How to Acid Wash Sheet Metal

If you plan to work on a sheet metal, you must make sure that the sheet is completely free of all types of contaminants. Sheet metal picks up rust or oxidises with the passage of time, especially when it is stored. Therefore, it is necessary to check it before applying welding on it. If there will be rust on the sheet, it will become difficult for the weld to penetrate through it. Moreover, if the process is done and you do not know about the rusty area, the corrosion process will continue and will spoil the entire sheet along with the other material to which it is joined.

Therefore, there are a number of ways by which you can prevent the problem. Acid wash is one of the best treatments used to get rid of the rust on the sheet. Yet, the nature, thickness and the place where sheet is placed, can also contribute towards your decision making process of using the acid wash.


– Correct acid wash
– Safety goggles
– Work gloves
– Brush
– Sprayer
– Clean water


  • 1

    Find the correct type of wash:

    You need to make sure what type of metal sheet you are working on. When you know about the structure of the metal, you can go to a nearby hardware store or a local smith and inquire about the type of acid wash to be used on the metal sheet you have. Make sure you buy the right type of acid wash. Otherwise, it will be of no use to you to apply it to your rusted sheet. Moreover, the wrong type of acid wash can also damage your sheet. For instance, if you use an acid wash for the stainless steel on copper or aluminium, it will be too strong for such types of metals.

  • 2

    Wear Protective Clothing:

    It is mandatory to wear protective clothing, such as safety goggles and work gloves. Some acid wash can be allergic and harmful for your skin. Therefore, protective clothes can prevent the acid to touch your skin. Moreover, some acids cannot be put into drainage system. So, make sure you have the proper disposal plan for that too.

  • 3

    Applying the Wash:

    Most of the time, all acid washes are treated in the same manner. You can use a brush or sprayer and keep the acid intact with the sheet for a specific period of time.

  • 4

    Rinsing the Sheet Metal:

    After you are done with acid wash, rinse the metal sheet properly by using clean water.

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