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How to Remove Rust from Tools

We all have a favorite tool that eventually starts to rust. Iron or steel objects exposed to oxygen and water for long periods form rust. The good news is that you can remove rust from your beloved equipment. Below we go over four ways on how to remove rust from tools. 

Rust Removing Solution

One of the easiest ways to remove rust for your tools is to use a rust removing solution. There are tons of products out on the market, and you can easily find some products are your local hardware store, online or even at a supermarket. Each of these products has different instructions, so it is best to review all directions before using. And if you want suggestions or advice, you can contact one of our home repair contractors today. 


A good place to start by removing rust is to use sandpaper. This method does require a lot more physical work, but it does rid the tools of most rust. You will need a metal brush, coarse grit sandpaper and finer grain sandpaper.

The Steps:

  1. Clean debris, dirt or grease off your tools with a degreaser and tack cloth. 
  2. Let it dry.
  3. With a metal brush, clean the areas with the most rust. You will want to get as much off as possible.
  4. Use coarse grit sandpaper to continue to remove thick patches of rust from the tools. 
  5. Use finer grain sandpaper to keep removing any remaining spots or speckles. 
  6. Rinse and dry the tools once you finish. 
  7. Repeat if necessary. 

Vinegar & Salt

If you enjoy natural solutions to problems, then you will love this way of removing rust from tools. All you need is a large bin, white vinegar, salt and a metal brush. 

The Steps:

  1. Degrease, clean and dry the tools. 
  2. Place the tools in a large bin.
  3. Use ¼ cup of salt per liter of white vinegar, and pour enough vinegar-salt mixture to submerge the tools. 
  4. Let the vinegar and salt break down the rust by waiting one to three days. Make sure to check throughout the days to see if rust has softened. 
  5. Once the rust is soft, use a metal brush to scrub away the rust.
  6. Wash, rinse and dry the tools.
  7. Repeat if necessary. 

Baking Soda

For tools that have small areas of rust, you can grab the baking soda out of your pantry. 

The Steps:

  1. Degrease, clean and dry the tools.
  2. Make a paste by combining baking soda and water. You want it thick enough to cover the rusted areas. 
  3. Apply the paste to the rusted areas.
  4. Let it sit for a couple of hours. 
  5. Use a brush to scrub off the paste and rust.
  6. Rinse the tools with water and dry.
  7. Repeat if necessary. 

How to Prevent

The best way to prevent your tools from rusting is to keep them away from water or moisture. You can accomplish this feat by cleaning and drying your equipment after each use or applying a protective metal coating. Also, store your tools in a dry area that will not be around water. 

Do not throw away your tools as soon as they rust, follow the steps above to make your favorite tools look shiny and new. Plus, for all your difficult or time-consuming home repairs in the Belleville, O’Fallon, Edwardsville or the surrounding areas, contact Valor Home Services today.