Home Remedies for Rust Removal

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Not only is rust an unattractive growth to find on your possessions, but it can decrease the functionality of objects. Rusty parts are more prone to break and cause injury. From the outside of your car to a set of golf clubs, rust attacks a variety of things. To get rid of the orangey brown discoloration, consider using home remedies for rust removal.

What is Rust?

Rust is the oxide that forms with the occurrence of open-air oxidation of iron. Rusting is the term used to refer to the corrosion of iron and its alloys, such as steel. The process is associated with the way various materials react to oxygen and surrounding moisture [1]. The oxidation process may cause the iron oxide to look bubbly or ‘puffed up’. Sometimes, the rust gives off a flaky appearance.

Rust Removal Home Remedies

As soon as rust starts to develop, it can spread like an infection until you are left with an object you can no longer use. To prevent further damage and to save your favorite items, consider some of the following home remedies for rust removal:

a) Salt and Lemon:

To treat light rust spots, sprinkle coarse salt on a rusted area, and then squeeze fresh lemon over it. Leave the ingredients on the object for two to three hours. When you return, remove the salt and the rust should have disappeared.

b) Vinegar:

To remove rust from small metal objects, place the object in a bowl and completely cover with white vinegar. Allow the object to soak for several hours before removing it from the vinegar. Rinse off with clean water, and then completely dry. To remove rust from tools, nuts, bolts and screws, fill a quart-sized jar with white vinegar. Add the rusty items to the vinegar, and soak overnight. After removing the objects from the vinegar – wipe off the rust. A light coating of oil can help prevent rusting in the future.

c) Club Soda:

Pour club soda over rusty nuts and bolts to loosen when they’ve become stuck. The bubbling action of the carbonation helps to remove the rust.

d) Kool-Aid [2]:

When unsightly rust stains appear on your concrete, mix unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid with hot water, and scrub away.

e) Lighter Fluid:

When you’ve found rust on your stainless steel possessions, quickly wipe away by pouring a small amount of lighter fluid onto a clean rag. Rub the rust spot away, and use another rag to wipe away any remaining fluid.

f) Sandpaper:

To address larger areas of rust, use sandpaper to remove the damage. When working with larger areas, don’t forget to wear a mask and safety goggles to protect yourself from airborne particles. Wear gloves to protect your hands and skin. For stubborn rust, you may want to use an electric sander.

g) Steel Wool:

Remove the outer flakes of rust on an object by scrubbing with steel wool, which is also good to touching up rusty items.

h) Lemon Juice:

The powerful components of lemon juice can dissolve rust on objects. Some people will mix lemon juice and a small amount of vinegar to increase the strength of this remedy. The advantage to using this approach is that you not only eliminate the rust, but also leave behind an inviting scent.

i) Tin Foil:

The abrasive action that tin foil can have on some objects can be used to get rid of rust. Crumble the tin foil up and rub against the surface of a rusty item.

j) Baking Soda:

A paste made out of baking soda and water can be used to clean rust. Add enough water to baking soda to make a paste thick enough to stick to the rusted surface. Allow the remedy to sit on the rust for a bit of time before scrubbing off with a piece of steel wool or a wire brush. For stubborn rust, you may have to repeat the process a couple of times.

k) Potato:

Remove rust from pots, pans, and other kitchen items by cutting a potato in half and rubbing the vegetable all over the rust. Dipping the potato in table salt enhances the scrubbing action by adding abrasiveness. When the rust has been removed, toss out the potato and wash the object in warm soapy water. Don’t forget to dry thoroughly.

l) Coca-Cola:

One of the most popular sodas on the market has the power to treat rusty areas. Apply Coca Cola to rusty spots, and scrub with a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil. Add more of the soda and continue to scrub until all of the rust is gone. Follow up by washing with warm soapy water to remove the sticky residue. Use a clean cloth to thoroughly dry the object. Some people have successfully removed rust on their car by using Coca Cola. Use on chrome and the trim of your car. Simply use a sponge soaked in Coca Cola, and scrub using the crumbled up aluminum foil.

m) Wire Brush:

Scrubbing a rusty object with a wire brush can remove the unwanted damage or prep an object for a more deep-cleaning method by removing the flakiness of surface rust.


[2] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 194.