Remove rust from scissors


How to Remove Rust from Tools Using Vinegar-Let’s Find Out Easy Way

Let’s find out what you need to do in the following easy steps:

1. Get the items needed

Here are some of the items you will need:

  • Salt
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Abrasive materials like steel wool or 3M pads
  • Make a vinegar-salt solution

Get a basin made of non-reactive material like glass or plastic and fill it with a gallon of white vinegar. Pour in a cup of regular salt and stir to blend the mixture. The purpose of the salt is to boost the acidic power of the vinegar, so it can be more effective against the rust.

2. Soak the tool

Put the rusted tool in the solution you made in the previous step, and be sure to submerge it totally. Let the tool sit in the solution for around 12 hours but if it’s too rusted, you could give it a few days to get the rust thoroughly loosened.

Editor’s note: the acids in vinegar react differently to different metals. For instance, if the rusted tool is made of aluminum, the acids will remove the oxide coating (or rather the rust), after which they will start corroding the metal itself. That’s why you out to consider the period you’re leaving your tool submerged in the solution. Aluminum shouldn’t be left in there for too long. Be sure to check your tool from time to time to see the progress of rust removal and ensure the metal is not getting corroded.

Again, don’t use vinegar to remove rust from a metal object that is very valuable.

3. Scrub off the Rust

By now, the rust has been loosened by the rust, and it can be removed easily by scrubbing with an abrasive pad.

Before you start scrubbing, wear a pair of latex or rubber gloves to safeguard your hands against the rust. Scrub off the loose rust using steel wool, a crumpled aluminum foil, a bristled brass brush or any other abrasive material you can get your hands on.

4. Neutralize the acid

Get another basin and fill it with a gallon of water mixed up with a cup of baking soda. Stir them to create a fine solution.

Now, soak the scrubbed tool in the solution and let it sit for around 15 minutes so the vinegar acids get neutralized. Then, remove the tool and scrub it one more round with an abrasive pad to ensure any remaining rust is removed.

After that, soak a pad in denatured alcohol and use it to rub down the tool. This will remove any excess moisture the tool might have.

Lastly, rub the tool with gun oil to keep it from rusting. And, if you don’t have that, you could paint the tool; painting is a pretty effective method of preventing rust.

How to prevent rusting

Before you go, you might want to go through the following quick tips for preventing rust.

Realize that outdoor conditions will elevate the risk of rusting, particularly in rainy or humid weather. These are the top ways of preventing rust:

Buy rust resistant alloys

Perhaps the best way of preventing rust is dealing with it from the very beginning. When you’re out buying tools, go for the ones that are able to resist rust. The most popular alloys of that kind are weathering steel and stainless steel.

The element that prevents rust in stainless steel objects is chromium. The element forms its own oxide layer that functions as a great shield against rust.

Also referred to as “COR-TEN” steel, weathering steel is composed of various helpful elements, including copper, chromium, phosphorus, and nickel. Together, these elements form a powerful anti-rust patina that lowers the corrosion rate. If you’re on a budget, weathering steel is a great pick as it’s cheaper than stainless steel.

Proper design

This is more applicable for those who make/assemble their own tools and equipment. When designing then, be sure to minimize the channels through which there can be penetration of water. In that regard, avoid creating cavities or crevices. Also, weld joints instead of bolting them.

The tool’s design ought to permit the free circulation of air and for huge structures, the design should support enough access for easy maintenance.

If you only buy tools and don’t make or assemble them, you could still benefit from this tip by looking out for the kind of design we have described here.


Galvanization is the process by which a metal surface is coated with a layer of metallic zinc. The layer is very effective at preventing corrosion agents from getting into direct contact with the tool.


Bluing involves the immersion of metal objects into a sodium hydroxide, potassium nitrate, and water solution. This strategy offers steel objects some degree of protection against rust and is often used by firearm manufacturers to keep firearms from getting corroded.

The term “bluing” comes from the fact that once the process is completed, the object’s finish gains a blue-black appearance.


Painting is one of the most popular methods of preventing rust. The paint coat forms a barrier against the agents of corrosion. Go for an oil-based paint and let the coating be at least 15 micrometers thick if you want it to be effective.

Coating with powder

In this technique, you normally apply a dry powder on the tool’s clean surface, and then heat the tool. This turns the powder into a thin protective layer. The typical powders used here include polyester, nylon, acrylic, urethane, and vinyl among others.


It’s crucial that you keep the tool clean. Consider cleaning it from time to time and if you use water, be sure to dry it completely before storing it. And, check the tool for rust from time to time. When you notice any rust being formed, remove it with vinegar. Once you’ve removed the rust, consider coating the affected part with a rust-resistant element like paint.

