How to Remove Rust from Your Tools
How does rust form?
It is important to understand that rust is not the same as dirt, and dirty tools don’t get rusty easier or quicker. In fact, often tools that are covered in dirt might not develop rust as quickly as sparkling clean ones, because of the lack of exposure to air.
Rust is a product of a chemical reaction; the chemical name for it is iron oxide. It appears when the iron in tools is exposed with oxygen in the presence of water. Therefore, damp conditions for tools can be harmful and you should always try to keep your DIY tools away from moisture.
Removing Dust from Your Tools
There are many clever rust removal methods. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money on expensive rust remover liquids, as your cupboards already have plenty of natural materials for getting rid of rust.
Of course, finding the best rust remover for your DIY tools depends on the amount of rust your tools have gathered. If you are only dealing with a bit of rust, then these following methods are a great way to remove rust:
- Soak in vinegar. Acid is a great rust remover and can instantly clear small bits of rust from your DIY tools. Place your tools into a bowl and pour over some white vinegar (apple cider vinegar, for instance). Shake the bowl a little to ensure the vinegar covers the tools completely and hits all areas. Leave to soak for one day and then pour out the vinegar.
- Scrub with lemon. Another great natural acid that works against rust is lemon. Pour salt over the tools, rub it and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Let it soak in for a few hours. After a few hours, scrub off the mixture with steel wool or with the rind of the lemon.
- Brush with baking soda. Finally, baking soda can also act as a rust remover. Pour baking soda into a bowl and add water to create a paste-type mixture. Apply the paste to the rusted area and let it set for a few hours. After it has soaked, scrub the paste off with a brush.
The above rust removal methods work well when the rust hasn’t yet settled in or when you are dealing with smaller tools. If you are dealing with a bigger rust problem, you can try the following:
- Scrub with paint scraper or steel wool. When your DIY tools are badly covered in rust, you need to rub it off with a steel wool or even a paint scraper. You don’t want to damage any metal that might be underneath, so just scrub off the thicker patches and then try one of the gentler methods above for the rest.
Commercial Rust Removers
Of course, it is possible to find commercial products to remove rust as well. These don’t necessarily work any better than the above natural methods, so try them before you head down to DIY or hardware stores.
You can also purchase rust proofing products from retailers such as Halfords.
These can be a great way to keep your DIY tools safe, especially if you store them outdoors in your garage or shed. The most important thing is to ensure your tools are dry and preferably inside a box that’ll keep away moisture and oxygen.
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