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Removing BX marks from wall #189083 09/18/09 02:16 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 4
ahickey Offline OP
New Member
Does anyone have any tricks/tips for removing the dark marks that BX cable leaves on a painted wall? I've tried the Magic Eraser in the past, but that usually messes up the paint finish. frown

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: ahickey] #189086 09/18/09 02:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,432
Lostazhell Offline
I've used the Dottie hand wipes with moderate success in the past. Thinking about what's actually on the BX, (which is an oil) I might also try a bit of dish soap on a damp sponge.

whatever you try, test it out in an inconspicuous location on the wall first..

good luck =)

Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: Lostazhell] #189092 09/18/09 08:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,283
electure Offline

I, like Lostazhell iagree , have used dish soap or liquid hand soap with wet paper towels to get that stuff off. Be sure to rinse the wall when you're done to get rid of the soap, and dry it off. (it takes a lot of paper towels)

Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: electure] #189098 09/19/09 05:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
Why do the makers put the oil on it to start with?

Wood work but can't!
Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: Alan Belson] #189099 09/19/09 11:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 815
JoeTestingEngr Offline
I'm not saying that this works BUT I'm amazed at all the things that WD-40 takes off. I just showed someone how well it works on what's left after you remove a price sticker. It would be interesting to see how it works with BX coating on a painted surface. I do remember ruining a silver embroidered skydiving windbreaker by carrying a roll of BX. That was an expensive lesson.

Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: Alan Belson] #189101 09/19/09 11:31 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 357
mbhydro Offline
I wonder if its oiled to keep it from rusting while its in storage, sort of like sheet metal for heating ducts have a coating on it when you buy it at the store.

Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: mbhydro] #189102 09/19/09 12:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline
I think the oil is most likely used to lubricate the dies that form the armor. Aluminum jacketed MC can be worse as it seems to contain graphite.

I think the best thing to do is avoid the problem in the first place by leaving a roll of the cable out in the weather for a month or so & let mother nature wash it off for you.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: Tom] #189105 09/19/09 01:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Well, Tom, I'll give you half credit. laugh

Nearly all AC, MC, FMC used today has an outer jacket made fron aluminum. I agree that the oil is there as part of the manufacturering process.

Aluminum does, in fact, react with air. This results in a layer of aluminum oxide (think 'aluminum rust' so to speak)forming on the surface of the aluminum. While this layer doesn't flake of as real rust flakes off of iron, it does come off fairly easily. The acids in your sweat combine with aluminum, which is why your hands get so black when you work with MC.

Now .... think for a moment .... what do you get when you mix fine colored particles witha light oil? We have a special word for this mix. We call it 'paint.'

So, in handling the MC we make what amounts to a black paint- which then rubs off onto the wall. Remove the oil, and the black stuff - aluminum oxide- remains.

Unless the surface is completely smooth and non-porous, you're stuck with having to cover your marks with more paint- paint that matches the wall this time.

Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: ahickey] #189118 09/20/09 07:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Niko Offline
I have been using simple green with great success for most of my cleaning for me it works great. i use wd-40 to remove tar.


Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live

Re: Removing BX marks from wall [Re: Niko] #189147 09/21/09 11:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
KJay Offline
I always carry a spray bottle of ZEP glass cleaner mix and a roll of white paper towels. I mix the ZEP myself from concentrate and like to make it a little strong, so it will remove oils like that MC gook and oxide, but not so strong that it takes latex paint off walls.
I use it for cleaning just about everything. Every light fixture and wall plate gets cleaned after installation when I do the finish on a new house.
Watch out for those paper towels with the color prints on them though. That print color stuff [Soy ink??] comes of on the walls and leaves a nasty stain that is extremely difficult to remove.

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