The Most Effective Ways to Get Rid of Rust From Metal Objects

When water finds its way to the surface of a metal tool and sits there for days, the result is an oxidation process that will leave you with a rusty tool. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the road for that item; you’ll be glad to know that the rust can be removed from a metal surface.

1. Baking soda

Rinse the metal item and shake dry. Sprinkle some baking soda (it will stick to the damp areas), making sure to cover all rusty areas. Leave the item for an hour or so, then scour with a metal brush, removing it from the metal. (When cleaning a pan, use a scouring pad.) Rinse, then use a towel to dry the area. This method is best used on less severe rust, baking pans, light rust rings, thin metal. The advantage of this method is that it is a simple method that uses one cheap, common ingredient. Regarding the disadvantage, we can say that it takes up to one hour before you can really start to work away from the rust. The key to rust removal is using the scouring pad, so be prepared for some elbow grease.

2. Vinegar bath

Submerge your item in white vinegar and let it sit overnight. Remove your item and scrape with a metal brush or steel wool. If your item can’t be submerged, soak some rags in white vinegar and wrap the rusted area. This method is best used on significant rust found on tools that can be submerged without compromising the integrity of other surfaces. The advantage of this method is that it is the “let sit and forget” method type. It takes elbow grease to remove the rust once you remove the item from the vinegar. Regarding the disadvantage, we can say that the item needs to soak overnight, so it takes a while until you get the desired results.

3. Potato and dish soap

Sounds crazy, but it works like a charm! Cut your potato in half and cover the open end with dish soap. Use the potato like a scouring pad and watch the rust fade away as it reacts with the soap and potato. This method is best used on small, less-stubborn rust stains on easy-to-reach areas. The advantage of this method is that it is an easy and relatively fast method for removing rust. Works great on kitchen appliances. It also needs items you probably already have in your pantry. Regarding the disadvantage, we can say that this is probably the messiest method for removing rust. Be sure to work over a sink, or somewhere outdoors where cleanup is easy.

4. Citric acid

You might not have this laying around the house, but it can be easily found at most food stores. Add a few inches of hot water in a bowl and sprinkle in 2-3 tablespoons of the citric acid. Submerge your item and let it sit overnight. Remove it in the morning, scrub off the lingering rust flecks with a brush, rinse and dry.

5. Lemon and salt

Generously coat the rusted area with a layer of salt, cut a lemon (or lime) in half, and squeeze the juice over the salt. Let the mixture act a while, then scrub away the rust. If rust remains, repeat the procedure and let the salt and juice act for another hour or two, until rust disappears completely. Rinse and dry.