The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

Can Rust Be Removed

Paul Gonzalez
• Friday, 01 January, 2021
• 12 min read

Patio furniture, outdoor tools and lawn machines all eventually get rusty. And when the coatings on those products crack, rust starts to bloom and the battle is on.

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You can attack rust early and nip it in the bud, or you can wait until you have a full-blown war on your hands. Either way, you’ll need a battle plan on how to get rid of rust and a complete list of weapons at your disposal to start the process.

Whichever tool you choose, always start with the coarsest abrasive to for how to remove rust from metal and pockmarks. Switch to wire wheels for seams, corners and rounded rusted metal areas.

Note: A wide range of stripping, grinding and sanding attachments are available for grinders. Drill-mounted wire wheels and stripping discs can be used as a rust remover instead of or in addition to grinders, though they don't have as much power or cover as much surface area.

Finishing and random-orbit sanders are also useful tools for rust removal on flatter surfaces. They’re harsh chemicals that give off some pretty intense fumes, so suit up with rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator.

If you can live with the look of a rough or pockmarked finish, rust converter can save you a lot of time. Start by removing any flaking paint and rusty dust with a wire brush.

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Pour a small amount of converter into a cup and work it into the rusty patches with a paintbrush. Grind, sand or scour off the rust Pros: No pockmarks and a smooth finish prior to painting.

Cons: Leaves a rough or pockmarked finish that’ll show after you paint. May not inhibit rust as long as traditional removal, priming and painting.

Spray removers greatly reduce the grunt work, but they require several applications and some scraping. Cons: Long wait times for the liquid removers to do their job.

Tip: Don’t think you can spray rust -inhibiting paint onto a rusty surface and get good results. To fill in scratches, choose a sandable primer and lightly sand when dry.

Inexpensive paint contains less pigment, fewer resin binders and no rust inhibitors. It will contain zinc additives that provide an extra measure of protection against future rust.

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Brushing usually provides a better paint bond than spraying, but it leaves brushstrokes in the finish. However, spraying is tricky and if you stay in one spot too long, you can wind up with paint sag marks in the finish.

The Best Electric Pressure Washers: Reviews and Buying Tips In spite of the advanced coatings and alloys developed by chemists and engineers, iron’s unstable chemical makeup means it will always succumb to rust in a natural environment.

Examine an old iron engine block and you'll see a thin surface layer of rust but little penetration into the metal. Adding a dollop of carbon to iron creates steel, which offers dramatic improvements in flexibility, tensile strength, and formability.

For drivers, this means that dirty or salty water trapped somewhere in the car's body makes that spot rust faster. A huge amount of testing and material science is dedicated to keeping your car from dissolving away beneath you.

Those are further augmented in the final assembly plants when freshly made vehicle bodies are dipped in baths of anti-corrosion agents before the painting process. However, the road-facing side of the car turns into one big sandblasting cabinet at highway speeds, and those dips and coatings wear off over time.

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Rust forms in stages, and knowing where a problem spot is in that decomposition process can help point you to the right solution. Start by using an abrasive wheel or sandpaper (we used 50-grit) to cut through the paint and corrosion until clean, bright metal is visible.

If you don’t correct surface rust and you allow that decomposition to penetrate further into the metal, you may see bubbles start to form in your car’s paint. When rust penetrates into the surface like this, it causes a rough, pitted type of damage called scale.

Correcting scale means getting through the rust with a wire brush, knocking down roughness with a grinding wheel and smoothing out the surface with sandpaper. If it’s in a nondescript area such as underneath the car, you can just seal this cleaned-up spot back up with a rust converter and call it a day.

If it’s in a more visible spot, you may want to consider smoothing it out with a body filler such as Bond before finishing it out with primer and paint. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the body filler as it can vary, but generally speaking, you mix it up to a specified ratio depending on your room temperature.

NAPA recommends only mixing as much body filler as you’ll use within ten minutes as it starts to harden relatively quickly. After that, smooth out the extra filler you left on top so the repair matches the contours of the rest of the car.

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If you have a rust inhibitor that is safe to use with body filler, add this now, but otherwise, you can seal your work with a regular, high-quality primer. As with fixing surface rust, paint and clear-coat your repaired spot, then buff to blend it in with the rest of the car.

Penetrating Rust After prolonged exposure, steel is converted to brittle iron oxide and holes form. This is penetrating rust, and it’s the cause of everything from Swiss cheese-style holes in the fenders to more dangerous problems with weakened frames and suspension components.

Take a look underneath the car periodically to inspect for any rough or compromised parts that could be a safety risk on the road if left unfixed. Welds that hold on patch panels can be smoothed out to look like they were always part of the car by the right set of talented hands.

Lower door corners are notoriously vulnerable to rust. The good news is that this kind of vehicular decay is largely preventable. The best advice is the most obvious: Wash your car regularly to keep the body and underside clean of the road grime, salts, and dirt that lead to corrosion.

The not-so-obvious advice is to check the drain holes along the bottoms of doors and rocker panels, which allow rainwater to flow out. As noted earlier, many vehicles have a thick coating on the underside that chemically seals the steel against oxidizing agents.

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Regular inspection and repair of the spots that have worn bare will keep rust from advancing and causing additional damage. POR-15 is one of the more popular examples of such a rust -protective sealant, and they even have a rubberized coating to go over it in case you want even more protection underneath your car.

As long as your metal is properly sealed from the elements and kept clean of corrosive salt and grime, you should be able to get years of safe driving out of even the most abused winter beater. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.

James Sears leads the customer happiness team at Neatly, a group of cleaning gurus based in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. James is an expert in all things clean and provides transformative experiences by reducing clutter and renewing your home environment.

James is a current Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California. This article received 55 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

To use, soak the metal in white vinegar for a few hours and then scrub the rusty paste off. If the object is too big to soak directly in the white vinegar, pour a layer over the top and allow it time to set.

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Try dipping aluminum foil in the vinegar and using it as a brush to scrub off the rust. You can use regular vinegar and simply allow your rusty metal objects to soak in it for up to 24 hours before rinsing.

Sprinkle salt over the rusted area so that it is thoroughly coated and then juice a lime over the top. Mix baking soda with water until it is thick enough to spread on the metal.

To reapply, simply cut off the used end of the potato and add more soap, letting it soak into the metal for more time. If you don’t have dish soap, you can use baking soda and water instead with the potato.

Wash the rusted item with washing-up liquid rinse and carefully dry. Wash fully and dry the item when rust removal is finished.

They are typically made from phosphoric or italic acid and can be harmful to bare skin. These chemicals often need to set for a long time and require scrubbing afterwards, so be ready for a little extra work.

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These products can be expensive and only work for small-scale projects, not larger rusted items. It will also leave a rough texture under the paint, as you are essentially just adding a covering to the rust.

This method requires a lot more elbow grease, but you can effectively remove rust by simply scraping it off. Buy a small box of citric acid in the powder form from your favorite supermarket in the baking/cooking goods' area.

Put some citric acid in a plastic container and pour in hot water, enough to cover the item being cleaned. If you happen to come into contact with rust, you can remove the residue from your clothing using lemon juice and water.

Apply lemon juice to the affected area, but don’t let it dry. Wash the article of clothing after using the lemon juice to aid in removing the rust.

For heavier fabric with a worse rust stain, you can also apply salt to the area in addition to lemon juice. Don’t use this method on ceramic cookware, as it will damage the material with scrapes.

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Use a very fine grain sandpaper and rub down the stainless steel with it in a circular motion. Follow this by rubbing it down with a slice of onion, and rinse with hot water.

Pour it into a can and place the rusty tool (such as stuck pliers, screwed items, etc.) Rust is a chemical process in which iron oxidizes and begins to flake away the metal.

Try to keep the metal in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture buildup. Seal the paint with a clear top coat to reduce the rate of oxidation.

Add New Question What's a good home remedy for cleaning rust off of metal? James Sears leads the customer happiness team at Neatly, a group of cleaning gurus based in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.

James is an expert in all things clean and provides transformative experiences by reducing clutter and renewing your home environment. James is a current Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California.

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You can always mix white vinegar and baking soda with some hot water to make a cleaning paste. This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

However, if the rust stains are only affecting the surface of the paint, you can probably scrub it off with a cloth and some liquid detergent or a vinegar and baking soda paste. This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Use a wire brush or chemical rust remover, they're sold at every hardware store.

Boiled linseed oil (available in any hardware store in the paint section) has often been used by farmers to coat metal and wood implements that live outdoors. Be careful not to get any of this liquid (or dried powder) onto your skin, eyes or clothing.

Remove and dispose of the old batteries and clean or polish the contacts and surrounding compartment with a wire brush, a dental pick or small screwdriver, or, in a pinch, use a pencil eraser to polish. Depending on the chemical, harmful fumes may be released in the cleaning process, such as acid vapors.

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Combine a number of the steps together to get added power in your rust removal. For example, if you need to remove rust from a chain, let it soak in vinegar for hours, and then scrub it down using steel wool or a wire brush.

Article Summary To remove rust from small metal items, first fill a container with undiluted white vinegar. Then, drop the item into the vinegar and let it soak anywhere from 10 minutes to 6 hours depending on how rusty it is.

After it soaks, put on a pair of rubber gloves and scrub the metal with steel wool or a stiff-bristled brush. Finally, rinse the metal under a stream of warm water to neutralize the acid in the vinegar.

If there’s still some discoloration, put the metal in a resealable plastic bag with 1 to 2 cups (180-360 g) of baking soda and some water. First, put on a pair of rubber gloves, a dust mask, and some protective eyewear.

Working with rust -removal chemicals can be dangerous, so make sure you take the proper safety precautions. Then, dip a natural brush in the chemical and carefully apply it to the rust.

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