How to Remove Rust from Tools

If you own a house or like to work on your home, chances are you have a tool collection. But they can experience rust when exposed to water or warm, humid environments.

Tools slowly corrode over time, forming rust on the steel or iron parts. They can break or become ineffective. But do not discard your rusty tools. If you learn how to remove rust from tools, you can prolong their lifespans and add another skill to your tool belt.

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Below are a few ways to remove rust that are simple and inexpensive. Repairing rusty tools is definitely cheaper than replacing them every time.

Sanding Method

You need coarse and fine grit sandpaper and steel wool or a wire brush. Clean the rusty tools first and dry them. Use the steel wool or a wire brush to clean more around the rust.

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When you have done all you can, take the coarse sandpaper and tackle those spots. The fine-grit sandpaper can be used for touching up after. If the rust is still prevalent, use a different method.

Vinegar Soaking Method

Vinegar will restore rusty tools that are proving problematic. You need a large bucket, steel wool, and enough white vinegar to cover your tools.

First clean off the rusty tools and dry them. Place them in the bucket and fill it with white vinegar. You can add 1/4 cup of salt per liter of vinegar as well to increase its efficiency, although just white vinegar is enough.

Let the rusty tools soak from overnight to three days, however long they need. You will notice the rust loosening up, which can be scrubbed off with steel wool. Soak the tools again if there are any resistant spots. When they are completely clean, rinse off the vinegar and dry them thoroughly.

Oxalic Acid Method

If you seek a commercial solution, oxalic acid will easily dissolve rust. The acid will especially help with hard-to-reach spots for a perfect cleanse. You will need a big enough bucket and rubber gloves and goggles for protection.. Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling chemical fumes.

First clean off your rusty tools. Gear up with the gloves and goggles. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer on how to prepare the oxalic acid. When your solution is ready, place the rusty tools in the bucket and pour in the solution making sure the tools are completely covered.

Wait about half an hour (maybe longer depending on the level of rust) before removing your tools. Rinse them off, dry them completely and admire that restored shine.

Rust Prevention

Avoid getting your steel or iron tools wet. Store them in a cool, dry place. Whenever you use them in a humid environment, wipe them dry thoroughly before putting them away. You can also buy protective coating for your tools.

With this guide on how to clean rust off tools, you can maintain tools for several years. Not only will you save money, but you will also develop a relationship with your collection.