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I understand that the only metal Nitric Acid will eat away / corrode is copper. Nitric acid is easy to make. hydrochloric acid mixed with sodium or potassium nitrate and filter the gasses through water with an airlock and the gasses turn the water into a diluted nitric acid. Anyone ever used it for copper fouling?
 

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Many safe products out there to use not that bad on the wallet either.

Far as loosening copper a fair to middling primer is Louisiana Hot sauce though I think it would require some scrubbing to get rid of the stink after using. I do use it a lot for removing all kinds of crud from metal, glass, plastic.
 
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