An American inventor who has been working on a “miracle” exhaust pipe cleaner for several years has revealed his secret formula on YouTube after it was “stolen” and marketed by a rival.
Neil Stern contacted Motorbike Writer in 2015 after we published an article in which the World Patent Marketing issued a patent for his “Rid a Blue”, a quick-cleaning product designed to take the bluing out of stainless steel or chrome exhaust pipes.
It was claimed to comprise detergent oil, white diamond Polish and an “anti-oxidiser chemical”.
Neil told us he was the inventor of Rid a Blue and was working on getting it to market.
He asked if we would like to try it and we accepted.
When it arrived in some dodgy looking bottles with hand-written directions and an old rag, we were immediately dubious.
It didn’t work on an old bike we had and Neil said it was probably not real chrome or stainless steel.
So he sent another dodgy package and suggested we try it on the badly oxidised pipes of our Triumph Street Scrambler.
This time the results were amazing and immediate.
With only a small application of the solution and without much rubbing it immediately removed the ugly oxidation spots.
In fact, he emphasises you have to be quick and not leave it on for long as it is “strong and fast acting”.
He said it consisted of an “activator” to shift the stain and a deactivator to stop the process. You then use a normal chrome polish such as purple to finish the job.
Neil ran in to all sorts of dramas in getting his product to market, so he gave up.
However, when he found someone selling his formula this year at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, he decided to reveal the secret formula in this crude video on YouTube.
It turns out the secret ingredients in the formula are one-third muriatic acid to two-thirds plain old polish.
Now, muriatic acid (HCL) is a form of hydrochloric acid which is poisonous and highly corrosive. It is also known as spirits of salt.
I can imagine most riders immediately recoiling at the prospect of putting corrosive salt-based acid anywhere near their pride and joy.
In fact, I never would have agreed to use it had he revealed his secret ingredients.
However, it does work.
Neil advises “be careful, it’s strong” and to only use a small amount.
It also has a strong odour and we recommend that if you are brave enough to try it on your pipes, make sure you do it in an open space.
We would also suggest you wear gloves even though we weren’t advised to and didn’t.
Also, be very careful not to get any on any other surfaces, especially paint!
Neil says it can be used on paint, but you should reduce the amount of acid to about a fifth.
We have not seen any adverse reaction on the pipes which have not oxidised again.
“Never let the activator stay on long and hit it with a polish to deactivate and polish,” he says.
“Never do it on hot pipes, always cold.”
He says it can be used to clean all oxidation on stainless steel and chrome.
Neil says some chrome pipes are “plated under solution with no oxygen which is unstable”.
“When in the air and heated up, the molecules in the chrome fall apart and allow oxidation and bluing,” he says.
“What this cleaner does is force the particles together,” he said.
Neil no longer plans to market his cleaner and has now turned his attention to health care products.