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-   -   Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method?? (http://www.castironcollector.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4071)

JamieC 09-15-2016 04:44 PM

Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Hi!

I posted recently about what cleaning was needed for two cast iron skillets I recently acquired via a yardsale. The conclusion was Easy Off HD and so I read the section on cleaning with that and finally acquired a can of it and I have a couple questions about nitty gritty details before I commence doing that, just to make sure I do things right. I have two skillets I will be cleaning.

1) Since this is lye based, is it better to put the skillets into the trash bag first and then carefully spray the skillets while in the bag so that none of the cleaner lands on my back porch or yard? Are rubber gloves and a handkerchief over my mouth an advisable thing?

2) Once both skillets are sprayed is it okay to nest them inside of one another inside the bag? or do they need to be separated for the Easy Off to work better?

3) It says it will take a couple days - is it possible to leave it on for too long and do damage if I don't get it checked one day?

4) when they are done soaking in it, I assume rinsing them in the kitchen sink and then give the sink a good scrubbing is the thing to do?

I just want to make sure I've covered all of my safety bases since it's lye and I have children around. Thanks!!!

Doug D. 09-15-2016 04:50 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
1. yes, eye protection,too
2. yes. no.
3. no, not on bare iron
4. yes, dilution = neutralization

Steven C 09-15-2016 07:02 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
1 Attachment(s)
I've done it a few times and have found use rubber gloves, it doesn't seem to matter having one inside of the other. I spay them down good outside and place in bag and a tad more spay. Sit them on a old 18"x18" or so plywood and leave in the garage. It seems to keep it all flat and make it all easier to move. Give it 3-4 days. scrub with wire brush, rinse with water hose repeat with spay if needed for 2-4 days. Rinsing outside is less mess and easier to dilute into the yard for me.


There may be better ways but so far this seems ok for me.

Steve,

I thought I better add this after thinking these might be the cleaner ones post the other day, in that case the amount of time in the lye will very highly. Sometimes Up to a week or better on some it can take. This one was near a week. It had a lot or heavy carbon in places.

W. Hilditch 09-15-2016 08:59 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
As I remove a piece from the bag I wipe it down best I can with paper towels which are left in the bag. (Separate a few first.) Then not much mess to go into the sink to rinse off. Wash & see if it needs more work. The bag gets rolled up with the gunk & towels and put in the trash.

Hilditch

SpurgeonH 09-16-2016 09:22 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
On the back of the Easy-Off can it says for "fast cleaning" you are supposed to hear the oven to 200 degrees before applying it. I wonder if that would help clean a skillet? Of course, putting a 200 degree skillet in a plastic trash bag is not the wisest move.

Steven C 09-17-2016 12:06 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SpurgeonH (Post 25717)
Of course, putting a 200 degree skillet in a plastic trash bag is not the wisest move.

LOL I can relate to that, I had a just emptied plastic bread bag beside the stove top once and picked up a hot skillet to drain oil. In about .003 seconds I had a one inch long piece of bread bag melted to one of my skillets. Let's just say it wanted to become part of the skillet awhile. There may be some still there if I look.

Steve,

W. Hilditch 09-17-2016 12:14 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Bake the skillet at 475° F for one hour before ............

Hilditch

JamieC 10-13-2016 02:25 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Okay, I am still trying to make this happen - this is what having 3 small kids will do to your process of making things happen. Lol.

Speaking of the three small kids and safety - if I spray the skillets outside over the grass, what about lye in the grass that the kids could get into? If I spray the skillets while they are in the bag, what about spray flying back up towards my face? (I have eye and mouth protection) Does this oven spray go on thick, with very little spray mist going into the air?

My husband is a little concerned about the actual process and making sure the lye fumes and particles don't just fly all over.... I'm wondering a bit myself.

If I do it over the grass should I hose it down promptly afterwards to be safe? Not let my kids play out there again for a day or so?

Thanks!

