How To Remove Rust From Metal

Rust removers grouping of lemon, lime, salt and vinegar.

How to remove rust from metal? These four solutions can get rid of the rust on metal surfaces - stat.

  • 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

How to remove rust: the first three methods above are effective on moderate rust build-up and are made from items you probably already have around the house. Below you'll find details for mixing and using each one.

The last remedy, naval jelly rust dissolver, is your final go-to product for really stubborn rust. It is a much stronger chemical that should be used as a last resort if the first three methods don't fully remove the rust from your metal surface.

How to Remove Rust with Baking Soda

  • 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. 

Remove Rust With White Vinegar

Acidic vinegar is another useful 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 at least eight hours.
  • Remove the item from the vinegar, and scrape away the rust using a metal brush or steel wool.

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 the salt to adhere.
  • Sprinkle salt liberally over the dampened rust area; allow the salt to sit on the surface for at least two hours.
  • Use the lime or lemon rind to scrub the salt into the rusty areas.
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 wear 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 before 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.

Prevent 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 to prevent rust build-up.

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