Removing Rust from Metal?

Cleaning Rust off of Metal
Whether it's tools that got left out in the rain or just general clean up, there are a lot of reasons to clean rust off of metal. Your metal items will last longer and loot nicer if you keep them free of rust. This is a page about removing rust from metal.


This page contains the following solutions.

July 13, 2020

This tip is from many years ago, use Naval jelly. Hardware stores have it. Read the bottle well, know what you are using, and if it's appropriate. This requires ventilation, use it weather permitting. Turn on the exhaust fan, open windows and close the door while it does the job. Follow the directions.

Another old trick; Wrap or lay an old cloth on the stained area, let it soak with straight Coke overnight. Repeat as needed.

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26 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 14, 2010

How do I remove rust from metal items?

By robin from Tobyhanna, PA


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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

Hello, Try WD-40.


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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

Depending on the size of the item & how severely rusted: a pencil eraser (or old-time ink or typewriter eraser, the kind with the abrasive in it); rub with various grades of emery cloth; wipe with WD-40; grind off with Dremel tool. Large tools and garden tools (wrenches, shovels, etc.) can be plunged into a pail of sand mixed with new or used motor oil; work the item in and out of the sand several times to remove rust & wipe off excess oil.


Leave a light coat of oil on garden tools over the winter to protect from new rust.


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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

Getting a wire brush from the hardware store is for starters. Some sanding paper meant for metal is another.

October 17, 20100 found this helpful

I was going to say WD-40 also. But the post from Pixiedust7 covers it all!

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March 17, 2005

I have a Peg Perego stroller and the front wheels are stuck. The bolts have rusted. Any suggestions for unrusting so I can change the bolts?



March 18, 20050 found this helpful

cola poured on will eat at the rust. WD-40 may help too.
cj in dallas

By (Guest Post)
March 18, 20050 found this helpful

You can buy a product called naval jelly that removes rust.

By Ann4 (Guest Post)
March 18, 20050 found this helpful

I've heard of using cola but I think it has to be Coke. Makes me glad I don't drink the stuff !

By Barbie (Guest Post)
March 19, 20050 found this helpful

WD-40 reapeat if necessarry....
Kroil will work too....

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November 13, 2010

I have a metal box grater that has some rust on it. Can it still be used and if so, how can I clean the rust off of it?

By Maryeileen from Brooklyn, OH


November 14, 20100 found this helpful

Fine steel wool is pretty good at removing rust from metal. To avoid rust in the future, don't leave it sitting in water, and wash it as soon as you are finished using it, be sure to dry it well.


Then if your oven is hot or warm, place it in there a few minutes so any water can evaporate.


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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

This always happens to mine too. I finally got tired of replacing them and use my food processor. They make plastic ones. I don't know why the box ones rust and the food processor ones don't.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
November 15, 20100 found this helpful

Maryeileen, try using "Barkeepers" cleanser. Just be real careful not to grate your fingers. I have yet to see one of those metal graters NOT rust.


Good Luck. GG Vi

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April 14, 2016

I have an old milk can that is pretty rusty inside. I want to turn it into a fountain. How do I get the rust out and then reseal it to hold water?


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February 28, 20171 found this helpful

The easiest woudl be to get out most of the flakey rust with a wire brush, then Rustoleum the whole thing.

To make it watertight simply get this marvelous product called Enviro Tex, and pour it in the can. Wait 3 or 4 days to make sure it is REALLY dry, or put a hair dryer in there.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
March 1, 20170 found this helpful

You can ball up a piece of foil, wet it, and rub. I have tried this on a rusted bicycle and it works.

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March 1, 2015

cabinet of shelvesI've bought some antique, not valuable but great looking, metal shelves that are quite rusty. The shelves were originally red and I'd like to keep them in their original condition, but just tidy them up a bit.

I don't mind if some of the rust stays. They look like they need some rust removed and then some sort of shining product. I don't know if this possibility exists! Any advice would be very gratefully received.view of rusty metal on side of shelving unit

By Kate D


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 4, 20170 found this helpful

I would clean it with Naval Jelly, according to the directions on the bottle. To add some shine, you could go over it with some johnsons paste wax when you are done.


