I have recently tried to remove some oxidation from a metal scraper spatula by using vinegar. After leaving it there for a couple of hours I was left with a burnt smell (with a hint of burnt candle wax). Scraper has literal burns on it alongside vertical abrasions.

Since I have no background on chemistry besides an undergrad intro course and IB chemistry back in high school I'm trying to figure out what kind of a reaction I triggered?

Here are 2 photos that show the scraper while including a kitchen knife for color comparison. the scraper was lighter and more metallic looking than the knife. In the close up you can see the original color, the rust and the burn marks clearly. comparison with explanation closeup

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Medical issues are strictly off topic here, but it is all but impossible to see how there could be a health hazard. I suggest rinsing the scraper with plenty of water and then use another cleaning method, i.e., steel wool or similar, in future. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Jul 17 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ thank you. I am more interested in learning what might have caused that kind of a reaction though. $\endgroup$
    – Raiji
    Jul 17 at 13:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If the scraper is in ordinary steel (about 99% iron, ≤ 1% carbon), the iron will be dissolved in acidic solution, but the carbon atoms may react to produce some heavy hydrocarbon that has a burnt smell. This observation is not unusual with steel. $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Jul 17 at 13:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ added some photos that I believe might be of help $\endgroup$
    – Raiji
    Jul 17 at 16:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you want to clean it, use sand paper like 320 SiC . The discoloration is VERY thin. The knife is 13 % Cr and resistant to most household materials. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 at 17:36

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