How to Remove Rust at Home: Here are the 6 Best Ways
Rust can be one of the most annoying things on objects around the house or on that box of tools we keep out in the garage. With rust so prevalent, there are many ways which you can remove the oxidized iron with just a little bit of work. The result won't remove pitting, but it will take away all the rust on a metal object so it can live another day. Check out our list of the best rust removal techniques!
Most of us probably have a little bit of white vinegar laying around, whether it be for cooking or cleaning. As it turns out, it is one of the most effective rust removal chemicals around. All you need to do is soak the rusty object in vinegar for 24 hours. When you take it off, scrub it down and it should be rust free! If for some reason the rusty object is too big to fit in a container of vinegar, you can soak a rag in the chemical and rub the rusty object down.
Lime and Salt
If you don't have any white vinegar, but you do have table salt and a lemon or lime, then you have all you need to make that tool sparkle. Simply generously coat the metal in salt, then squeeze out lime or lemon juice over top of the salt. You can use the rind to scrub the rust off after leaving it to sit for 2-3 hours.
Baking Soda Paste
All you need for this method is baking soda and water. Pour the baking soda into a bowl, and slowly mix in water until the mixture starts forming a viscous paste. Once you have the paste made, spread it across the metal and let it sit for a little while. Once you think it's been enough time, scrub the paste off with a toothbrush or steel wool. The rust will come right off with the paste.
Potato and Dish Soap
Probably the most unexpected rust remover on this list, but potatoes and dish soap do a great job at getting the rust off. This method will work better for flat pieces of metal as you will be letting a cut up potato sit on the object. First, cut the potato in half, then cover the cut ends in dish soap, any kind works. This starts a chemical reaction that binds with the rust. You can choose to scrub the object with the potato if you're impatient or leave it on there for a while to soak.
You can buy powdered citric acid from the supermarket, and all you need to do is mix a little in with some hot water. You can make as much solution as you need in a bowl, and then place the rusted metal inside the container. If you leave the object in the solution overnight, by morning, it should be mostly rust free!
Diesel fuel actually works just as well as all of the other methods on this list. Let any rusty old object soak in some diesel for 24 hours, and the rust will slowly start being worn away. After you take it off, make sure to scrub it down, and wash it thoroughly to get all of the fuel off.
Do you have another method of removing rust that has worked for you? Let us know in the comments so everyone can get those old rusty objects shiny clean.
Verena Mohaupt, logistics coordinator of MOSAiC, Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, talks about the perilous journey.