Remove Cosmoline

How to Remove Cosmoline From Wood – Step-by-Step Guide


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Cosmoline is a chemical that is obtained from petroleum. It is very much like petrolatum that is applied to machinery like vehicles to prevent rust. When Cosmoline is freshly applied, it exhibits a gelatinous nature and is slightly fluorescence. Whenever exposed to air, cosmoline solidifies and keeps on turning harder over time.

The prime usage of cosmoline is to store and preserve some hand tools, marine equipment, and firearms. In simple words, it can also be referred to as grease. Besides protecting metals, it also adds shine to the varnished wooden surfaces.

Because cosmoline clings adamantly onto solid surfaces, it is many a time not preferred. At some point, there certainly arises the need to wipe the surface clean, most probably for renovating it someway. Though cosmoline is not amongst one of the trademarks that you can scrape away so easily.

To paint a vivid picture of what grease or cosmoline does to the solid surface, imagine cooking something on a pan. Eventually, when we are done cooking, there will be some bits left on the pan that would deny going easily. That is exactly what grease does. It tends to stick to surfaces.

So, how do we remove cosmoline from wood? And is that very tough to remove it from wood? Well, it is not as tough as it may seem in the face of it. To know how to remove cosmoline from wood, you need to follow these four simple steps.

Step-by-step guide on how to remove cosmoline from wood

Step 1: How to remove cosmoline from wood using soap and water

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Cosmoline is indeed very hard to be removed from wood but sometimes, all it takes to remove it is a combo of soap and water.

  • First of all, dampen a sponge in warm water.
  • Now, soften the cosmoline affected area using the same sponge.
  • Create a solution of soap and water and use a toothbrush to scrub the greased area.
  • Keep on doing so for a good time of at least ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Scrub it all around so that chemicals of the soap solution could weaken the bondages of the cosmoline.
  • Eventually, clean the area using fresh cloth so that the leftover does not attract any grime.

Step 2: How to remove cosmoline from wood using white vinegar

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Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It is known to remove a whole range of stains that are considered considerably strenuous. One word of precaution for vinegar usage in the case of wood is that it shall not be used undiluted. Since it is an acid, it possesses the tendency to damage the top varnish of the wood.

Follow these steps to make sure that you are using vinegar:

  • Take a few amounts of vinegar. And as mentioned, put it in a bowl along with a few drops of water.
  • Now dampen a corner of the cloth in the diluted solution.
  • Now that the cloth has been perfectly dampened in vinegar, you may now start rubbing the cloth against the surface that has turned out to be.
  • After rubbing the surface with the cloth, you’re now expected to wipe the entire area clean.
  • But one of the important factors to be taken into consideration is composition and the precautions that come along with the chemical.

Vinegar is one of the most powerful and safest cleaners. It is highly likely to be available at the homes beforehand only.

Having been an element that comprises acetic acid, it cuts through the greases that finally forces it to stay away from wood.

Step 3: How to remove cosmoline from wood baking soda

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If you are seeking a way to remove very strong and old cosmoline marks, then baking soda can come in handy. Follow easy-to-go steps to remove cosmoline and restore the wood to this original, cosmoline-less look.

  • Grab a brush that can act as a cleaner.
  • Soak the brush in warm water for some time.
  • Now, take a bowl and create a solution of baking soda with a few drops of water. The water should be enough to let bubbles surface up.
  • After the solution seems perfectly well, it’s now time to put the brush to work.
  • Soak the brush in this solution and now start scrubbing the cosmoline-stuck area.
  • Repeat the process until the cosmoline starts losing its bondage

One of the best parts about using baking soda on how to remove cosmoline from wood is that it is non-abrasive. This quality enables it to work on wood without posing any threat to sealant, varnish or the fibres of it.

Step 4: How to remove cosmoline from wood using an all-purpose spray

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While you are buying a spray from the market, try going for the one that is rather an all-purpose. An all-purpose spray, as the name suggests, comes in handy for innumerable purposes. Going for a method all-purpose spray is not only natural but biodegradable too.

  • Just like any other spray, apply the Method All-purpose spray to the defaulted area.
  • Let the spray foam sit on the cosmoline-stuck area for a while.
  • Thirdly, start scrubbing the area. Now, this step asks for a bit of effort. Because the more force you would use to scrub off, the more cosmoline-free the surface shall keep on being.

Well, you may not get this spray easily on one of the brick and mortar shops. So, you can try ordering one online. Different sprays come with different warnings, hence it is expected of you to be careful while using this Method spray too.

So, the above-mentioned were prime four methods on how to remove cosmoline from wood. If you are searching for something cost-effective, then murphy’s oil soap is the thing. The method is very much like applying bleaching powder. There might even be ample chemicals available in the market for cosmoline removal. It’s just that, you need to go for the one that’s least toxic and not threatening to the wood.