Thread Number: 84896  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Pressure washer to clean porcelain washer drums
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Post# 1093628   10/18/2020 at 15:01 (1,278 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

The deposits on both the inner and outer drums of my Maytag LA 506 are not responding well to chemical cleaners. Whatever the composition of the deposits, they are very hard and resist mechanical scrubbing.

Is use of a pressure washer an acceptable procedure?

Post# 1093640 , Reply# 1   10/18/2020 at 16:45 (1,278 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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It wouldn't harm the porcelain but doubt it would have much, if any effect.

Post# 1093660 , Reply# 2   10/18/2020 at 20:22 (1,278 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        

Photos and info on the chemicals you are using would help.

Post# 1093794 , Reply# 3   10/19/2020 at 23:47 (1,277 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

Started using 9% vinegar and heat - high temp yesterday was in the low 90s, which after a long duration exposure resulted in noticeable reduction of accumulation in the outer tub. Noted that Lime-A-Way toilet bowl cleaner contains HCL. To expedite completion of an already long process, may use diluted HCL, aka muriatic acid.

First photo outer tub as removed, second - current status, third - inner tub as-is, fourth - wear sleeve on shaft - OD to be polished.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size
Post# 1093807 , Reply# 4   10/20/2020 at 06:07 (1,277 days old) by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

Knock loose what you can with a wire brush and POR-15 right over the top of everything else.

Post# 1093809 , Reply# 5   10/20/2020 at 06:38 (1,277 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Try phosphoric acid ....


Get you some grout cleaner with phosphoric acid. It will remove all of it plus the rust as well, leaving everything ready for paint.


Did this on 3 machines and it completely rids the surface of any scale and rust.  Pour some into the tub and keep moving it around with a 2" paintbrush to keep areas wet.  The really thick areas may need to be done twice, but it will completely remove everything.


Those new bio-degradable rust removers like the one from WD-40 brand is simply a weak version of this grout cleaner.

Post# 1093819 , Reply# 6   10/20/2020 at 07:51 (1,277 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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A hard plastic scrapper that's been sharpened a bit can be really helpful with thick stuff like this. It's worth a try anyways.

Post# 1093825 , Reply# 7   10/20/2020 at 09:12 (1,277 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

Will certainly try phosphoric acid - sounds like the silver bullet I need. At first I tried a plastic scraper after soaking with 9% vinegar - after a short time (approx. a minute) the edge was blunted and no longer of use. My first expectation was the acid would soften the deposits to facilitate mechanical removal - was not the case. The acid dissolves the deposits. Upon placing the small piece that is under the inner drum in vinegar, bubbles appeared and streamers of dissolved material were visible.

POR-15 will be applied - I may be too particular in wanting all deposits removed and will pursue that objective. Having seen photos of tubs in other posts that appear as brand new - that is my goal.

Thanks again to all for the benefit of your experiences!

Post# 1093862 , Reply# 8   10/20/2020 at 13:17 (1,276 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
Will certainly try phosphoric acid

Should have used Muriatic acid as advised.

It would have cleaned all those hard water deposits (and rust) quickly without scraping.

Same stuff plumbers use to flush hot water coils.


Post# 1095127 , Reply# 9   10/29/2020 at 23:15 (1,267 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        
Should have used Muriatic acid

I did and it worked great! - see attached.

The white ring around the central opening is not deposits, must be consequence of the flash - excepting the rust, the surface is 100% as original.

Remaining deposits in the center area of the inner tub have yet to be removed.

Next will repair the pinhole in the outer drum with JB Weld and use KBS' 3 Step System on the outer tub, and proceed with reassembly.

  View Full Size

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