Cleaning Rust Stains From Plastic Lenses
I've had this problem before when reassembling a car after that fresh paint job, the car is looking great but I just couldn't bring myself to put those original ugly rust stained front turn signal lenses back on! Oh sure, you can just buy a new reproduction part IF there's any available for the car you're working on or you could spend hours with plastic polish, rags, toothbrushes & Q-tips trying to get in every crack & crevice of that Pontiac lens (no fun!) After too many years of dealing with this the hard way I have finally come up with an easy method for cleaning those rust stains off.
While cleaning some rust stain rings from our toilet bowl (yes, we have well water here!) I wondered how this cleaner would work on plastic turn signal lenses with decades of rust stains on them. A test was in order here! I picked out the worst rust stained lenses I had, a pair from a rusty NW Indiana 1963 Catalina that I had parted out in 1980. After only a few minutes of soaking in the cleaner the rust stains were dissolving and with minimal work from a tooth brush there was a new luster the lenses hadn't seen in decades.
The pictures here are of some 70 & 71 LeMans lenses I had recently cleaned & they give you a pretty good idea of what results you can expect from this cleaner. The product is called Iron Out, it comes in a powder form and is sold at most big box stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. I use a plastic container large enough to completely cover the part your cleaning then mix the powder with hot water. A couple of tablespoons per cup of water seems to net good results. Usually within 5 minutes you'll see most if not all of the rust disappear. The powder is a little wicked smelling so don't do this in the kitchen sink while your wife is at home
Contributed by Steve Veatch