Doug D. 10-13-2016 02:35 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Other than to your eyes or as a concentrated inhalation, the strength of the lye in the product is not such that it would cause immediate damage. If it gets on skin or clothing, wash it off right away. Easy Off HD is a foaming product, so vapor or sprayback is minimal. Remember, you would normally be using the product in an oven inside your home without curtaining off the kitchen. Spraying while in the bag is actually a good idea. Anything falls on the grass, just watering it down will take care of it. Dilution is neutralization. Your primary concern would be keeping the bagged pans in treatment secured away from children and pets.

Steven C 10-13-2016 02:44 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
I have a outside/inside cat. I just hose down the overspray on the grass just for the cat and possible anything else including the grass or in my case weeds:) it will give you peace of mind. Is it necessary? I don't know but that what I like to do.

SpurgeonH 10-13-2016 02:45 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Jamie, if you do it outside, make sure the wind isn't blowing back at you. With eye, nose and mouth protection (you don't want to breath it in) you will be fine. If you get some on the grass, wash it down with the garden hose and it will be safe for the kids.

You'll be amazed at how much funk with simply rinse off after a few days. I've had a few skillets where the buildup was so thick it took two or three rounds of three days each. Be patient. Give the Easy-Off time to do the hard work for you. You can't leave it in there too long, so don't worry about leaving it in there an extra day or two if you feel it needs it.

Have fun!

JamieC 10-15-2016 09:59 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Okay!! I finally got them sprayed today at long last! They are fairly clean pans all things considering, but I was still amazed to see brown goo rubbing off almost immediately as the pan was shifting around in the white trash bag. Wow. I'll check it in a couple days and let you know how it turns out!

Thanks for all the help!

JamieC 10-20-2016 09:11 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
OKay so I sprayed the pans on Saturday evening and didn't get back to them till this morning. A lot of gunk came off, but it's definitely all reddish brown tinged. Like it's all rust colored goo. Is that normal? I thought it would be black/brown?

Also, some spots still had gunk so I wiped away a lot of the rust gunk and resprayed. But one of the skillets, that was fairly clean and smooth (I thought) initially, really has a lot of discoloration now around the edges. like the edges are pale grey color and the rest of it is still black/grey/brown - what I associate with cast iron. Am I going to end up with a discolored skillet now unless I keep spraying till the whole thing is the pale grey color (which I believe is completely stripped iron color)?

Thanks!

Doug D. 10-20-2016 09:17 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
As the cleaner softens the crud, it does have a dark brown color. Bare, clean cast iron is gray, so that's what you're shooting for. The dark color, which is carbonized/polymerized fat, will return when you season and use the pan, getting progressively blacker over time.

Steven C 10-20-2016 11:16 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
1 Attachment(s)
Jamie,
If the pan has a lot of crud be sure to scrub it wire type brush or SS pad to remove what has been softened up. Then repeat if needed I lot of them do.

He is one I did awhile back that was brushed and scrubbed once and as you can see still had carbon. I sprayed it again and pictured here.

Steven C 10-20-2016 11:22 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
1 Attachment(s)
Here's what you're looking for. Same skillet after second cleaning.
Still dripping a little water from rinse with water hose.

JamieC 10-21-2016 08:28 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Oh man I really thought I'd be done with this after several days of soaking in the Easy Off. I also thought one can of it would work for my two skillets but I may need a second can now, and I may need a couple rounds of spraying to get them uniformly cleaned and stripped.

I don't have any wire brushes (unless an old grill brush would work okay), but I do have one of those SS dish scrubbies that I use on my SS pots and pans - will that or the old grill brush work? If not can you link to the type of brush that would be good? I'm headed to walmart soon so many I could get something there or on Amazon.

Thanks!

Steven C 10-21-2016 10:14 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Jamie, I've used a old grill brush before and the SS pot pad would be fine. The ones I've done required some elbow grease ( scrubbing) and two I've had took 7-8 days with the oven cleaner total. Just give it time to work, I know it's hard when you really want to see what they look like done.

After you do the first ones you will have and idea of what may work better for you if you see something while out shopping.

Looking forward to seeing them when your done with them.

Steve,

Doug D. 10-21-2016 10:54 AM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Some grill brushes may be brass, and some may be too stiff to not scratch.

