How to Remove Rust
September 15, 2016
How to Remove Rust Naturally
Have you ever wondered how to remove rust without expensive chemicals and toxic fumes? We’ve all had mishaps with metal, whether it was the prized garden tool left out in the rain or a sink of utensils inadvertently left over night. Rust – the annoying thing that eats our cars, hardware, faucets, garden tools and more.
I have used a variety of expensive chemicals including naval jelly and those stinky nitric acid solutions that make you choke. Most of them do actually remove rust, but at a cost to your pocket book, health and the environment. How to remove rust without toxic fumes and scary chemicals? Here’s how, using safe, biodegradable ingredients you are likely to have in your home.
1. Salt and Vinegar
Vinegar is great by itself but salt adds some abrasion when you want to scrub it. Use 6 parts white vinegar to a tablespoon salt. Submerge your object or, if that’s not possible, wrap it in rags soaked with the solution, replenishing as necessary. This is a great way to clean shower heads and faucets if you don’t want to disassemble them.
2. Plain White Vinegar
Soak the rusty kitchen accessory or other object in a vat of white vinegar for a day. Pull it out to see if rust has dissolved. For larger objects, soak a wash cloth or towel in vinegar and wrap it around the object; then pour more vinegar on it and let it soak. This is great for faucets and faucet parts.
3. Molasses and Water
This is a farmer’s trick (my favorite method) and I’ve seen whole cars submerged in baths that came out completely clean. Ratios vary, but try 1/4 molasses to 3/4 parts water, mix it, and then soak your rusty can opener or other accessory for a day. Pull it out to see if rust has dissolved and soak for another day if it hasn’t. Do not leave your rusty object in the solution for more than a day without checking it, as this is a really powerful solution.
4. Lemon and Lemon Juice
Cut a lemon in half and use it to clean around fixtures. Let the juice sit and the acid with loosen the rust. You can also use lemon juice in a container and submerge the rusty object (check it every couple hours). Lemon also excels at removing hard water deposits.
There you are, four natural solutions for removing rust that won’t break the bank. Please use these ideas but take care in continually monitoring your progress, as the molasses trick in particular can break down iron if left in too long. Feel free to send pictures of your de-rusting projects too!
You might enjoy this post about removing water spots from furniture (from the Clutter Control Freak).