Here are four easy ways to get rid of the rust on your metal surface(s):
Make a paste of baking soda and water
Dip the rusty metal in a vinegar bath
Scrub away rust buildup with lime and salt, or lemon and salt
Use naval jelly rust dissolver
The first three ways to remove rust on metal are effective on moderate rust build-up, and are made from items you probably already have around the house.
The last remedy, naval jelly rust dissolver, is your final go-to product for really stubborn rust. It is a much stronger chemical to use only if the first three methods don't completely remove the rust from your metal surface.
1. How to Remove Rust with a Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda, lemon, and vinegar are staples of effective homemade rust remover solutions.
Add water to dry baking soda until it has the texture of a paste thick enough for you to spread on the metal.
Allow the baking soda paste to sit on the rusted area of the metal for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing off with a toothbrush or other small brush.
2. How to Clean Off Rust With White Vinegar
Acidic vinegar is another effective household staple for cleaning rust on items that can safely be soaked.
Submerge the rusty item in white vinegar. Allow the vinegar to work its rust-busting magic overnight, or for at least eight hours.
Remove the item from the vinegar, and scrape away the rust using a metal brush or steel wool.
3. Break Out a Lime (or Lemon) and Salt
No, it's not margarita time. (Yet.) Instead, use these simple staples to provide both the acid and the abrasion needed to remove stubborn rust.
Rinse the rusty area so that it is wet enough for salt to adhere.
Sprinkle salt liberally over the rusted area; allow to sit for at least two hours.
Use the lime or lemon rind to then scrub the salt into the rusty areas to remove.
4. Bust Rust with Naval Jelly
Still rusty? It's time to break out the naval jelly rust dissolver, an old faithful of a product that's been around for generations. It is a cleaning chemical that needs to be used with safety precautions in place, however.
First, don't use Naval Jelly in confined spaces. The fumes can be hazardous without proper ventilation.
Always don rubber or plastic protective gloves, and safety glasses or a full-face shield to protect your hands, face, and eyes when working with naval jelly.
Remove all loose dirt and rust from the metal with a wire brush prior to cleaning.
Brush on a liberal coating of Naval Jelly; let stand 15 minutes - but no longer than 15 minutes.
Rinse with water, inspect.
If any rust remains, repeat steps above as many times as needed to remove rust.
Preventing Future Rust on Metal
To keep your newly refreshed metal looking sharp and rust free in the future, apply a light, protective coat of liquid car wax. Store metal in a cool, dry place and keep it dry in the future to prevent rust build-up.