How To Remove Rust (From Anywhere & Everywhere!)

How To Remove Rust (From Anywhere & Everywhere!)

 

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 as 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

rusty bike
Could your bike do with some TLC?

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.

Lemon

sliced lemon
Who knew?!

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.

Vinegar

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.

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.

NOTE: Both vinegar and lemon can damage some finishes due to their acidity. Always patch test first, and avoid using on aluminium or delicate objects.

Remove rust with baking soda

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

carpet
There's a knack to removing rust.

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

mosaic tiles
Have your tiles get rust stains?

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 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!

 

 Q&A

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!

Author

Stephanie C

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

Follow me on twitter

Get this eBook FREE!

101 Tips for an Easy Life

Join the Expert Home Tips newsletter + get a free eBook full of exclusive tips

  1. Author Barbara Snowden on March 11, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Hi. I have rust on my cooker, and a bit on my fridge freezer. Can you help please?

    1. Author Joanne A on March 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Barbara! Could you give me some more detail about where the rust is forming and what materials the cooker and fridge freezer are made from?

    Reply
  2. Author Sharon Brookes-Tombs on March 11, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I've got rust on my shower rail, how can I remove it?

    1. Author Joanne A on March 11, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Sharon! What material is your shower rail made from?

    Reply
  3. Author Linzi Armstrong Giles on March 11, 2019 at 10:29 am

    I've got rusty window locks, and also the handles won't move. They have been rusted in place and I cannot move them. What can I use?? As I need to get it sorted as I'm moving out and will be to expensive to repair.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 11, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Linzi. Are you able to dislodge the handle with something heavy, like a hammer/mallet? If you can get the handle to move, you can then use our metal method to clean them up. It sounds like a new handle/lock would be best in this case, but I understand why you might only want a quick fix.

    2. Author David Braun on March 11, 2019 at 10:07 pm

      Penetrating oil is what you need for this, I have had a can from Halfords for years and just used it to free up my stop cock. There is also Plus Gas from English Abrasives, and can be found on Amazon. WD 40 is too thin and not much good, although I do have a can and start with this for minor jobs.

    Reply
  4. Author Lyn G on March 11, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    How can I remove rust stains from concrete flags?

    1. Author Joanne A on March 11, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Lyn! Could you clarify what you mean by flags? White vinegar is really good for removing rust from concrete, so I'd give that a go!

    2. Author Lyn G on March 11, 2019 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you Joanne. By concrete flags I mean paving stones

    Reply

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *