The appearance of rust on any tool can be really annoying. Whether it is on your boat, car or on a garden tool, the sight of the brown corrosive scar should make you worried. Rust is technically iron oxide. This means that rust is formed whenever an iron compound is exposed to oxygen for a long period of time.
The process of rusting is usually accelerated in the presence of moisture or water. Rust has the effect of causing wear and tear to any iron tool. In the long run, you will be forced to buy a new tool.
Don’t you worry. There are various ways which you can use to get rid of rust from your tools. The whole process can be broken down into two ways; first, you can use home remedies, which is you use the ingredients found at home. The second option is to buy material that can be used to get rid of rust. Each of these two will be discussed in depth.
Removing Rust with Ingredients That Are Found at Home
There are a few ingredients which are known to prevent rust in the event that it has not occurred. If the rust has formed, then you can still use these ingredients to remove the rust.
1: Use Vinegar
Vinegar contains citric acid and acetic acids which are used to remove rust. Vinegar is specifically used to remove rust which has formed on small tools such as screws and small objects such as remote batteries.
Basically, if you want to remove rust from any tool using vinegar, you need to soak the tool in vinegar. You will need a half-plastic bottle for this. Put the screws inside the bottle, and pour white vinegar in the bottle. Some people recommend using apple cider vinegar but white vinegar works fine also. Do not use malt vinegar. Keep that for your chips.
Ensure that the screws are fully covered inside the vinegar. Leave it for about 24 hours or more depending on your preference. Pour out the vinegar. You can use a sieve or a colander so that your screws are not lost.
After a day or so, your screws should be shiny and rust free. If the rust is still visible, repeat the whole process and leave the screws in the vinegar for one or two more days. This will give the acid more time to work on the screws.
2: Use Lemon
I know it sounds crazy but lemon has actually been proven to get rid of rust. This is because lemon contains citric acid. Lime can also be used in place of lemon as it also contains citric acid.
When using lemon or lime, you will also need to use salt. Squeeze lemon juice to a cup and set it aside. Rub salt all over the rusted tool. Ensure that the tool is thoroughly coated with salt. Pour the lemon juice on top of the salt coating and leave it for about 2-3 hours.
You will then need to scrub off the lemon juice and salt. For this, it is recommended that you use a scourer or steel wool. If the metal is a bit delicate, then use the lemon rind to avoid over-scrubbing. After scrubbing you will notice that your tool is rust free.
In case the tool still has rust, repeat the process and leave it for a day. This should work the magic after you scrub off the mixture.
3: Use Baking Soda
For this, you will need baking soda and a toothbrush. Pour baking soda into a bowl or a dish. Add water to form a paste. Make sure that you form a thick paste. This will prevent the paste from running over.
Once you have formed the paste, apply it on the rusted surface. Leave it for some few hours. Use the toothbrush to scrub it off. If by any chance you still notice some rust, make a thicker paste. Ensure that the rusted surface is completely covered by the paste and leave it for a few more hours.
4: Use Electricity
Whoever thought that electricity could be used to remove rust? Well for this process you will need to apply some little physics. The process of removing rust using electricity is known as electrolysis.
For this process, you will need a basin of water. The basin should be large enough for the perfect results. You will also need a battery charger. You can use your car battery. Also, include a piece of iron metal and some washing soda.
First, ensure that the charger is unplugged. Then put both pieces of metal in the water basin. Connect the positive terminal to the clean iron metal. The negative terminal should be connected to the metal piece with rust. The positive terminal connector should be above the water.
Plug in the charger and switch it on. Give in an hour or so. After one hour, you will start to see how electrolysis works. Leave the whole process to go on overnight. The following morning, unplug the charger. Then you should disconnect the terminals. After this process, you will not be able to distinguish between the two metals.
Absolute care should be taken while using the above process since it can be a bit hazardous if left near kids.
Removing Rust Items Bought from the Store
If you do not have any of the above ingredients, you can run to the nearest store and use either of the following.
1: Use a chemical remover
There are many different types of chemicals which can be bought to help in dissolving rust. The best chemical is one which contains oxalic or phosphoric acid as its main ingredient. Care should be taken while using these chemicals since they can be harmful.
Since these chemicals are expensive, they can only be used for small-scale projects. You will need to soak the rusted object in the chemical. You will need to leave it for about two days so that iron can soak the acid. Then use a scrubber to scrub the tool and the rust will come off completely. A good quality foam cannon also help you to clean any tool or vehicle.
2: Convert the rust
This method involves buying a rust converter. It works to prevent rust from further eating the rusted metal. This method works in the same way as using a spray paint. The rust converter will act as a primer of a paint coat since it will cover the rusted surface.
This method only serves to prevent rust from causing further wear and tear and it may not be as effective as using methods which get rid of rust completely. This method is only useful if you plan to paint the rusted surface.
3: Use Abrasive Tools
Abrasive tools can be used to scrape off the rust. This will require a little bit of elbow grease but the desired results will be achieved. Tools such as a screwdriver can be bought from the local store and be used to scrape off the rust.
For large tools, it is advisable to use an electric sander. Start off with the rough grain and slowly move to the finer grains. This will help to reduce the roughness of the surface.
Once any of the tools has been invaded with rust, caution should be taken to ensure that the rust does not spread further. Make sure that you follow the right steps to remove the rust. This will prevent your tool form being corroded with rust. Any of the above two methods guarantee the desired results. The only difference between the two methods is in terms of the cost. Home remedies are cheaper since the ingredients to be used are readily available at home. Using store-bought ingredients is a bit costly but it guarantees the same results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1: How do I remove rust without damaging a painted surface?
Most acids used to remove rust are known to dull the painted surface. You can use pH neutral remover known as Evapo-Rust. It is a mild rust remover which will not damage the paint or even the metal.
2: What is the best way to get rid of rust from small tools?
For small tools like nuts and bolts the best way to get rid of rust is to use a mild rust remover. Evapo-rust is highly recommended in this case. Submerge the nut or bolt in the Evapo-rust. It will take around 10 minutes for the rust to be dissolved.
3: What do I do if I am not able to remove rust?
Removing rust is a process which requires patience. If rust does not come off within the first trial, repeat the process once more or let the tool soak for longer in the rust remover. Eventually you will be able to remove the rust.