Take tremendous care when using commercially sold chemical rust removers; these powerful solutions contain either hydrochloric or phosphoric acid. In cases where a significant amount of rust has built up over time, be prepared to apply several courses of the chemical before seeing the desired results.
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.
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.
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.
Remove rust with chemicalsPros: Soaking removers can do all the work for you if the item is small enough. 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. If you don't find the color you like, try the paint department at an auto parts store.
After all the nasty prep work, why risk another bout of rust by using cheap paint? 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. 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. 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. You can remove rust using household ingredients such as aluminum foil and a mild acid like white vinegar, or with special rust -removing chemicals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.) Put the lid back on the diesel can and use again for future rusty tools.
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.
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. 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.
You can also apply it to metal items regularly to prevent new rust from forming. 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.
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.
To remove rust from large metal items, you can use an acidic rust -removal chemical treatment. 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. Finally, rinse the metal off with water and wipe it dry before painting or waterproofing it.