Five Tried and True Methods for Removing Rust from Metal Objects

If you’ve got a tool or a piece of kitchenware in need of rust removal, we’ve got some tips and tricks for you to try. Rust removal can be tricky, but you may not want to use heavy chemicals on pieces you keep in your kitchen. Instead, try these all-natural methods of rust removal and enjoy the results.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is best used on items with a less severe case of rust. Wash the dirt off the surface and shake the item dry. Sprinkle baking soda on the rusty areas and let it sit for at least an hour. Use steel wool or a scouring pad to scrub the area, removing the rust. Rinse the item and towel dry as much of the moisture as possible to avoid more rusting.

Citric Acid

Citric acid will remove paint, so use this solution carefully. You can find it at most health food stores in a powdered form. Sprinkle two or three tablespoons of the powder into hot water. Submerge your item and let it sit overnight. In the morning, use steel wool to remove any remaining rust from the item. 

Vinegar

Use vinegar on items with severe rust that you can submerge. As with the citric acid, get a container big enough to fit your item and fill it with white vinegar. Let the item sit overnight. In the morning, remove the item and scrape off the rust with steel wool or a wire brush. Submerging the item works best, but you can also try wrapping it in vinegar-soaked towels overnight, if you don’t have a container for soaking. 

Lemon and Salt

The lemon and salt method is best used on small areas of low rust, such as kitchen knives or trays. Sprinkle the rusty area with salt and then squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon onto the salt. The citrus juice will mix with the salt, unleashing the cleaning power. Let the solution sit for a bit and then rub the salt mixture on the rusty spot with the rind of the lemon. If it doesn’t remove all the rust, repeat and let the mixture sit for an hour or two.

A Potato and Dish Soap

While this sounds like the oddest combination on our list, it does the trick. It is best used on surfaces that canbe scrubbed easily using a potato. Cut a potato in half. Add dish soap to the flat surface of the potato. Use it to scrub the rust spots. The reaction between the potato and the soap will remove rust stains from your item.

Don’t use harsh chemicals to remove that stubborn rust. Chances are, you’ve got one or more of these solutions in your kitchen right this minute. So grab one and get started.