Rust. From our fridges to our bikes, it can be a problem – and a really unsightly one at that. If it feels like rust is taking over your home, item by item, don’t panic – we’re here to help.
Today we’re showing you how to get rid of rust for good. We’ve got loads of methods to show you, including some really helpful home remedies that mean you can get started ASAP.
How to remove rust from metal
Rust is formed when iron, oxygen and water combine. You may be wondering how or why your radiator is rusting when a drop of water has never so much as touched it, but water itself isn’t always to blame. In fact, air moisture, along with iron and oxygen are enough to make rust appear, explaining the reason your tools, old horseshoes, and even jewellery have gone rusty.
Home remedies for removing rust
Whilst there are plenty of products out there that will get your metal shiny and new again, home remedies often do a much better job without the price tag or environmental impacts.
Here are some of our favourite methods…
Removing rust with WD-40
WD-40’s creators themselves state that the product can be used to remove rust – a reliable source indeed!
TRY IT: Spray rusted areas with WD-40 and let sit for around 10 minutes. By this time, the rust will have loosened and you should be able to clean it away with a wire brush.
The uses for lemon juice are endless and today we’re showing you how it can remove rust. This is best used on small tools or items that can be fully submerged into the liquid such as rust jewellery.
TRY IT: Squeeze a few lemons into a small container, then add your items. Allow them to soak for 2 hours, flipping the items over every 30 minutes. Remove, and scrub with a wire brush – they should look as good as new again.
Similarly to lemon, the acidic nature of vinegar will work wonders at breaking down rust to make your metal sparkly. Again, vinegar is best used on smaller objects that can be soaked, but as it’s much less trouble to pour vinegar than squeeze lemons, could be suitable for slightly larger items including rusty picture frames.
Both vinegar and lemon can damage some finishes due to their acidity. Always patch test first, and avoid using on aluminium or delicate objects.
TRY IT: Soak the item in distilled white vinegar for at least 12 hours before testing. The rust should have loosened, so if it remains hard at this point, you will need to leave it for longer. Use a piece of scrunched up aluminium foil to gently scrub the rust off.
Remove rust with baking soda
It’s really easy!
If you read our site regularly, you’ll know how much we love baking soda. Turns out, it’s great for removing rust too.
TRY IT: Make up a paste by slowly adding water to bicarbonate of soda. Spread over the rusted area, then use an abrasive tool, such as a scouring pad, to remove the rust.
Coca-Cola rust removal
If you’re a fan of Coca-Cola, chances are you have some in your fridge right this very moment. We’re often hearing about how bad it can be for our bodies, and when you see what it does to rust, you’ll see why.
TRY IT: Submerge the rusty item in Coke for 24 hours, then scrub and rinse clean. If you’re dealing with a rusty bike or metal fittings and this isn’t possible, you can try pouring Coca-Cola over them, then leaving for 10 minutes before scrubbing.
How to remove rust from clothes/carpets
Rust needs three things to form: iron, oxygen and water, so the ‘rust’ you find on your clothes or carpet is not actual rust, but a rust stain.
Removing it can be tricky, especially if you don’t know how – you don’t want to try and tackle it with WD-40 or Coca-Cola, that’s for sure!
To remove rust stains from clothes, your best bet is a home remedy such as lemon or vinegar.
TRY IT: Lay the piece of clothing out onto a clean countertop or sink, and pour white vinegar or lemon juice over the rust stain. Make sure the area is fully saturated, then blot with a clean paper towel. Pop outside in the sunshine/daylight until the stain has faded, then wash as normal.
How to remove rust from tiles & bathtubs
Rust is rarely found on tiles, bathtubs and countertops, but it can happen. This is often due to rusty objects, such as pans and razors being left on them. Acrylic, enamel ceramic and porcelain are all much more delicate than metal and must be treated as such. Similarly to fabric, the best methods for tackling rusty tiles and bathtubs are home remedies – lemon and salt.
TRY IT: Squeeze lemon juice over the rust stains and then sprinkle salt over the top. Leave for 3-4 hours, then gently scrub with a microfibre cloth. Don’t forget to rinse the tiles or tub afterwards, as it may dry your skin out!
How does vinegar remove rust?
Vinegar’s acidic nature makes is a brilliant rust remover. It reacts with hydrated iron oxide (rust) to turn it into soluble salt which then crumbles away.
Does toothpaste remove rust?
Toothpaste can remove rust stains, but not rust itself. Apply a small amount to fabric and rub with a damp cloth, rinse, then wash as normal.
Does peroxide get rid of rust?
Hydrogen peroxide is a household ingredient that can remove rust. Apply to the rusty area, leave to sit for 5 minutes then scrub with a wire brush to loosen.
Where does rust appear in your household? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help!