How to Clean Rusty Tools?

When your tools rust, it doesn’t just make them look older. Rust can stop up hinges and gears, blunt blades, and weaken the metal. Knowing how to clean rusty tools the right way can be a huge money-saver.


You can find commercial rust removers at your local home improvement or auto repair store. These products aren’t expensive, but if you’re looking for a more natural approach, there are several tried and true DIY approaches. Let’s go through the best rust removal strategies step by step. By the end of the article, you’ll know how to clean rusty garden tools,汽车工具,以及之间的一切。

You May LikeBest Brake Line Flaring Tool Reviews

How to clean rusty tools: Step by step guide

The difficulty of rust removal depends on the size of the tool, the shape of the tool, and the extent of the rust. For lighter cases, you may not need to go through all of the steps before it’s gone. On the other hand, extremely bad rust may take multiple sessions to clear away completely.


  • Steel wool
  • Scouring pad
  • 洗碗剂
  • 干净的rag.
  • 塑胶手套
  • Commercial rust remover

Clean the rusted tools with warm, soapy water, then thoroughly rinse and dry them. This will remove any grease and dirt on the tool, letting you assess exactly how much rust you’re dealing with.

如果工具是由多个组件组成,disassemble it as much as you can so you can clean each part individually. For bladed tools, like hedge clippers and scissors, separate the blades if possible to ensure you’re removing rust inside the pivot.

Scrub the rusted areas with steel wool. Steel wool pads with abuilt-in cleanercan be especially effective. You’ll likely want to wear gloves as you do this to protect your fingers. In some cases, a good scrubbing is all it will take to remove the rust. Even if it doesn’t, though, this initial scrub will start to break the rust away from the metal, making other treatments more effective.

Wipe the tool clean with a damp cloth, dry thoroughly, and assess. In some cases, a few passes with a scratch pad will clear away all the rust spots. If there’s still a lot of rust, continue to the next step.


Rinse the tool after the length of time specified on your cleaner. Commercial cleaners are highly effective and often work quite quickly. Dry the tool and assess whether it needs more treatment. The good news is, any rust that’s remaining has likely been weakened by the cleaner. It will often flake right off with another pass of scrubbing with steel wool.


How to Remove rust from tools

Is there a way to remove rust from tools without scrubbing?

Most advice you see about rust removal starts by telling you to roll your sleeves up and get to scrubbing. While this is the cheapest approach, nobody wants to spend their weekend with a scrub brush.

There are also some tools where scrubbing just isn’t an option. It can be difficult figuring out how to clean rusty sockets, for example, since too much pressure can bend the metal, and the small size makes it hard to scrub. This is also a problem with tools that have deep crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.

你可能喜欢:Important Auto Mechanic Tools and Equipment List


Power tools.For most DIY activities, you can spare yourself the manual labor if you’re willing to shell out the extra bucks for a power tool—and removing rust is no exception. An electric drill with a wire wheel brush attachment can provide better abrasive power than any scouring pad. A Dremel tool or buffer could be similarly outfitted to serve as an auto-scrubber.

Citric acid.You can get citric acid in powder form since it’s often used in canning. Fill a bucket with water that’s very hot, then stir the citric acid into the water—about 1/3 cup per gallon of water. Once the powder has completely dissolved, place your rusty tool into the mix, and let it sit for about two hours. In many cases, the rust will wipe right off with a sponge or towel. Citric acid isn’t as corrosive as oxalic acid, but you should still use caution when working with it, especially if you have sensitive skin. Wear goggles to prevent any of the mixes that splash from getting into your eyes. For extracting the tool, you can wear gloves or use tongs to avoid touching the solution.


Find a thin, steel cylinder to use as your anode. It should be large enough to surround the tool. Coffee cans with the bottoms cut out are a great option. You can also use metal ducts if you don’t have a coffee can handy.



With the battery charger still off or unplugged, connect the positive clamp to the anode’s lead and the negative clamp to the tool’s lead. Make sure the connections are made well clear of the electrolyte solution.


Turn off the charger and remove the clamps. Carefully remove the tool, then rinse and dry it.

How to Clean Rusty Tools

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


ANS:If you want to know “how to remove rust from tools DIY-style”, there are a lot of options you can go with. One of the most popular is lemon juice and salt. The acid in the lemon juice combined with the alkaline nature of salt, breaking through the rust. Just pour the salt and lemon juice mixture onto the rust and let it sit about 2 hours before starting to scrub. This is also an excellent option for getting rust stains out of clothing or upholstery.

Lime juice or grapefruit juice can also be a substitute if you don’t have lemon juice. Just avoid sugary citrus fruits, like oranges, and pre-made sugary juices (pure fruit juice is the best choice). There are other kitchen-based remedies that can work, as well, that we’ll get into further down the FAQ.


Q: Is WD-40 a rust remover?

ANS:Among the myriad of helpful uses of WD-40 are both removing and preventing rust. Spray the entire rusted area with WD-40 and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. The cleaning solution will dissolve the rust down to the bare metal, loosening it to the point a light scrubbing should remove all traces. WD-40 has the added benefit of providing a layer of protection against rust, as well, so you can use it to treat the tools you just cleaned and keep that rust from coming back.

Q: Does Coke clean rusty tools?

ANS:You might be surprised to learn that yes, it does. The key compound is the phosphoric acid contained in many sodas. This interacts with the iron oxide contained in rust, weakening it and dissolving it away. The carbonation also helps by providing agitation.


现在,虽然焦炭可以去除生锈,但它不是最有效的DIY选项。首先,它比其他清洁剂更慢。其次,焦炭含有对许多表面不好的其他化合物,如色素和糖。确保彻底冲洗任何工具,用焦炭清洁焦炭以避免粘滞存款,并不要在任何多孔的任何东西上使用这种方法 - 你只需更换更大的苏打污渍。

Q: Does Sprite remove rust?


Q: How long do you soak rusty tools in vinegar?

ANS:Similar to lemon juice, vinegar is highly acidic and is a natural rust-removing agent. If you’re using just vinegar, you will need quite a bit of soaking time—overnight is best if you can manage it. This is the ideal solution for knives, screwdrivers, or other smaller tools. Put the rusty tools in a bowl and cover them with vinegar. In the morning, take them out and scrub.

If the rusty object is too large to fit in a bowl, you can still use the vinegar method, although it’s a bit trickier. Soak a rag in vinegar and wrap it securely around the area that’s rusted. Check on the rag and re-soak it as necessary every few hours until the rust scrubs away.

Q: Can baking soda remove rust?

ANS:It can. This method is similar to the vinegar option above. Make a paste with baking soda and water, then apply it to the rusty tool and allow it to sit for a couple of hours. After that, scrub with a toothbrush or wire bristle brush, then rinse and dry.






Learn More: