There is the saying, “one ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure.” And sure, if we could keep perfect conditions for all our old tools, we could reduce rust and not worry about rust removal. But that’s not always possible. Here are some tips to remove rust from your tools after they’ve been in your shed for a little too long.
Vinegar is a very effective cleaner for many things, and you likely already have it in your house. Vinegar contains acetic acid that eats away at rust. When vinegar is paired with salt or even baking soda, it can be the perfect scrub for your tools.
Coat the tool in salt, and then pour vinegar on top. Rub the salt and vinegar solution in and let it soak. After, rub off with a rag or a metal brush. If your rusty tool is small enough to put in a vinegar soak, consider soaking it full of a vinegar/water solution before you begin the scrub. You can use baking soda to neutralize the vinegar if needed.
Sandblasting isn’t just a tool to remove paint or add a nice finish, it can be used to remove rust from larger surfaces and badly rusted items. This rust remover doesn’t require any harsh chemicals. Sandblasting can carefully remove rust without ruining the item itself.
Before using sandblasting to remove rust from a surface, become familiar with the sandblaster you would like to use and use proper safety equipment. Remember to be careful about what sandblasting medium you use. Always start with the softest sandblasting medium possible. The wrong medium can ruin your tools and leave dents.
At your local hardware store, there is bound to be commercial chemical removers. These generally work through a combination of chemicals that eat through the rust. Often, you’ll leave your tools to soak with the chemical remover and then scrub. In this way, it is similar to using vinegar to remove rust from your tools. However, chemical removers can irritate your skin and have toxic fumes, so carefully follow the instructions on the chemical rust remover container.
Rust removal isn’t always fun, and sometimes you’ll need to apply some elbow grease. But doing your own rust removal rather than buying a new tool can save you money and help your old, trusty tools feel like new once again.
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