Everyone dreads rust â that brown, crusty substance that forms on metal, fabric and tile. Fear not, we’ve got you covered. Once you learn how to get rid of rust and remove rust stains from metal and other materials, it’s a game-changer for your cleaning routine.
How to remove rust from metal
Rust forms when metal is exposed to moisture and starts to corrode. Rust mainly grows on metals and you’ll see it on anything from your favorite kitchen knives to kids’ metal playgrounds. Luckily, there are many household pantry items that remove rust on metals.
1. Baking soda
Baking soda is one of the most common ways to get rid of rust. It’s great because you likely have it in your house already and it works great on thinner metals and metals that have lightly started to rust. Here are the steps for using baking soda to get rid of rust:
- Make a paste of water and baking soda.
- Coat the entire metal with the paste and make sure the rusted part is especially coated with the mixture.
- Wait about 30 minutes.
- Take a rough sponge and scrub the rust.
- Rinse well.
Once you have gone through all the steps, make sure to dry the object well to prevent it from rusting again. Remember, rust starts in the first place when exposed metal experiences moisture and isn’t thoroughly dried.
White vinegar is the go-to for so many cleaning hacks and rust is no exception. Use this vinegar hack step to get rid of rust.
- Submerge the rusted object in a bowl of white vinegar and let it soak overnight.
- Take the item out and scrub the rust away. This might take a little extra effort to get the stubborn rust off.
- If all the rust wasn’t removed, repeat the process but let it soak longer this time.
- Once all the rust is gone, wash the items with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.
Vinegar works on almost all rust from your tools to rusty pipes. Keep this in mind next time you come across a stubborn rust stain.
3. Potato and dish soap
Potatoes are magical vegetables with endless possibilities. Not only do they make any meal delicious, but they also contain oxalic acid which gets rid of rust. Who knew? Here’s how you can use potatoes to get rid of rust.
- Cut the potato in half.
- Apply salt or baking soda to the potato.
- Cover the rusted object with dish soap.
- Use the potato to scrub the rust away.
- Rinse and dry well.
If you’re looking for a great, inexpensive, natural and non-toxic hack to remove rust, a potato is one of your best options.
4. Lemon and salt
Along with potatoes, lemons are another non-toxic way to get rid of rust. Get yourself a lemon or lime and you’re one step closer to a rust-free home.
- Cover the rusted item with coarse salt.
- Take a lemon and scrub the salt to remove the rust.
- Once the rust is gone quickly wash it off to prevent any damage.
Not only is this a great technique to remove rust but it leaves your items smelling citrusy and delicious.
5. Citric acid
Citric acid is another easy way to remove stubborn rust from metal objects. You can find this in most grocery stores on the baking aisle. Here’s how to use citric acid to remove rust.
- Add three tablespoons of citric acid to hot water.
- Let the rusted object soak overnight.
- Rinse and dry.
Keep in mind while citric acid is great for removing rust it also removes paint and other forms of coating. So, be careful what objects you use on it because you may remove more than just rust.
6. Rust-removing products
There are many products on the market that remove rust, such as Evapo-rust. Here is how you can use products like this to remove rust.
- Soak the rusted object in the product for 30 minutes.
- Scrub rust.
- Rinse thoroughly.
These products are typically easy to find and easy to use. They work on most metals and are proven very effective.
Removing rust stains on other materials
While rust primarily grows on metals, it’s important to know it can stain other things such as fabric and tiles. Here are a couple of tips for removing stains from those types of items.
Removing rust from tile is very simple and easy to accomplish.
- Cover with soap and hot water.
- Use a pumice stone to scrub the stain.
Note: Don’t use a pumice stone on a ceramic countertop as it could cause scratching.
If you happen to get a rust stain on your carpet there are a couple of ways to go about removing it.
- Use a carpet-safe stain remover.
- Use lemon, salt and hot water to scrub away the stain.
The type of carpet you have and your preference for the method will determine how you go about taking care of the stain. Both methods above have proven effective to remove said stain.
Prevention is the best method to get rid of rust
If you’re not one to enjoy cleaning rust in the first place then learning how to prevent it is the next best thing. Here is how you can prevent rust from growing at all.
- Use stainless steel instead of other metals.
- Apply oil to metals to slow down the rusting process and sometimes even prevent it altogether.
- Store metals in low moisture and humidity-controlled environments.
Consider these methods before the rusting process begins to save yourself some trouble in the long run. If you do spot rust, though, these tips and tricks will make removing rust from metal a little easier.
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