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Q & A: Rusting Faster

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Why does water,vinegar and bleach rust iron faster then plain water
- Deborah Kisiel (age 11)
Kanaka Creek Elementary School, Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada,
A:
We found what looks like a nice website describing this process:

Apparently, a first step in rusting involves some iron coming off the metal, going into solution. Iron is more soluble in acidic solutions, like vinegar, so I suppose that's why vinegar might speed up the process. The product of rusting is oxidized iron. Since bleaches are strong oxidizing agents (that's how they work), it's not surprising that they accelerate rusting.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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