Thursday, September 8, 2011
A novel used of citric acid is in removing rust from steel objects. The blade of a traditional Malay kris, is rubbed with a slice of lime to remove rust.
By etching the surface of the blade it also will revealed an attractive pattern of irregular wavy lines associated with variations in composition of the metal.
Citric acid occurs widely in nature. Large amounts are present in citrus fruits such as oranges, limes and lemons.
Kris is cleaned once a year.
Normally it started with cleaning the blade thoroughly off all the grease and dirt using soap and water. Then cleaning the blade by repeating hard brushing using a brush and lime segments and with frequent rinsing until all traces of rust are gone.
Incensed is burned to it and prayers offered., and the blade later coated with a fragrant oil.
Some people clean the rust off the wavy metal blade with coconut oil that also made the pamor pattern more visible and then purified the kris in fragrant incense.
While for others the blade soaked in sulphur and salt mixtures followed by treatment with arsenic and limes.
The use of arsenic and lime juice to clean and etch the blade in the stages of preparation has given rise to the idea that all kris blades were poisonous.
Cleaning the kris blade
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