How to Remove Rust From Your Tools?

The major problem with any tool is ‘rust’ and this is a concerning issue about how to remove rust from your tools. Have you seen rust pots plaguing your metal tools? While rust may affect their functionality, you do not need to throw them away. There are many cleaning options available, regardless of the rust effect on your tools. However, the efficiency of the available rust removing processes depends on different factors.

For instance, home remedies may be less effective compared to commercial rust removers. However, with finer adjustments (in rust removal processes), you can achieve decent results, regardless of the choice of materials and processes. Also, the time used to remove rust is also a key determiner in terms of overall results.

If you want to remove rust from your metal tools, the following options are unmatched. The golden rule is to pay attention to the process as well as using the right ingredients. Before & after - How to Remove Rust From Your Tools

Best Ways to Remove Rust From Tools 

There are several unique ways to remove rust from your tools. Some require more work, while others need strong chemicals. Regardless of your option, the goal is to make your tools as good as new. Some of the best ways to give your tools a new look include:

Option #1: Use abrasive surfaces to remove rust.

Using abrasive surfaces to remove rust is one of the best options, especially if your tools have too much rust. While the process requires a lot of hard work and expertise, it is effective compared to other options.

When scraping off the rust from your tools, there are various tools you can use. Screwdrivers, for example, allow you to remove the rust strains faster and more effectively. If you have metal tools with sharper edges, you can use them too.

If you do not have metallic items to remove rust spots, you can rent tools at your local hardware. An electric sander, for example, does a better job compared to simple tools such as screwdrivers. You can check also how to use a cordless drill as a screwdriver?

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Use abrasive surfaces to remove rust

When removing rust spots using metal tools, follow this process.

Start with the roughest rust grain.

Removing the toughest rust spots is the first step. Going for the most rust-affected spots helps in two ways. First, it is a fast way to remove more rust on the go. Second, scraping off the toughest stains gives you a perfect path to “not destroying” the unaffected areas.

Finish with less rusty spots

Once you have removed all the rough areas, the next stage is to move to the less affected areas. Unlike the first stage, you may take more time but with less energy. If you use an electric sander, adjust it to make it gentle on the tool’s surface. You can check also Best Flush Cutters

Option #2: Use rust chemical removers 

There are tens of rest chemical removers in the market. Some are from known companies, while generic brands manufacture others. Regardless of the brand, the rust remover has phosphoric acid or oxalic acid as the main ingredient. The main goal of using acid is to force a reaction between the rust, which is a chemical compound, and the main ingredient. rust chemical remover

Since the main ingredient in a rust remover is highly reactive, there are some things to pay attention to in the process. First, you should read all the instructions in the box. You should also start the rust removal process after knowing the recommended amount by the manufacturer.

Besides following all the instructions, you should protect yourself and those close to you. So, it would be best if you cleaned the tools away from family members. You should also protect your eyes, hands, and bare skin when using acidic rust remover.

To remove rust using chemical removers: 

Apply the rust remover and wait for at least two hours

Regardless of how a tool has been affected by the rust, you should apply the rust remover and wait for two hours. Waiting gives the acidic solution to react with the rust for longer, making the subsequent steps easier for you.

Scrub the tool

Once you have given the tools more time to react with the rust, it is time to scrub the rust off the metal surface; depending on the rust spots, the process may take up to 30 minutes. The golden rule is to ensure you remove as much rust as possible in the first round.

Repeat the process (if you can still see the rust spots)

If you are not satisfied with the first-round results, you can repeat the first step. However, in the next round, give the rust remover more time to react with the rust on your tool’s surface. You can check also – best tool for cut foam board

Option #3: Use Electrolysis to Remove Rust From The Tool. 

If you want to remove rust from garden tools without removing any material, this option is unmatched. Unlike the options highlighted above, electrolysis is simple, cheap, and safe. While it is time-consuming, unlike most options, it gives your tools the best glow.  electrolysis to remove rust from the tool

There are different customized ways to remove rust from tools using electrolysis. You can use commercial accessories or everyday items available at home. While accessories may affect the efficiency of this process, you can redo electrolysis for better results.

To remove the rust using this process:

Get all the needed items together.

For this process to work, you must have specific accessories. The main things to have on your checklist include the following.

  • Wire leads
  • An anode (you can use a can)
  • Baking powder
  • Wire leads
  • An auto battery charger
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If you do not have some items on the list, you can improvise. For example, you can use washing powder if you do not have baking powder. However, improving may affect your overall results.

Prepare the rusted tool.

The first step is to clean the tool with rust. For this process to work, the tool must not have oil or any dirt. You can use detergent or any cleaning method. If you are using soap and water, make sure you rinse the tool well with more water.

Make the anode

In this process, an anode is critical. In this case, you need steel to increase the surface area of the electrolysis process. As you will notice, the process will “eat up” the anode. Therefore, make an anode that will surround your tool effectively.

