Tired of rust ruining your favorite tools? Found some old rusty tools that you don’t want to throw out? Well, in that case, we are here to help you salvage them by showing you how to remove rust from tools and have them look as good as new. The best part about these rust removal processes is that most of them utilize materials that are easily available in almost any home, which makes the process quite cost-efficient.
How To Remove Rust From Tools
Scrubbing the Rust Off
If your tools have a light layer of rust or only some spots with rust on them, then you can scrub it off using some steel wool or some sandpaper. First, you need to wash the tool with some dish soap. After that simply rub the steel wool on the areas with rust, and you will be able to scrape most of it off. Keep in mind that you would need to scrub quite hard and for a long time. Because of this, the scrubbing method of rust removal can be quite tedious.
Using White Vinegar
If the rust layer on the tools is thicker or most of the surface is covered with rust, then we suggest that you use white vinegar for the removal process. First, take a plastic container that you are able to fit your tools into. Fill it up with enough white vinegar that your tools are able to completely submerge into it. After this, place your tools in the vinegar container and leave them overnight.
This will make it easy for you to scrub off the rust as vinegar dissolves rust. Once the adequate amount of time has passed, take the tools out and wipe the rust off using a clean rag. But if the rust is still stuck on the tools, then you can use steel wool or a cleaning brush to further scrape the remaining off. The longer that you soak your tools in the vinegar, the easier it would be to remove rust from them. And so, for really tough stains, we recommend that you soak the tools for around 24 hours or more so that the vinegar is able to dissolve most of the rust.
Using Salt and Lemon Juice
Another great way to remove rust from tools is by using citric acid. But if you don’t have some citric acid available, then you can use its natural source, lemon juice. First, sprinkle a thick layer of salt on the areas with rust stains. Next, squeeze generous amounts of lemon juice onto these areas. When there is a thick layer of salt and lemon juice on your tools, let them rest for a few hours. After around 4 to 5 hours, you can go ahead and try to scrub the rust stains off. The mixture would have already loosened most of the rust, and using a brush or steel wool; you can scrub the rest off.
Using Baking Soda Paste
You can also use baking soda to get rid of rust stains from your tools. Take around half a cup of baking soda and add some water to make a paste that is thick enough to coat your tools well. If your mixture is too runny, then you add a little more baking soda to thicken it. Once your mixture is ready, thickly layer it on your tools using a paintbrush, a spoon, or something of the like.
Leave this mixture to stay on your tools for a few hours so that the baking soda has enough time to break down the rust on your tools. After this, you can wipe the mixture and rust off with a clean rag. Although if there are still rust stains on the tools then you can use steel wool or a brush with thick bristles to scrub the rest of the remaining rust off. Once all the rust is completely off the tools, rinse them and wipe them dry.
Using Oxalic Acid
All the previous methods utilized materials that could be easily found at your home. They can fall short if faced with thick and tough rust stains. This is why if these methods do not work for you, then it is time to look for more heavy-duty solutions. And one of thid is Oxalic acid. This is a strong acid that is commercially used for the purpose of rust removal. For this process, you need to take some precautions as oxalic acid is quite dangerous.
We recommend that you wear rubber gloves and some form of eye protection, preferably safety goggles. Now, fill a large container with water and add a few tablespoons of oxalic acid. You need the oxalic acid and water to have a ratio of 1:10. Once your solution is done, submerge the rusty tool into the container and leave them for around 20 minutes. After this, take your tool out and carefully wipe the rust off with a clean rag. If all of the rust comes completely off, you can go ahead and wash them to get rid of any mixture still left on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does vinegar remove rust from tools?
Yes, vinegar is one of the best ways to remove rust from tools at home. This is because vinegar is able to dissolve rust quite well. And so, if you submerge the rusty material into a container of vinegar and let it soak for a day or so, then the rust will easily come off. Although if the stains are especially tough, then some might remain on the tools, and you would have to remove them using some steel wool.
What is the fastest way to remove rust from metal?
The fastest way to remove rust from metal, in our opinion, is by using Oxalic Acid. This is because it is a strong acid and is commercially used for the purpose of rust removal. And so, it only takes 20 minutes to work through most of the rust stains. Although if we are talking about household objects for rust removal, then the fastest way to remove rust from metal would be by using baking soda.
What can I use to sand rust off metal?
If your tools only have a small amount of rust on them, then you can easily remove them by sanding or scrubbing them off. And the best material for that is steel wool and sandpaper. Steel wool is able to take out the rust stains more efficiently, but it can scratch the metal. Sandpaper, on the other hand, removes rust without scratching or damaging the metal, but you would need to use a lot more force.
Rust is the worst enemy of metal tools and can attack them at the slightest neglect, lowering the performance of your tools. But the good news is that you can easily remove rust and salvage your tools instead of throwing them out. And so, in the above article, we have shown you all the ways you can do that and restore your favorite tools to their former glory.