Rust, technically iron oxide, is the result of the reaction between iron and oxygen. When iron or iron ore is exposed to oxygen, rust is inevitable.
However, in the presence of water, rusting is accelerated. Rust can happen on virtually any of the objects you own. It could be your bike, boat, car or garden furniture.
Due to its unsightly nature, rust can be very annoying. It, therefore, makes sense for you to scour around for the right rust removal method.
In this write-up, we discuss the best ways to remove rust from some of the most susceptible items in your home. Read on for more information:
1. Use White Vinegar
White vinegar contains acetic acid which reacts with rust and dissolves it off the surface of the metal. Thus you need to soak the rusted objects in the white vinegar.
After a few hours, remove the metallic objects and scrub off the rusty paste. That’s especially is the objects are small enough for them to be soaked in the vinegar.
If the metallic object is too big, pour a layer of white vinegar on the surface. Let it sit for a few hours. When you are sure the rust has been dissolved, wipe the surface to remove the rusty paste.
To avoid scratching the surface of the metal too much, use aluminum foil instead of steel wool. The result should be a shiny surface you are proud of.
2. Lemon Juice and Salt
This method involves sprinkling and rubbing table salt on the rusted area of the metal.
Make sure that the coat of salt is thick enough and then squeeze lemon or lime juice over it. Don’t limit the amount of liquid you use.
If you have more of it, why not? Allow the metal to sit for up to 3 hours and then scrub the surface.
You may use a surface scourer or a rind from the lemon. You need to ensure that the surface remains undamaged, even as you remove the dust.
Again, this should leave you with a shiny metal surface you can be proud of.
Did you know that potatoes contain oxalic acid? Thus, your favorite type of food can be useful when it comes to removing rust from metal surfaces.
But the surface of the metal should be flat enough. Cut the potato into half either across or lengthwise. Take baking soda and pour it over the rusted metal surface.
Use the potato to scrub off the rust. The acid in the potatoes reacts with the rust thus loosening it up. Watch as the tint of rust gets into the potato.
As soon as the potato begins to look too rusty, cut off the thin layer and start the process all over again. Do this until no rust is visible.
4. Baking Soda
Of course, baking soda is an effective rust remover. Take a bit of baking soda and mix it with water in a bowl to form a thick paste.
Take the paste and apply it on the surface of the metal. Wait for a considerable length of time and gently scrub it off. You may want to scrub the baking soda off using a toothbrush. Clean the surface with water.
To make the paste, you can use any baking soda to water ratio. What matters is that there is some baking soda in the mixture.
5. Use Oxalic Acid
If you have oxalic acid in your house, you can use it to clean rust off the surfaces of metals in your home.
However, you need to be cautious while at it. Put on protective clothing, goggles, and a pair of rubber gloves. Avoid smoking or directly inhaling the fumes produced by the acid.
Start by washing the surface of the rusted metal with a washing liquid. Rinse and dry it carefully. Mix 250 ml water with 25 ml (about five teaspoons) of oxalic acid.
Soak the rusted item for up to 20 minutes. Alternatively, use a brass brush or cloth to clean the surface of the object. Give it a thorough clean-up to make sure that the rust is removed.
6. Citric Acid
You will find powdered citric acid form in a store near you. If you don’t know the part of the supermarket to get it, go to the cooking/baking goods area.
Put a little bit of the citric acid into a plastic container. Pour hot water into the bowl to form a citric acid solution. Place the rusty metal into the acidic solution and let it stay overnight. In the morning, clean off any residues to make it completely rust-free.
Did you know that diesel is a very effective rust remover? It is one of the best ways to remove rust at home.
So how do you go about it? Put some diesel in a container and soak into it the rusted metallic object.
Give it up to 24 hours for the rust to start falling off the surface. When you remove the metal from the diesel, scrub it to remove loose rust. To remove the fuel, wash it thoroughly.
8. Phosphoric Acid
Just like oxalic acid, you can buy phosphoric acid to help remove rust from metallic surfaces.
Since it is harmful, you have to take precaution by wearing protective clothing, goggles, and rubber gloves. The product is likely to come with specific instructions on how to use it.
Generally, you would require to dissolve some of the phosphoric acids in water to make a solution. Put the rusted metal in the answer ensuring that it is submerged.
Give it some 24 hours before you remove the metal and scrub it. If necessary, wash the surface to remove any chemical residues.
9. Convert the Rust
This is one of the ways to remove rust from just about any household item. A rust converter works by stopping the formation of more rust. Spraying paint is akin.
You can use it as a primer or an over-the-top coat. What it does is to curtail any further spreading of the rust. However, it may not completely remove rust from the surface of the metal.
Use this if you eventually plan to paint the metal surface. It tends to make the painted surface rough, given that you are merely covering rust.
10. Abrasive Tools
You need to apply some energy to remove rust using this method. It involved scraping the coat of rust off the surface of the metal.
You can use virtually any tools you already have at home such as a screwdriver. This is the best way to remove rust from large surfaces.
To succeed, you may want to use steel wool to scrape the rust off the surface of the metal. If you do not have steel wool, an electric sander will come in handy.
Start by removing the roughest grains before you go to the more refined grains. This is useful when it comes to minimizing roughness on the metal surface.
You can use virtually any of the metal tools in your home to scrape the rust off the surface of a metal.
Afterward, you fine-grain sandpaper should come in handy when it comes to removing markings resulting from the scraping.
11. Use Electricity
If you have tried all the methods above and you still can’t see results, then you should apply some physics. To remove rust from iron, you may have to use electrolysis.
Things you will need include a car battery charger, a sizeable basin of water, a separate sacrificial iron metal, and washing soda.
After immersing the two metals in the basin of water and add a little bit of the soda. Ensure you unplug the charger.
Connect the positive terminal and negative terminal to the sacrificial metal and rusty metal, respectively. Put the connector of the positive terminal above the water.
After plugging in the charger and switch it on. After about an hour, the electrolysis process will kick off. Leave the set-up in place overnight.
Switch off and unplug the charger in the morning. After disconnecting the terminals, behold the results.
If the surface of the metal is still showing signs of rust, you can start the process all over again. Let it sit for longer than before.
Apart from the sugar, molasses contains some minerals, which can loosen rust from the surface of a metal. These minerals also bond additional ions and molecules to the metal ions.
This is one of the best ways to remove rust naturally. Mix blackstrap molasses in the ratio of 1:10. Place the metal in molasses solution.
Allow it to remain submerged for long enough until there is no more rust. After removing the metal from the mixture, wash, and wipe it clean.
As you can see, removing rust from metal surfaces is simple. Any of these methods is safe enough to try at home.
Once you have gotten rid of the rust, you may want to paint the surface of the metal to prevent further rusting.