How to Dissolve Iron Oxide with Citric Acid

Rust contains a high volume of iron oxide.
Rust contains a high volume of iron oxide. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

In iron pipes, water and oxygen create an environment that produces rust. Rust gives off an unwanted taste to water and other liquids. A main component of rust is iron oxide. Iron oxide slowly changes the chemical composition of the water and liquid. This process contaminates the properties of the water or liquid. Citric acid is used to dissolve iron oxide from metals to restore and clean them.

Things You'll Need

  • Citric acid
  • Distilled water
  • Baking soda

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Pour one part citric acid with nine parts distilled water to the affected area. The water dilutes the citric acid. A 10 percent citric acid solution is optimal to dissolve iron oxide.

Fill the affected area with the citric acid solution. Let the citric acid solution dissolve the iron oxide for five hours.

Drain the citric acid solution.

Pour two parts of baking soda with eight parts of distilled water into the affected area. The baking soda neutralizes the pH of the affected area.

Drain the baking soda solution.

Fill the affected area with distilled water. Soak the affected area with distilled water for 20 minutes. Drain the remaining distilled water.

Repeat the soaking until all iron oxide, citric acid, and baking soda residue is removed. There should be no visible particles in the drained distilled water.


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