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December 4, 20170 found this helpful

Rust X is a product that will remove rust.

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January 3, 2015

How do you clean rust from a glass chandelier?

By Roberta B.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 168 Feedbacks
January 4, 20150 found this helpful

I would try Lime Away as it removes rust from porcelain tubs. Just soak it in it for a little while and see if it lifts the rust or rub over the area until the rust is lifted.


If it's on the metal part of the glass chandelier; that's another matter. I think I'd be tempted to paint over the metal at that point.

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April 19, 2010

How do I remove rust marks from a gold metal table? It could be chrome, but it is gold colored.

By T from Bergen County, NJ


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
April 21, 20100 found this helpful

Have you used sandpaper? Do you just want to get rid of the rust without painting? If you want to paint, I read of a tip long ago that my dad used to keep rust from coming through. My dad found a wrought iron plant stand with shelves that was covered with rust at the city dump. He sanded the worst spots and then I told him about the tip, to cover it with vinegar. He repainted and never had a bit of the rust come through again.


If you do not want to paint, there are products at home improvement stores that you put on to get rid of rust.

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August 24, 2012

My canning pot has rust on the bottom. What's the best way to remove it?

By Marilyn

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February 22, 2012

My teapot boiled dry, the bottom was red when I remembered it, and now it's rusted on the inside. Is it ruined? If not, what can I use to get the rust out? Bon Ami isn't working too well.

By Beam

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August 25, 2011

This is a page about removing rust from metal tools. Tools that are free of rust are much nicer and easier to use. Whether you accidentally left them out overnight or picked up some tools cheap at a garage sale, sometimes you need to clean the rust off of metal tools.

A photo of rusty pliers.

September 15, 2017

Scrubbing a stainless stop pot with a lightly abrasive cleaner like Bon Ami or Barkeepers Friend will get rid of any rust stains. That is how to remove rust from stainless steel pots easily.

Stainless Steel Pots

March 28, 2017

It can be challenging to clean sediments and rust inside an old metal tea kettle. This is a page about remove rust from inside antique tea kettle.

An antique tea kettle with some rust showing.

February 28, 2017

If you cake decorating tips have gotten a bit rusty, it is important to clean them throughly before their next use. This is a page about removing rust from cake decorating tips.

Metal cake decorating tips in several different shapes.

April 14, 2016

This is a page about removing rust from paper clips. Time and humidity can cause your supply of paper clips to develop rust.

Rusty paperclip against white background

March 19, 2014

This is a page about removing rust stains on guns. Unprotected gun metal can rust when exposed to the elements or inadequate storage. There are a few ways to remove and prevent rust.

Old Gun

January 15, 2014

Refrigerators are expensive and can occasionally acquire bits of rust. This is a page about removing rust on a refrigerator.

Old worn white metal refrigerator.

May 12, 2013

This is a page about removing rust from chrome. Bumpers, fixtures, and other chromed surfaces can develop rust.

Rust on Chrome

May 10, 2013

This is a page about removing rust from a stainless steel sink. Leaving a food can or cast iron pan in the sink overnight can leave rust stains on your sink.

Stainless Steel Sink

March 17, 2013

This page is about removing rust from steam iron. Having rust in or on your iron can stain your clothing.

Steam Iron

January 25, 2013

This is a page about removing rust from a meat grinder. Your meat grinder might develop rust, if not dried well or due to moisture where it is stored.

A rusty meat grinder.

November 4, 2011

This is a page about removing rust from cast iron. If your cast iron cookware is not properly seasoned or cleaned it can get rusty very quickly. getting rid of the rust will allow you to start over seasoning and cooking with your cast iron.

Unseasoned Dutch Oven

November 3, 2011

This is a page about removing rust from a lawn mower. Lawn Mowers can easily develop rust. It is important to maintain your lawn mower and keep the rust at bay.

Man Fixing a Lawn Mower

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