Mix the electrolyte solution

In this case, the electrolyte solution should be simple. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a water gallon. Take at least five minutes to mix the solution well.  If you do not have baking soda, use washing powder.

Connect the clips to a battery charger

Once the solution and the anode are ready, it is time to start removing rust. Connect the battery charger to the anode using the clips. The positive should go to the anode created above, and the negative terminal should be connected to the rusted tool.

Check if it is working.

Once you have connected the terminals with the battery charger, you should confirm if the connection is working or not. The surest way to check whether the connection is complete is if you see the bubbles on the solution above. If not, repeat the process.

Wait for 20 hours

The final step is called ‘cooking.’ During the 20 hours, the rust on your tool will magically disappear, making your tool clean. You can check also best tools for cutting drywall

Option #4: Remove Rust From Tools Using Home Remedies

If the above steps are complex for you or you do not have some of the materials used above, you can still remove rust from your tools using home items. To remove rust from metal tools using home remedies is also cheap as you will not need to buy any special tool or accessory. Remove rust from tools using home remedies

Some of the key ways to remove rust on your tools using home remedies include:

Lemon juice and salt

One of the popular uses of lemon, apart from being a fruit, is being a cleaner. You can use it with salt to remove rust on your tools. To remove rust using this method:

  • Clean the rusted tool
  • Rub salt on the tool to coat it
  • Cut the lemon into two and rub the metal surface.
  • Wait for three hours.

After three hours, wash the metal surface. In most cases, the salt and lemon mixture will have removed the rust spots. However, if the stains do not come off, you can use a scouring pad (if you have one) or steel wool to remove the bigger spots. However, if the rust does not come out, you can repeat the process for better results.


Apart from lime, vinegar is an ideal cleaner and rust remover. If you have vinegar at home, follow these steps to remove rust on your tools.

  • Clean the rusted tool
  • Soak it in vinegar
  • If the tool is too big, soak a cloth in vinegar and use it to cover the tool.
  • Leave it for 12 hours (or overnight)
  • Please clean it

The above steps explain how to remove rust from tools with vinegar. Thanks to the cleaning properties of vinegar, the rust spots will disappear after 12 hours. However, if you can still spot rust, repeat the process. Alternately, use the options above if the tool’s surface is more damaged.

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Remove rust using Vinegar & Baking soda

Baking soda

If you have baking soda at home, you can use it to remove rust on metallic tools. Unlike other home remedies, using baking soda may require more time to rub the metallic surface. To remove rust:

  • Mix water and baking soda to form a paste
  • Apply the formed past on the tool
  • Wait for four hours
  • Scrub off the dried paste with a brush
  • Clean the tool with clean water

If the rust spots were small, the rust would disappear on the first try. However, if the metallic surface was heavily damaged, you may need to repeat the process. Since baking soda is freely available at home, you can repeat the process till you get results. You can check also – best tool for cutting laminate floor

Use coke

Does coke remove rust from tools? Yes. Apart from being a tasty drink, you can use it to clean rust on your tools. Like other items mentioned above, coke eats rust, even though it is not as fast as chemicals.

To use coke on rusty tools:

  • Pour the drink into a container.
  • Put the rusty tool in the container.
  • Wait for ten hours
  • Remove the tool and clean it.

If the spots were small, you do not need to repeat the process. However, if the spots are bigger, you may need to repeat the process. Since coke is not meant for cleaning, you will need to experiment in terms of hours the tool stays in the container with the solution.

Potato and baking soda

If you have potato and baking soda, you can use them to remove rust on your tools. The two items are cheap and effective, especially when the rust spots are small. To remove the spots with potato and baking soda:

  • Cut the potato into two halves.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda into the halves
  • Scrub the rusty surface for at least five minutes

The acid in the potato reacts with the rust, removing it. However, the reaction is slower, and you may need to rub the surface one more time to achieve the results. However, if the bigger rust spots do not disappear, use other options highlighted above.


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How to Prevent Your Tools From Rust in Future 

Removing rust from the metallic tools is hard and time-consuming. However, preventing rust is simple and sustainable. Here are some of the pointers for keeping your tools safe from rust and other damages.

Store the tool in a low-moisture area

The best way to avoid rust is to keep your tools in low-moisture places. If your storage has high moisture, use the available ways to control temperature and humidity.

Apply oil

Sometimes controlling humidity and temperature may be expensive. However, you can apply oil on metallic surfaces. You should, however, ensure that the oil does not affect your tool’s functionality.


Final Verdict for how to remove rust from tools

Apart from affecting a tool’s functionality, rust makes a tool unsafe to use. However, removing rust does not need any expertise, especially if you can get basic cleaning. The above steps do not require any special skills, and any person can clean their tools at zero budget.

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