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Salt Removal Product Recommendation

David M

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Just had another chance to try out a product I tripped across a few years back - Salt-Away.  

The product claims to safely remove salt from all surfaces... immediately, except when the salt is caked, or in my case close tolerance mechanisms such as zippers where it has taken a few applications and some wait time in between applications.

My first experience was on a discontinued Keen water shoe that was my go-to favorite. I had neglected to properly rinse the zip at the end of last season, and it had seemingly fused.  No amount of pulling, tugging paired with rinsing or WD 40 application had any effect.  I remembered I had picked up a bottle of Salt-Away and decided to give it a go.  Three applications over two days did the trick.  The zip is now fully functional. 

My most recent experience was over the weekend with my Werner Cyprus paddle.  Fixing to clean my paddle I attempted to separate the halves.  It was not to be.  Rinsing and prying finally resulted in a separation, but the button was hopelessly stuck.  I imagined it to be sand.   I rinsed it, soaked it and finally got a bit of movement.  I again remembered the Salt-Away, gave it an ample spray and within 5 minutes, and tested again this morning, it was as good as new.

Amazon.com: Salt-Away Salt Remover Spray - 16 Fl. oz. : Sports & Outdoors 


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Interesting.  I have some zippers that are salted shut.  So what's better about this stuff than water, which dissolves salt pretty well?

The product MSDS identifies a main ingredient as glycol ether EB, also known as butyl cellosolve, aka 2-butoxyethanol.  It's a commonly used solvent/surfactant, a constituent of lots of household and industrial cleaners (and paints, inks...).  The molecule has one polar end and one non-polar end, so it can dissolve both polar and non-polar solutes.

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While we're on the topic of salt, anyone like me who likes to leave their kayak cradles attached to their vehicle all season should occasionally completely remove, inspect, and lubricate ALL of the metal mounting hardware. Perhaps knowing about Salt-Away would have saved a couple of my mounting bolts from that other universal dissolution solution - a hacksaw blade. :(


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