See also: http://www.castironcollector.com/cleaning.php#finish

RLMuse 10-21-2016 01:03 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by W. Hilditch (Post 25672)
As I remove a piece from the bag I wipe it down best I can with paper towels which are left in the bag. (Separate a few first.) Then not much mess to go into the sink to rinse off. Wash & see if it needs more work. The bag gets rolled up with the gunk & towels and put in the trash.

Hilditch

That stuff can be quite caustic. It is a better practice to neutralize it so nobody down the line (garbage men, landfill workers) comes into contact with the lye. I have usually just changed out my refrigerator box of baking soda when I clean a batch of cast iron. I put the whole bag into the sink and sprinkle baking soda over the cast iron and rinse at the same time. This leaves just a wet plastic bag for the trash. Not a chemical burn hazard.

Doug D. 10-21-2016 01:26 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RLMuse (Post 27062)
That stuff can be quite caustic. It is a better practice to neutralize it so nobody down the line (garbage men, landfill workers) comes into contact with the lye. I have usually just changed out my refrigerator box of baking soda when I clean a batch of cast iron. I put the whole bag into the sink and sprinkle baking soda over the cast iron and rinse at the same time. This leaves just a wet plastic bag for the trash. Not a chemical burn hazard.

Using baking soda, which is alkaline, seems counterintuitive to neutralize lye, also an alkali. More neutralization is occurring via just rinsing and diluting with plain water. Not to mention the lye won't hurt drain pipes, so you may get a little drain cleaning action. Just don't run the water hard so it splashes.

KevinE 10-21-2016 02:14 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
If you're really worried about neutralizing it, use vinegar.

Doug D. 10-21-2016 02:22 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Although neutralizing a strong alkali with an acid sounds like a good idea, you can produce an exothermic (heat creating) reaction which may not be desirable, especially if on your skin. Dilution with lots of running water is the better choice.

RLMuse 10-21-2016 02:47 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Having a rough day and am almost brain dead (allergies acting up).

I neutralize my knife etching (acid) with baking soda.

I pour vinegar over the cast iron with the water running in the bag in the sink.

And I still have to drive home in after work. :coffee:

JamieC 10-24-2016 03:51 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
3 Attachment(s)
So here is how the skillets look after 2 sprays of Easy Off and around 10 days. I used my SS dish scrubby to scrub them and rinsed them thoroughly outside with the hose down our french drain.

Unfortunately the big skillet still has thick black gunk in two places on the outside, so it's going to have to go in for a third round, but I think the little skillet looks ready for the oven, right?

Also, I've been rinsing outside into the french drain like I said, and then spraying down the surrounding grass. I still have the trash bag full of paper towels and goo and rubber gloves. Should I dump a bunch of baking soda all over that and then rinse it with water before putting it in the trash then? Someone said not to stick the nasty bag of lye straight in the trash incase someone else got ahold of it.

Also, once the pans are thoroughly rinsed off inside, should I give them another rinse inside? Sprinkle with baking soda just to be sure? Or is a thorough water rinse good to go for the next step? Thanks so much for all the help!!!

Here is my first post with Before pictures in them, although I kind of think it's hard to compare the before and after shots. http://www.castironcollector.com/for...ead.php?t=4015

Doug D. 10-24-2016 04:00 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
As noted above, baking soda is not a neutralizing solution here. Dilution with water remains your best option. Consider that when using it as actual oven cleaner, rinsing the sponge used to wipe internal oven surfaces with water in the kitchen sink would be a normal procedure. When you're ready to season them, washing with dish soap (preferably Dawn), rinsing, and drying well will be all that's necessary.

The remaining spots on the outside of the pan will probably not be affected by further treatment. Build up with no grease left in it has nothing for the lye to act upon. Your S/S scrubber is the best choice there.

JamieC 10-24-2016 04:15 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Oh right! Sorry I missed the baking soda part. Okay no baking soda. I will just continue to thoroughly hose off with water. So those black spots that are left look like something that won't be helped by a 3rd lye treatment? I've attacked them with the scrubby, but I guess I'll try again with the scrubby if you don't think I should do a third lye spray.

