I forgot some gardening tools in a bucket of topsoil last fall and discovered them just a few days ago. The hand clippers were especially encrusted with rust.
I disassembled the clippers and drowned the parts in a solution 50 percent regular bleach, 50 percent white vinegar. I left the whole mess to stew outside for a day and a half. All the rust had lifted off. I only had to rinse the parts with hose spray.
A 'natural' steel patina remained on the shears. It may come off easily or not -- but who cares, as long as the cutting edges maintain sharpness.
Warning: We all know bleach and vinegar are marvelous cleaning agents. I lucked out when combining them the way I did. Beware of fumes from the combo at first, which is why I put the pan outside.
By Chuck from Canton, OH
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