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post #1 of 6 Old 09-27-2010, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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How to clean a metal tool box

I got an older 5 or 6 year old full size rolling tool box from my father in law. It was in bad shape clean wise really dirty has some grime on it. I wanted some suggestions on how to clean it up. Its a classic red rolling tool box with 6 drawer top and 4 drawer bottom. Any information would be great.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-27-2010, 05:34 PM
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Re: How to clean a metal tool box

Car wash
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-27-2010, 05:37 PM
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Re: How to clean a metal tool box

I guess I'll start.

What you should use depends on a few different things...
  • where are you going to do the cleaning

    If it is indoors that will preclude the use of degreaser (aka GUNK) and the pressure washer.

  • What and how much you are trying to get off of it (maybe pics would help)?

    I've used fantastik or another spray degreaser cleaner for minor jobs, You could also use diluted simple green or purple power cleaner.

    For small jobs I've also used WD-40 and had good results. It does leave an oil film residue, but it removes most grease and helps to prevent rust. ( the drawback is that the film "attracts" dust)
  • how much work you want to do
    Small job might even use "goof off" or "goo-gone", but the smell and cost would prohibit large applications.

    Even simple Dawn liquid dish soap with warm water and a brush should do a good job.

    I don't think this part is the rocket science. See what you have and give it a shot.

    If there is dust in the drawers, I may be helpful to use air to blow out the dust or use a vacuum to suck up the dust before applying any liquid.

    Good Luck
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-27-2010, 09:42 PM
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Re: How to clean a metal tool box

WD-40 on a rag works pretty well. It's a solvent, too. I think of it as basically kerosene in a can.
It will also retard rust, which you may get if you clean it "too well".

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post #5 of 6 Old 09-27-2010, 09:51 PM
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Re: How to clean a metal tool box

I used one of those $30 steam machines to degrease the motorcycle and the lawn tractor last year. It worked pretty well and leaves very little moisture behind and has no nasty fumes. I think I picked it up at Ocean State Job Lot or one of those type stores. Using distilled water is supposed to keep the mineral build up in the steamer down, but I just used regular tap water and it worked fine. Just remember to lube any moving parts when you're done, it strips pretty much everything off.

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post #6 of 6 Old 09-28-2010, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to clean a metal tool box

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdigby View Post
I guess I'll start.

What you should use depends on a few different things...
  • where are you going to do the cleaning

    If it is indoors that will preclude the use of degreaser (aka GUNK) and the pressure washer.

  • What and how much you are trying to get off of it (maybe pics would help)?

    I've used fantastik or another spray degreaser cleaner for minor jobs, You could also use diluted simple green or purple power cleaner.

    For small jobs I've also used WD-40 and had good results. It does leave an oil film residue, but it removes most grease and helps to prevent rust. ( the drawback is that the film "attracts" dust)
  • how much work you want to do
    Small job might even use "goof off" or "goo-gone", but the smell and cost would prohibit large applications.

    Even simple Dawn liquid dish soap with warm water and a brush should do a good job.

    I don't think this part is the rocket science. See what you have and give it a shot.

    If there is dust in the drawers, I may be helpful to use air to blow out the dust or use a vacuum to suck up the dust before applying any liquid.

    Good Luck

It mainly looks like it was caught in a major dirt storm with some pretty swirly grease marks. They aren't all over the place just certain spots. I was mainly asking because I had heard cleaning them too much causes them to rust. I didn't want to over clean causing that to happen. I have to clean some of hte drawers it was sitting a few years and some wasps decided to make a nest in them. I was talking to another guy that owns one he said spray wax works good. Has anyone ever tried that before? Thank you very much on the feed back.
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