If you own any metal product that has rusted, you can’t simply throw it away or replace it that easily. In this regard, there are several ways in which you can remove rust from a metal object. There are a number of household items you can use such as any mildly acidic fluid-like white vinegar or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can resort to chemicals that are specifically designed to remove rust, such as WD-40. Any method that you will use to remove rust will involve time and patience as it is a tedious task. But taking that time and effort, you can easily remove rust from a number of metallic surfaces and polish those surfaces easily.
Using home ingredients
White vinegar is an effective method for removing rust. The rust reacts with the vinegar and subsequently dissolves. You can simply submerge the metal object in white vinegar for a couple of hours and then just wipe away the rust-like paste off. If the object is too large, simply pour white vinegar evenly over the surface of the object and give it some time to settle. Alternatively, you can also use a cloth soaked with it to wipe the object. Another solution is using a piece of aluminum foil dipped in vinegar to wipe the rust off the object. Using regular vinegar is also an option; it would simply take more time to remove the rust. Try soaking the object in regular vinegar for 24 hours; this will lessen the amount of scrubbing that would be necessary.
Lime and salt can also be very effective in removing rust. Sprinkle some salt over the area of the object that has rusted to ensure that it is completely covered. After that, squeeze lime all over it. Make sure you squeeze as much juice as you can and then leave it for about 3-4 hours before you scrub it off. It helps to use the left-over rind for scrubbing the resulting mixture. It is powerful enough to remove rust without causing any damage to the metal. You can also use a lemon in the same way.
Use baking soda to make a paste. Make a mixture of water and baking soda and ensure that it is quite thick so that it can be evenly spread on the metal. Give it some time to set and then scrub it off. Use a toothbrush to scrub the paste off and subsequently wash it off using water. According to your preference, this mixture can be diluted. There is no exact specification for the amounts to be used.
Dish soap and potato are also effective for removing rust. Cut a potato into two pieces. Apply dish soap on the cut end. This will ensure that there is a chemical reaction between the end and rust, which will make it easy to wipe off. Put the potato on the surface of the metal object and let it stay for a couple of hours. In order to apply again, cut the used end off and put dishwashing soap on the fresh end. After that place it again on the metal surface for some more time. Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of water and baking soda.
You can also use oxalic acid to remove rust. Since this is a strong chemical agent, ensure that you have taken protective measures prior to using this. Make sure that you are wearing protective clothing, goggles and rubber gloves. Do not inhale the acidic fumes. Make a dilute mixture of water and oxalic acid (25 ml acid, 250 ml water). Soak the object in this mixture for around 20 minutes or you can also wipe the object with a brass brush or cloth. Once the rust is removed, make sure that you wash it thoroughly and subsequently dry the item.
Using materials from the store
1. There are several chemical removers that can help you remove rust. Chemical removers are usually made using oxalic or phosphoric acid and therefore are hazardous for the skin. Make sure that you take all necessary precautions before using a chemical remover to remove rust from a metallic object. Carefully read and use the product according to the directions provided as the user can differ from product to product. Keep in mind that these chemicals need to be applied for several hours and require you to scrub afterward, so be prepared for a lot of work. You also need to keep in mind that chemical rust removers are usually expensive and are usually only applicable to smaller objects.
2. Use a rust converting chemical. You have the option of purchasing a rust converter which prevents the rust from reacting further with the metal. Rust converters are like spray paints and also serve the function of a primer for a paint layer on the surface. This is effective for preventing the rust from spreading further, but it does not help in completely removing rust from a metal object. You should only use rust converters if you intend to paint the surface of the metal object.
3. One option is to simply scrape off the rust using tools that have abrasive surfaces. This involves a lot of effort and hard work, but it is possible to remove rust this way. There are a number of household objects you can use for this e.g. screwdrivers, steel wool, etc. You can use any metal tool for the job, but you would need to use sandpaper with fine grain afterward to remove any scratch marks. Alternatively, you can go to a hardware store and rent some tools as well. If you need to remove rust from larger surfaces, it is best to use an electric sander. You should always start with the area that has the roughest grain and gradually move the less rusty areas. In this way, the roughness of the object is minimized.
4. Citric acid is an effective chemical to use for removing rust. Purchase a box of powdered citric acid from a nearby store. Put the citric acid in a container made of plastic and add some hot water. Make sure it’s enough for completely covering the object. Leave it for the night and rinse in the morning. Dry with a clean cloth afterward.