So I should just hose down all the garbage bag/paper towels/goo stuff then, to dilute the lye before putting in the trash?

Thanks!

[SIZE=1]---------- Post added at 05:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:13 PM ----------[/SIZE]

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug D. (Post 27167)

The remaining spots on the outside of the pan will probably not be affected by further treatment. Build up with no grease left in it has nothing for the lye to act upon. Your S/S scrubber is the best choice there.

How do you know it's build up with no grease left? I take it you can tell from appearance?

Doug D. 10-24-2016 04:21 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Probably not to the first, and yes to the second question. To the third, it's been 10 days. If it was coming off with lye, it would have by now. You can give it another day and see if there's any change, but I doubt it.

SpurgeonH 10-24-2016 04:30 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Wouldn't electrolysis soften up those last crusty spots?

BTW - those are great looking pans!

W. Hilditch 10-24-2016 04:57 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
The “crusty spots” are pure carbon which an e-tank won’t remove unless there is rust underneath them. Scrubbing the carbon off followed by vinegar is the best way to remove pure carbon.

Hilditch

Doug D. 10-24-2016 05:12 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by W. Hilditch (Post 27172)
The “crusty spots” are pure carbon which an e-tank won’t remove unless there is rust underneath them. Scrubbing the carbon off followed by vinegar is the best way to remove pure carbon.

If that were the case, electrolysis would not have cleaned the dozens of crusty pans I restored before I had a lye bath. There was no rust under the crud on them, not to mention it would be hard to imagine such a scenario occurring. Having said that, there are times that some of these remaining carbonaceous "warts" just don't seem to want to budge, no matter how long you leave them in the tank. Better to scrub them off and move forward.

See the first photos of a crusty, not rusty, pan being cleaned with electro near the bottom of this page: http://www.castironcollector.com/electrolysis.php

W. Hilditch 10-24-2016 05:34 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
I think I said pure carbon. Not carbon mixed with oxygen and other impurities.

Hilditch

SpurgeonH 10-24-2016 05:46 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
I've had some success getting off some stubborn crud with electrolysis. I wasn't sure if it was the electrolysis which loosened the crud or the fact the pan was soaking in a water/washing soda solution for a few days ... but it seems to work. My best guess, from my limited-chemistry mind, was the electricity was breaking the bond between the carbon and the surface of the iron.

W. Hilditch 10-24-2016 06:22 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
Spurgeon, we know positive electricity breaks the bonds of carbon on sacrificial graphite, steel and cast iron anodes; which is why they diminish in size one molecule at a time. On the negative side they break up impurities and oxygen bonds, but I’m not sure about actual carbon to iron bonds. That is why there is no ascertainable damage to cast iron after an extended time in an e-bath. So what you are experiencing may be the further disintegration of left over impurities and the soap doesn’t hurt. This is chemistry, not pseudoscience.

Hilditch

SpurgeonH 10-24-2016 06:52 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
My theory, (and like I said my chemistry skills are limited) is that carbon is neutral and is attached to an iron pan which has a negative current running through it. Wouldn't that make the carbon be a negative and therefore be attracted to the positive charge of the "sacrificial steel"? I would call my high school chemistry teacher, but she recently passed away. Great teacher, but I missed half a semester with a bad case of mono. (That's my excuse anyway)

W. Hilditch 10-24-2016 07:10 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
I don’t think so. However, I’ve only stayed at the Holiday Inn a few hundred nights.

Hilditch

JamieC 10-25-2016 02:03 PM

Re: Nitty gritty details about Easy Off HD method??
 
I tried scrubbing them again with my scrubby and hot water and while I got a bit more off, it wasn't much. I don't have the ability to set up an E-tank, and I don't think I'm going to go through the lye process again. It would be nice to get it off, but since I really want to just start using these pans and I'm not a collector, I think I'm going to leave it on and enjoy the character spot, hoping that one day as it gets seasoned better the color difference will be less noticeable and I'll know that I'm making good progress. :-)


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