DJ, I'm glad the vinegar worked out well for you. Naval Jelly is the same premise, but, being a much stronger acid will get the job done faster.
I've never heard stories of iron oxide on blue steel pans giving off a black film when rubbed. Even if they did, the seasoning and lower temperature use would seal the oxide in. I really think a vinegar soak/no seasoning is the way to go, and, for those with less patience, naval jelly.