The Detroit Post
Monday, 25 October, 2021

Best Natural Rust Remover

Elaine Sutton
• Sunday, 03 January, 2021
• 17 min read

The Spruce / Taylor Serbia Submerge the rusted object in undiluted white vinegar. If the object is too large to do so, liberally spray or dab vinegar over the rusted area.

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Pull your object out of its vinegar bath, and use a brush to scrub off any remaining surface rust. The Spruce / Taylor Serbia Mix Borax and lemon juice together to form a paste.

Apply the paste to the rust, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes (longer for rustier objects). Use a brush (a toothbrush works great) to scrub the paste into the rusted object.

The Spruce / Taylor Serbia Slice a potato in half, and sprinkle the cut side with salt or baking soda. The acid in the potato will lift the rust, and the salt (or baking soda) will help scrub it away.

If you're trying to remove rust from your kitchen knives, plunge them into a potato, and let them sit while you go about your day. The Spruce / Taylor Serbia Objects may appear black after being soaked in vinegar or lemon juice but should return to their original color after being rinsed in water.

While they're less harsh than most store-bought rust removers, you should still take care when using them to clean antiques or other valuable items. While many store-bought rust removers contain harsh ingredients that may damage more delicate metal surfaces, we’ve put together this list of homemade rust remover recipes and tips to help you get your belongings sparkling again.

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Additionally, rust stains can form on any number of surfaces around your home. In this list, we’ve put together a collection of recipes and methods that use household ingredients that are cheap and easy to find and can help you get rid of rust.

This is one of the most effective homemade rust remover recipes because it contains three ingredients that are all powerful cleaning agents in their own right. This recipe is perfect for tools, utensils, or other small metal objects.

To remove rust from knives or the rest of your flatware, combine the salt and vinegar in a large plastic jug or container. Soak for about ten minutes and rinse the objects with warm water before drying them.

Potatoes contain italic acid, which is a useful compound for removing surface rust. Stick smaller objects such as forks, knives, or a garden tool directly into a potato and leave it overnight.

Generously coat the inside of the potato with either baking soda or dish soap. Scrub the rusted object or surface with the potato and then wipe it down with an abrasive brush or sponge, such as steel wool.


This method works well for metal with only a couple of ingredients in your kitchen: table salt and lemon. To use this DIY rust remover, coat the rusted area with the salt and then squeeze lemon juice on top.

Scrub the rust with a stiff bristle brush and rinse with water. One of the easiest methods to get your metal surfaces sparkling again is to use phosphoric acid.

Leave rusty objects soaking in some cola overnight, or pour it on a surface and scrub. If you’re pouring the cola, you need either a sponge or a piece of crumpled aluminum foil to rub the stain.

Keep a rag with warm water and soap on hand to wipe off the sticky residue. Place any item with rust stains in a container filled with vinegar and leave overnight.

Though you can easily remove stains using these easy homemade rust remover recipes, the best way to keep your metals sparkling is to prevent rust from forming. Wipe off your tools, your car, and any other rust -prone surface when they get wet, and move them out of the way of water.

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If you were able to remove your rust stains with our recipes, then shares these cleaning methods with your friends! I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, so having a good set of knives is pretty imperative for me.

For Christmas, my wonderful hubby bought me a new set of shiny knives! Within a few months though, my knives started getting small rust spots on the blade.

With the help of my good friend, Google, I have come up with a list of natural knife cleaning methods, and I have tried them all out. I grabbed a pair of rusty shears and plunged them (carefully) into the potato and let ’em hang out for a couple of hours.

Onions have enzymes called alliances, which break down to sulfoxides when they come in contact with oxygen. Citric acid is the key in lemon juice’s ability to remove rust.

For my experiment, I simply poured lemon juice into a glass, added the knife, and let it soak for 2 hours. The only change I saw as a result of the vinegar soak is a *slight* lightening of the rust stains.

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I suppose the vinegar may need longer than 2 hours, but for the sake of this experiment, it fell short of expectations. I actually expected the potato to be the least successful, so I was surprised to see that a lot of the discoloration on the scissors was easily wiped off after extracting the shears.

I love learning how to create things from scratch, so I know what ingredients go into everything from homemade face scrubs to clean eating recipes. For this method, you’ll need borax and lemon juice.

Let us stay for a minimum of 30 minutes or longer depending on how rusty the object is. Once the paste dries out spray a little amount of water just to make it wet.

Take note that the longer the rusty area is soaked in the vinegar, the easier to scrub off the rust Additionally, washing soda will help in restoring your metal objects back to its original shine.

Pour the mixture into the spray bottle and shake vigorously. This homemade rust remover recipe needs one piece of potato (sliced in half) and baking soda.

