If it’s metal, there is a good chance that, at some point, it’s going to rust. Outdoor tools and patio furniture are some of the first household items to get assaulted by rust, and a variety of other household items aren’t too far behind.
The good news is that once you learn how to remove rust, you can make sure that it never comes back. Fortunately, rust isn’t some mysterious compound.
It’s actually well understood, which means there are several ways to remove it from your tools, patio furniture and other household items.
Remove Rust Using Chemicals
One of the best ways to get rid of that pesky rust involves the use of chemicals. To be effective, the chemicals should contain hydrochloric or phosphoric acid.
These acids are strong and have the power to dissolve rust. Since they’re very harsh chemicals, they put off some rancid fumes.
Before using chemicals, make sure that you’re wearing proper protection. You should wear a respirator, goggles and gloves before you start the process. Depending on what you’re removing the rust from, you might want to grab an old toothbrush.
If you’re using strong chemicals, use the toothbrush to apply them and make sure to give the chemicals enough time to work their magic. The rust will become liquefied, so you should be able to scrape it off.
To remove heavy rust buildup, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to repeat the process several times. If possible, get a gel formula to remove rust from vertical surfaces.
Strong chemicals can be very effective for rust removal, but you also have the option to use gentle chemicals. There are several newer chemicals that aren’t super harsh, and they can work just as well. TO use these products, you’ll want to soak the rusted items in the solution for a few hours.
However, some solutions will require you to soak the products overnight, such as Acid Magic. You’ll find that this is an excellent product for removing rust from showers, toilets and sinks.
Grind the Rust Away
A lot of people want to avoid using harsh chemicals, and if this describes you, then you might consider grinding the rust away. This is approach is very hands-on, and it’s not a good fit for everyone. Keep in mind that the grinding method will also remove paint along with the rust.
You’ll need an oscillating drill, sander or grinder. You could fit a grinder with a grinding wheel, stripping disc or flap disc. The grinder quickly eliminate heavy rust from virtually any object, and unlike some other techniques, it doesn’t leave pockmarks.
Depending on how much rust you’re planning to remove, you should be able to finish within a single day. Grinding can be beneficial because you don’t have to wait for chemicals to work their magic. The downside is that it can involve a lot of hard, dusty and dirty work.
It also requires the use of power tools, which a lot of people might not be comfortable with.
Homemade Ways to Remove Rust
The downside of using strong chemicals is the cost, and they’re also not very good for the environment. The good news is that there are several DIY solutions to get rid of rust.
The first method involves the use of white vinegar. You can use undiluted white vinegar to get rust off of metal surfaces. It will react with the rust and begin to dissolve it. All that you need to do is soak the rusty object in the vinegar for 24 hours.
When it’s finished soaking, wipe the rust away with an old cloth. You’ll find that this solution is particularly effective for bolts, nuts and nails.
Another DIY option that you can use is lemon juice and salt. The acidic nature of lemon juice helps to break down the rust, and the salt serves as a strong abrasive.
For this method to work, just apply a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Apply it to the rusty surface and let it sit for a few hours. Next, scrub away the weakened, dissolved rust. You’ll find that this method is particularly effective for older porcelain bathtubs.