No! Not the kind Borat might use. I'm talking about using electrolysis for cleaning cast iron.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis : In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of separating chemically bonded elements and compounds by passing an electric current through them.
This is an exceptional way to restore some mistreated cast iron. It is also easy to do and inexpensive as long as you already own a battery charger.
This is the setup in my garage.
- plastic tub
- plastic dishrack
- old steel grill (any conductive metal)
- battery charger
- Sodium Carbonate (the soap)
- car battery cable cut in half
The way this works is you connect the positive clamp to the junk piece of metal you are using for the anode. I use the grill for this.
The negative line is connected to the item you want to clean which is the cathode.
You need to keep the anode and cathode separated and the dishrack works perfectly for this.
As the current flows all the rust, grease, carbon and crud comes off the cathode (skillet) and attaches itself to the anode (grill).
I set my battery charger to the 6 amp setting and it usually takes 8-10 hours. I add 2 or 3 handfuls of the A&H Washing Soda to the water and stir it up before adding the rest of the items to the tub.
I use the car battery cable so that I don't have to crud up my battery charger clamps.
This is very easy to do. No scrubbing or abrasion is needed. The only byproducts are hydrogen gas (vent well) and some iron rich water that I dump on my lawn. I have to assume there is a risk of electric shock but I haven't stuck my finger in the water to find out. Keep kids, pets and idiots away from this and you should be fine. If you are an idiot (ask your friends) don't try this.
If you hurt yourself it is your own damn fault so don't try to blame me.
Once the piece is cleaned you will need to begin seasoning it ASAP to avoid rust. See my article on seasoning here > Seasoning
The water solution lasts for a long time no matter how crappy looking it gets. If you are doing multiple pieces you will need to scrape off the anode now and then. The amount of crud that builds up on it depends on how disgusting the cathode was.
See part 2 HERE where I souped this puppy up.