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Put a tablespoon of baking soda on the cut side of the potato. Let it stay there for a day and once you remove it, the rust should be wiped off immediately.

Simply put a cream of tartar in a bowl along with the same amount of baking soda. Make sure to mix the ingredients thoroughly until you’ve achieved a paste-like consistency.

Rub the paste in the rusted area and let it stay an hour. There might be instances wherein the object soaked in vinegar or lemon juice will turn black.

While these rust removers are considerably milder compared to commercial ones, you should still practice caution when using them. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you would want to use homemade rust removers for antiques and other sentimental items.

Proper handling and cleaning of tools can altogether avoid surface rust. Oiling hardware tools before storing, handwashing of kitchen knives, and protecting them from extreme weather can save you all the trouble of having rusted materials.

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This video from Slideshow EN will give you more ideas on how to remove rust from ordinary household items: These recipes are a good alternative especially if you want to avoid harsh chemicals.

It also makes metals more soluble in water and it can be used on its own or in combination with Lactic Acid in non-toxic products. Laura mine Oxide Made to modify the surface tension of water, the ingredient is a good solvent.

Why we like it: This rust remover has the main advantage of coming in a spray container and it requires minimum effort from the user. Made to dissolve rust, the solution is a clean option which acts in minutes and hours.

Made in the USA, the product can also be one of the go-to options for regions with high humidity. In fact, it is also visible on chrome, porcelain, glass, fabrics, fiberglass and even on plastic.

This is why the universal appeal of the rust remover is what can make it a general product to be used around the house, on various vehicles such as SUVs, cars and even on bikes. In case of contact, rinsing the hands with clean water is mandatory.

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Why we like it: With a strong environmentally-safe formula, the rust remover is made with lactic acid from the fermentation of simple sugars. With a new formula, the stain remover might as well be one of the most recommended names for those who care about the environment.

It is then applied to the rusty area and left to act for at least two minutes before wiping away. Since the container is quite large, it’s worth considering it for other types of rust removal needs outside those on the car.

Packed in a small container, the formula is applied to a cloth and then directly onto the metal surface. However, just because the ingredients are better, it doesn’t mean they can come in contact with the skin or with the eyes and the same safety measures apply as with any other similar product.

As a result of its organic nature, the product is used on various types of metal surfaces. Regardless if it’s wiped with paper or textile towels, it is important not to let it act for more than 6 minutes.

Even these safer ingredients need to be wiped off the metal surface they are cleaning. The formulation of the product recommends it as a general-purpose solution to fight rust and keep it away with regular application.

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Pros Made with some organic ingredients Acts from 2 to 6 minutes Removes grease Suitable for use inside the home Why we like it: With a non-toxic formulation, the product requires no protective gear and it is suitable for large rusty areas.

With a large capacity container, there is sufficient formulation to deal with up to 300lbs of steel. While the container is large, there’s no sprayer to use and this means it applies with a cloth or with a sponge, depending on the rust.

On small metal objects such as auto parts or guns, it can be applied with a handy sponge. This makes it highly valuable for cars, SUVs, vans or farming vehicles which normally see rust through the years.

The best part is that it can be used intensively even on small objects as there are no gloves, eyewear or breathing mask needed. Other vehicles can also be rust free due to this benefit and this includes motorcycles and bikes.

Why we like it: Ideal for marine or RV use, the product comes with an included sprayer suitable for quick application. Formulated for cleaning corrosion and rust, it is perfect for nuts and bolts on cars, boats and other vehicles.

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Available in a container of 650ml, the sprayer represents one of the best solutions for those who want to use it as needed for long periods. With a biodegradable formula, the rust remover is among the solutions which can be safely used for long periods.

This is perfect for those who’re want to see how the final result will look like, depending on the minutes it is left to act on a small area. Made in the USA, the formula is known to act in minutes so the results are visible even with no scrubbing.

Pros Made with a sprayer Acts in 2 minutes Recommended for rusted nuts and bolts Available in various sizes Why we like it: Made with an applicator, the spray solution is mainly usable on small surfaces such as rusted chains, nuts, and bolts.

The design of the penetrant spray makes it easily stand out for those who are looking to remove rust on small surfaces. It represents a solution which acts quickly, especially on different types of rust depth.

But its biggest design advantage is the spray applicator which goes directly to the area which needs rust removal. A distinct advantage of the compact rust remover is that it doesn’t affect the nearby areas next to the rust.

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Packed in a small container, it doesn’t require a sponge for application. Made by one of the most respected names in the industry, the rust remover is part of a competitive family.

It’s reassuring to know that the rust remover can also be backed by other solutions which prolong the life of all metal elements. Designed to represent one of the best solutions in its class for ingredients’ quality, the product raises to its expectations.

