N.J. in your cooling system.
Most radiator flushes tell you what materials they are safe with and give you good instructions with them. Dont exceded the times directed for the flush and you should be ok. If the instrucitons leave you unsure, you might want to find another product.

Ive heard of lots of people getting mild phosphoric or sulfuric acids to soak in thier radiators(removed from car) for a couple hours in the sun and getting great results. I have had good results with a bronze element, bronze tank radiator but have not tried it on anything else.

a compromise in ideas that would probly be very effective would be to remove your water pump, radiator and hoses(and thus, all the rubber from the system), block off your water pump ports with plastic mulk jug cut outs bolted down with big washers and RTV between or something of the like, fill it from the top with a mixture of your choice strong acid and water and let it sit for 20-30 min. Doing this could risk eating head, intake gaskets, or the intake itself. You could go with the safer choice of some less diluted radiator flush( the block holds about a gallon so one flush bottle plus whatever water you can fit). then flush the block out with a water hose from top bottom.
The big debris from the block should have gone out with this flush.
At this point you can soak the radiator like you did the blockbut with a weaker or prescribe solution, or hook it all back up and run a bottle of flush as directed.

Hope this helps. Good luck

Last edited by Elephantismo; 07-24-2006 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure baking soda has sodium in it, which means it will cause corrosion. I suppose it isn't a problem if you flush the system thoroughly.

I also heard that the commercially available radiator flushing products are nothing more than sal soda (or washing soda) that's available in the grocery store. But, like Apeiron said, it will react with aluminum.
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:38 PM   #14
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For all those curious: Sodium bicarbonate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Be sure to check out baking soda and that it contains salts which cause it to react and form CO2, making bread rise, etc. I would imagine it is still designed to finish up chemically neutral.
Additionally, NaHCO3 begins to break down @ 60C (140F)
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephantismo
NaHCO3 begins to break down @ 60C (140F)
Solid NaHCO3 decomposes. In an aqueous solution it's fully dissociated.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:26 AM   #16
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well i done this baking soda cleaning and left it in the cooling for about a week and the coolant was nasty looking by the end of the week. It seemed like it cleans out a ton of gunk and it hasent hurt anything so it worked for me and according to my autoshop teacher said it whouldent hurt anything. he said that it was more of a scrubbing affecting on all the internals of the engine so her it was all good for me.
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:43 PM   #17
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Did you use a half a box like he said to? Did you flush it out after that week? Any rust since then?
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAformula
Would a can of coke work too? You always here about the acid in coke can clean rust of a chrome bumper. I have rusty coolant in the GTA to deal with also.
Uhhh, no. The syrup would collect on the inside of the motor are either burn or seriously gunk up.

Funny suggestion, though.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:20 PM   #19
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I think, that after 14 years without a coolant flush, that you'd be able to buy a bottle of rad flush, you cheap f*ck.

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Old 08-03-2006, 01:24 PM   #20
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Tried the radiator flush and it didn't work.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:30 PM   #21
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Try AC Delco Heavy Duty cooling system cleaner. Part# 89020892. About $10 at your local GM Dealer. That sh*t is the bomb
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #22
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i used about 5 table spoons on baking soda and ran it for a week and when i flushed drained all the coolant out took off the lower raditor hose and put the hose in the raditor and let it run for about 30 mins to get everything out there was some nasty **** coming out so i am guess it did a good job as for rust i cant tell you scince its summer i am running only water with royal purple water wetter and its been running cooler and the water in the rad dosent have that rust looking color so i guess there isnt ny rust
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Old 08-03-2006, 06:04 PM   #23
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First of all, lets talk about how baking soda neutralizes acids. Baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate, reacts with acids forming the respected salts. If baking soda were to react with hydrochloric acid, the reaction would go as following:

NaHCO3 + HCl ----> NaCl + H2O + CO2

Baking soda also decomposes at a very high temperature when dry, but will also decompose in an aqueous solution at or below boiling point of water (aqueous means dissolved in water). Rust on iron and steel is Fe2O3. Acid mediums are used to remove this rust by chemical reaction. We'll use phosphoric acid in this example since everyone is talking about naval jelly:

2H3PO4 + Fe2O3 ----> 2FePO4 + 3H2O

Commercial radiator cleaning chemicals usually contain Sodium Citrate, Na3C6H5O7. This cleaner removes rust in the same way phosphoric acid does, by chemical means.

2Na3C6H5O7 + Fe2O3 ----> 3Na2O + 2FeC6H5O7

However the sodium oxide (Na2O) reacts with water forming the basic NaOH
Na2O + H2O = 2NaOH

which then takes care of the job NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate, baking soda) by turning acid chemicals into neutral chemicals by forming the respective salt.

If you have any more chemistry questions, go ahead and ask me. I hope this has answered any of your questions so far. The point is, use a commercial cooling system cleaner as it will do a better job than just baking soda.
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:49 PM   #24
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Dont forget, if you have a water tube(cooling tube in the radiator) that is really clogged and has no flow, radiator flush may not be able to clean it. Eddys will usually leave a clogged tube stagnant on both ends so it gets less exposure to the acid and may not dissolve out in the time alotted on the bottle of flush or whatever you use. If the radiator flush doenst work, chances are this is why.

Last edited by Elephantismo; 08-08-2006 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAformula
I have rusty coolant in the GTA to deal with also.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAformula
Tried the radiator flush and it didn't work.
If the coolant was already showing signs of rust (oxidized metal ions) you waited WAY too long. That's why cooling systems should be drained, flushed, and refilled every two years, regardless of the accumulated mileage.

You're going to have to first get all the loose/free metals and solids out of the system, if you can. That alone may take several cleanings and flushes. After that, you'll need to refill with an appropriate mixture of coolant concentrate and water, and allow the silicates in the coolant to start coating the bare metals in the system. Chances are that the coolant additives are going to deplete VERY quickly, and you may need to drain and add more coolant concentrate several times before the entire system is coated and protected, or it will simply continue to rust. You could add bottles of corrosion protection additive, but the coolant is still going to flush away any available rust particles until the system is fully protected.

You could be in the process of draining, cleaning, and refilling for several weeks before it finally gets sealed properly. Changing the radiator won't help, since the metals are likely coming from the cooling jackets in the head and block castings. Timely routine maintenance is important, and you may have just found out why.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:24 AM   #26
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Thanks for all the info, In my defense, the coolant was rusty when we bought it.
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