Removing Rust From Tools

How do you remove rust from metal tools? Tips from the ThriftyFun community.

Sand It Off

The only way I know to restore rusted tools is with LOTS of elbow grease - sand the metal parts, either by hand or you could try one of those abrasive attachments for an electric drill. Once the rust is removed, coat the metal with some butcher's wax (available in hardware stores, kmart, walmart, etc.) when storing the tools to prevent further rust damage.


Clean and dry tools after each use, and periodically apply butcher's wax throughout the season of use. Hang them when storing - don't let the metal parts rest on the damp ground or damp basement/garage floor. Depending on how bad the tools are, you might need to use a bench grinder to put a new edge on shears or even shovels. Wax afterward.

By one_ramp

Oil and Sand Bucket

Fill a 5 gallon bucket with sand, pour used motor oil in there. When you're done using the tool, shove it in the bucket. It cleans it, coats it with oil and sharpens it slightly, works great.

By Leann

Salt and Lemon Juice

Here's a sharp idea: remove rust from household tools by using Morton's Salt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Apply the paste to rusted area with a dry cloth and rub.


By MrsMoted2

WD-40 And Wire Wool

Spray with WD40 then use a metal wire wool to remove the rust.

By Stuart

WD-40 and Steel Wool

Spray WD-40 and wipe it off with steel wool.

By Twin Turbo

Remove Rust and Then Oil

The best and least expensive way to remove rust is using a wire brush to knock off all the heavy stuff and steel wool to finish it with and after you get it all cleaned up coat it with car polish or regular old cooking oil

By Deniser

Blackstrap Molasses

A eco friendly product which is great on rust is Blackstrap Molasses. You water it down, 1 part molasses to 9 parts water. Use this on steel products only, no alloys as they will be eaten away. It's safe to handle except it is sticky but washes off in water. Drop the rusty steel in the brew and check it in a couple of days, most surface rust will be gone.


Badly rusted objects can take as long as 3 weeks. Wash down occasionally and give parts a scrub to remove any dirt or oil then put back in the brew. When happy that object is clean, wash down and oil or use WD40/CRC to stop from rusting again. Old idea used by vintage engine restorers like myself. It keeps working for about a year but does get a bit smelly so leave outside. When finished, dump it in the garden as plants love it, no dangerous chemicals!

By Brent from New Zealand

Naval Jelly or Rust Converter

Naval Jelly is made for removing rust and works well on tools. There are also products that are rust converters and turn the rust back into metal. It still requires some sanding but they work quite well.

Susan from ThriftyFun

Post your own advice below.


Removing Rust From Tools

Soak in undiluted vinegar, wipe dry and put in the sun to dry completely. Then spray with oil, such as Spray and Cook, wipe and that's it! (09/27/2007)

By gurth

Removing Rust From Tools

I'm a carpentry student, and the rule is if the rust doesn't come off with a wire brush and elbow grease, the tool is not safe to use as it has become corroded.

If you can not afford to replace it, check with the freecycle group in your area.

By octoberbabye


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Removing Rust from Metal Tools
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