Cleaning With Baking Soda/Limestone

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Post Sun. Mar. 07, 2010 8:59 am

When people talk of cleaning their stove pipe, etc. never hear of useing baking soda,limestone. I would think this would neutralize the acid. From what I understand the utility company uses limestone mixed with the coal to clean up the emissions. Where I work they use limestone in a scrubber for a kiln to clean the exhaust emissions. Would this mix turn the ash to cement ? Would it be possable to mix limestone in with the coal in the bin ? Any thoughts or experience ? :D

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Hambden Bob
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Post Sun. Mar. 07, 2010 9:12 am

An interesting question. Balance between acids and caustics,when done right,should produce the ph neutral zone that you speak of. We always tested 4-7-10 when calibrating our ph meters at the dirtburner(Coal-fired power plant). Being the acid leaches out after the unit goes cold and hydroscopic action occurs with idle moisture,you'd have to figure out how to have had your high ph additive in the burn stream for quite some time so as to coat or be a part of fly ash or powder plated out into the upper part of the chamber and flue. I'm trying to put it into words,but maybe one of our resident engineering/chemist gurus could do a much finer job than me.
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Post Sun. Mar. 07, 2010 7:25 pm

Do a site search for 'baking soda' you will find that we've recommended washing the inside of your stove with a solution of water/baking soda to neutralize the acids.
I think there is a 'spring maintenance' thread that covers this.. as well as several other ideas to prevent or reduce rust during the summer months.

Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
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Post Sun. Mar. 07, 2010 8:09 pm

Every time I've tried it, it seemed to make things worse. I may have gone too far the other direction - alkaline ...
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Post Sun. Mar. 07, 2010 9:45 pm

Rub a PH test strip on the metal before and after the soda wash and see...
You have the 'Great Smitty Sea' in the basement...
Getting the moisture to a netural state may make it better...
I do not have the standing or running water like you do but...
The beach is just 600 feet away...
So the air is moist and salty...
I am going to try to keep the stove dry and get all the ash out...
Whenever spring shows up...
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
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Post Mon. Mar. 08, 2010 5:52 pm

Having sold the leisure line pioneer, I would have to say just clean and then oil, no water. I tried the baking soda and water, then dried, then oiled and got surface rust. I oiled the heck out of it too, with a CRC metal protector.
Gouldsboro PA.

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Post Mon. Mar. 08, 2010 7:33 pm

mozz wrote:Having sold the leisure line pioneer, I would have to say just clean and then oil, no water. I tried the baking soda and water, then dried, then oiled and got surface rust. I oiled the heck out of it too, with a CRC metal protector.
Keeping moisture out of the unit is the key. If there isn't any moisture the sulfur compounds (dioxide or trioxide) from burning coal deposited on the unit's metal surface can't form any of the sulfur acids (either sulfurous or sulfuric).

I was going to get into it but looked it up on and found this I clipped from a site talking about acid rain formulas. (fyi ... aq = aqueous solution = a solution in water):
  • burn(ing) coal produce(s) sulfur dioxide from the sulfur impurities in the coal.

    S(s) + O2(g) ==> SO2(g)

    The SO2(g) combines with water to produce sulfurous acid.

    H2O(l) + SO2(g) ==> H2SO3(g)

    Note: Sulfur dioxide is not readily oxidized to sulfur trioxide in dry clean air. Water droplets and dust particles however, catalyse the reaction between O2 and SO2 in the air producing sulfur trioixde, SO3.This dissolves in water and produces sulfuric acid which is a much stronger acid. This can cause considerable damage to buildings, vegetation and fish populations by destroying fish eggs.

    SO2(g) + ½O2(g) ==> SO3(g)
    H2O(l) + SO3(g) ==> H2SO4(aq)
So, keep your powder dry ;)
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Post Tue. Mar. 09, 2010 6:18 am

Is there any harm in using baking soda to the point of creating an alkaline surface in pipe and stove :?:
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Post Fri. Mar. 26, 2010 12:10 pm

I never use water, baking soda, oil or anything else on the inside of my stove. I disassemble the stove and scrape/wire brush the interior and vacuum. I blow the fans, motors, grate, etc. off with compressed air, then leave everything disassembled with the doors off the stove so there is good airflow. For the stove pipe I simply knock most of the ash out and use a long handled brush to get out the rest. The pipe is just run of the mill black pipe and I can't remember when I replaced it last. I run a dehumidifier through the off season (stove is in basement). I've been doing this for many years with an old Alaska Kodiak that I got used and wasn't taken care of by the previous owner.

I do use an acid neutralizer on 1 thing - my water coil. I like to clean the coil well after the season and I found an acid neutralizer used for farm equip. cleans the coil up very nice.

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