All you need is some salt, vinegar, baking soda, denatured alcohol, some abrasives like a 3M pad or steel wool and a mat for your workbench. Acidic solutions like lemon juice and vinegar, along with some salt applied to the rusty areas, are another DIY method to remove rust from your tools. The following is not a method we have tried and tested, but apparently the oxalic acid in a potato will also dissolve the oxide. The best way to deal with rust is to prevent it by keeping metal surfaces dry.
You can buy rust removal products that contain toxic chemicals that are bad for the environment and dangerous to keep around young children and pets. But there are much safer solutions and you probably already have everything you need for it at home. Here are six safe and simple tricks to remove rust to get you started.
Apply lemon juice to the affected area, but do not let it dry. Pour baking soda into a bowl and add enough water to make a paste. Rinse with clean water and dry the area with a towel.
Rinse and give your tool a quick scrub with baking soda to neutralize the acid and rinse again and you’re good to go. Mix the cream of tartar and lemon juice in a bowl. Dip the sponge or tea towel in the mixture and apply it to the rust stain.
If you do not want to scratch the metal, use a brush or cloth with soft brush or cloth. You will have to scrub a lot more with laser rust removal a softer tool. As you figure out how to remove rust from tools, sanding, vinegar, and baking soda may not be successful.
If I am in a hurry, I warm up the mixture and it works much faster, it is quite slow in my cool basement in winter. By the way, you can leave the part in Evapo-Rust for a week if you forget it, because it does not damage the base metal, only rusts. It won’t damage the paint any more than running water and is non-toxic, so you can safely throw it down the drain.
You will have to scrub a lot more with this method and possibly make several steps, but it is possible. I have been using white vinegar for rust removal for many years, I learned it from an antique dealer, but I have never tried to use salt with it. To me, using salt to remove rust seems counterintuitive given what road salt used in winter does to vehicles. Citric acid powder dissolved in water and even concentrated lemon juice will also remove rust in the same way as vinegar. A store-bought rust remover usually costs less than the container of the same size as the oxide converter. If you want to use an oxide remover, dip the item in liquid form or apply a paste and leave it on for up to 24 hours.