Made with non-toxic ingredients, it is among the product which needs no special protective gear to be worn during application. Available in 8oz and 32oz versions, this solution represents a product which is applied with a sponge or similar textile alternative.

One of its benefits is that it contains binding crystals which attach to the surface of the metal and which prevent rust formation. This is a convenient characteristic as many metal objects can come with flammable residues.

For example, removing rust from a fuel tank is possible with the safe formula without having to worry about possible fire risks. It is also advisable to only leave it to act for 2 minutes in the beginning, until seeing what rust it can remove in a short period.

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Why we like it: The powerful solution is made with old-school ingredients and it shows visible results within 15 minutes. Packed in a simple plastic container, it is among the best products when it comes to practicality.

However, its plastic bottle does not include a sprayer and as a result, it needs a sponge or a cloth to be applied directly on the rusted surface. For example, a few sensitive surfaces such as chrome can be damaged by a long action time.

This is the main reason why Locate recommends the product to be limited to 5 minutes of action when applied on chrome or similar platted surfaces. Boats, cars, and farming vehicles are notorious for heavy corrosion.

In any situation, it is recommended to ventilate a room well when applied on metal parts indoors. The Locate formulation is one of the popular choices for heavily corroded surfaces.

Pros Works up to 30 minutes Removes bluing Can be used on chrome Applied with any sponge Concentrated solutions represent one of the best options for those who need to deal with large rusted surfaces.

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Not particularly useful for small nuts and bolts, the product is mainly recommended for those who need to deal with complex areas which need rust removed on large surfaces, such as car doors, pipes or other metal components. But adding water is only needed for it to transform into 16 gallons of rust removing power.

8oz of concentrate is added to 1 gallon of water and the solution is ready to remove rust from various surfaces. This is the main reason why it proves to be such a great option for those who want to reduce their environmental footprint.

The concentrated formulation removes rust from steel, cast iron, and copper. This pocket-friendly concentrated formulation is one of the top products with large applicability in the auto world.

Pros Makes 16 gallons of rust remover Cost-effective formulation Cleans iron, copper, and steel Made with non-toxic ingredients Why we like it: Formulated as a powder, the rust remover can be one of the products used on various surfaces inside and outside the home a family needs.

Furthermore, it represents a simple solution to apply directly on the rusted surface with wet cloth. Users who want a more hands-on approach will find it to be one of the few products which are requiring light scrubbing.

But this can turn into a positive aspect, especially when considering various sensitive surfaces such as chromed accessories should not be left under a rust remover for too long. Among its indications, it is not advisable to leave it out in the reach of children as it is harmful when in contact with the skin or with the eyes.

Many rust removers are not safe to use without minimum safety gear such as protective gloves. However, most users should wear gloves, especially when having to scrub or clean out the applied formula from the metal surface.

However, it is not recommended leaving the product act for a long period in the beginning. Concentrated solutions can even be transformed into gallons of rust removing formula, simply by adding water.

According to the surfaces planned to remove rust from, products should be able to cover them at least a couple of times. Since most of them are packed in plastic containers, it is recommended to recycle the packaging and avoid contact with direct heat sources.

The difference is made in the time the product acts and in the ingredients, it uses for this purpose. They can come in a concentrated formula or in a formulation which doesn’t need added water.

However, those who might be looking to save money, which are the people who need to deal with rust on multiple occasions, can find the concentrated version better. Unlike many other similar products, rust removers are among the solutions which are simply dissolved with water.

Those who plant to purchase a concentrate also need extra containers to prepare the rust remover. But for safety reasons, storage should be made in bottles with closed caps and even with proper labeling.

Both the concentrate and the new formula can be equally harmful, and they need to be kept away from the reach of children. Interestingly, many organic ingredients are only sourced from vegetables and fruits, through fermentation.

The main benefit of organic ingredients is that they do not harm the skin in case of contact. As a result, even if they cost more, organic products can be used safely indoors, without necessarily benefiting from the best ventilation.

Those using such products often might need to look towards such formulas which come with a reduced impact on the environment. On the hand, most of these products are only packaged as a normal liquid, and they need a sponge or a cloth for application.

But even protective gloves are not safe and it is recommended to read the full safety instructions before using such products for the first time. A quick rinse with clean water is the first step towards dealing with such problems.

At the same time, even safety glasses can be handy, especially when starting to scrub the metal surface. One of the areas which need better information is telling users that these rust removers should never be mixed between them.

Most users can benefit from simple solutions which allow them to quickly remove rust at home. Dealing with rust on vehicles, swings, the washing machine or in the drain is easier with such products.

Some products are more exposed to elements which favor rust formation, such as high humidity. Since they act in a couple of minutes, it is not advisable to leave the location as the formula is then wiped with a wet cloth or paper towels.

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