3 Ways To Remove Rust From Your Tools

8 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog


One drawback of keeping your beloved tools in the garage is that moisture often has an easy time finding its way in. Before you know it, this may result in a layer of rust on even your most commonly used tools. Luckily, removing rust isn't as hard as you might imagine. If your tools are in need of some TLC, read on. This article will present three ways to rid them of rust.

Elbow Grease

Hand powered abrasion is the tried and true method for removing rust. Depending on the nature and extent of the rust, you're going to want to use a combination of sandpaper, steel wool, and scouring pads. Begin by using the coarsest scrubber to remove the tough build ups of rust, then switch over to a finer material in order to smooth the surface of the metal.

If your first pass with coarse sandpaper reveals even more rust beneath the surface, don't get frustrated. There's an easy way to help tackle such deep rust. All you have to do is soak the rusty tool in a bucket filled with vinegar and salt. Use one cup of salt for every gallon of vinegar. Let it soak for half a day or so, then tackle the tool again with a scouring pad. You should find that the highly acidic vinegar solution has loosened up the rust, making it easy to scrub away.

Oxalic Acid

If you've got multiple rusty tools--or if you just don't want to bother scrubbing by hand--there's another strategy you can take: soaking the tools in oxalic acid. This chemical is inexpensive, and can be found at most home improvement stores. Be sure to always wear rubber gloves when using with oxalic acid. Also be sure to work in a space with adequate ventilation.

Oxalic acid comes in the form of a dry crystalline powder. Create a solution by dissolving 1/8 cup of oxalic acid in one gallon of water. If the rusted tool is small enough, simply submerge it in the solution. Otherwise, use a brush to distribute the oxalic acid onto the surface of the tool, adding more as necessary. Within an hour or so, the acid should have effectively removed the rust. 

An Ounce Of Prevention

It is well worth noting that the most effective solution for removing rust is to prevent it from forming in the first place. A well-designed garage or tool room--one free of excess moisture and dust--will virtually eliminate the problem. If you'd like to get the best-designed garage you can, contact a company like Lloydminster Garage flooring. Of course, that doesn't mean that those with less than ideal storage sites have to undertake major renovations just to protect their tools. Instead, add a few silica gel packs to your tool box to help absorb unwanted moisture. Likewise, be sure to spray them down regularly with a rust-inhibiting lubricant.