Storing your tools properly is paramount to preventing rust. Don’t leave them outside where they’re exposed to rusting agents, but instead have a good storage room that’s free from moisture and other rusting agents.

Final Verdict

Vinegar offers you one of the bests means of removing rust from your tools. It is cheap and easily accessible, it is safe, and it’s very effective. Just don’t forget to take note of time. Sensitive metals like aluminum shouldn’t be left in the solution for too long.

Give our technique a try and let us know how it goes.

Thank you for reading and come again for more juicy content!

Vinegar rust removal, 19 months later

When it comes to vinegar rust removal, “the longer you wait, the better it works,” the greater internet claims. Well, how long is “longer”? Here’s one unintentionally long experiment to find out. Andrew ReuterFollow Nov 23, 2016 · 4 min read

There are lots of ways to remove rust from metal. All of them have their tradeoffs: wire wheels can’t get in tight places, electrolysis produces explosive hydrogen, etc.

Vinegar is no exception. It’s by far the simplest process. You just dump your rusty junk in a bucket of vinegar and wait. But it takes a while. “The longer you wait, the better it works,” the greater Internet claims.

Well, how long is “longer”? YouTube maker Jimmy DiResta reports excellent results after an overnight soak. The QuietSelfReliance channel left rusty bolts in vinegar for four weeks to great effect.

But both of those attempts seemed to leave some amount of rust that had to be removed after the fact.

Would an even longer bath be better? Or could it destroy the metal? I headed for my garage in the name of science to find out.

First, I sorted through my pile of old, rusty tools. The worst offenders were covered in a layer of powdery rust, making them unpleasant to use at best and unusable at worst. I threw those in a small trash can, submerged the tools in white vinegar, covered the can with some sealable plastic from the kitchen, and set the mixture off to the side in the garage. I figured I’d come back at the end of the summer and see how the tools fared.

These rusty tools were not rusty enough to make the cut for this experiment. The actual tools I used were much, much rustier.

Well, that was April 2015. In June of that year, I found out I was going to be a dad. This spurred a mad rush of projects at Reuter Acres. The house had to be painted, the carpet needed to be removed from the kitchen, the water heater needed to be replaced, etc. And that’s not counting the arrival of the kid. There wasn’t much time for frivolousness.

Here we are, 19 months later, and I finally got back to ye olde trash can. What would be left inside? Gleaming tools? Iron mush? Or something in between?

I turned on my camera, put on my gloves, and dipped in. Watch the video above for the full results.

For those who are stuck in whisper-only libraries, have terrible Internet connections, or just want more information, I’ll post some spoilers below.


What was left in the rusty vinegar?

Tools! They weren’t completely dissolved. But different items had different results.

First, I dug around in the bucket and pulled out all the solid pieces I could find. All were covered in rusty goo. I covered those in a baking soda and water mixture to neutralize the vinegar, then lightly scrubbed the tools to remove the mush. After a few rinse baths, I dipped them in Prep and Etch phosphoric acid solution from Home Depot to protect the tools from flash rust and prepare them for painting. After 30 minutes, I rinsed them off and left them on cardboard to dry. The next day, I sprayed them with Rustoleum Ultra Cover Satin Clear Spray, two coats on each side, and let them dry again for 24 hours. Now they were ready for closer inspection.

Most of the wrenches looked unscathed. The files were noticeably thinner, almost knife-blade-esque in spots. Some of the sockets had deep, empty pores on the ends. My friend Henry, a metals guy, saw similar results when doing this process with much stronger acid. He theorizes that those pockets already were rusted, but the rust wasn’t visible. The acid is drawn to the rust, eating it up all the way into the tool, leaving behind the spongy texture.

The most dramatic effect was apparent on a long, double-box-end wrench. It appeared as though one end had completely dissolved. I suspect that end was submerged in the rusty muck at the bottom of the bucket, exposing it to more destruction.

The most interesting thing to me was the vinegar’s effect on a small spring: It looked perfect. I would have thought that such thin metal would have been destroyed for sure. But the spring was enclosed inside a Duro ratcheting wrench, which must have protected from both the rust and the vinegar.

Would I do this again? I wouldn’t hestitate to use the vinegar-rust-removal technique for a shorter length of time, even a few weeks. But there actually are some interesting artistic implications for the long-term approach. The previously mentioned sockets, for example, are fascinating to look at. It might be fun to take a chunk of metal and half submerge it in the vinegar for an extended period of time to get a similar effect.

If you give this a try, let me know how it goes! Thanks for reading and watching.

A neglected tool has an odd, magnetic power. It pulls you in. Pick it up and the next thing you know, you’re scraping away rust with your thumbnail, trying to make out the manufacturer’s name. You vaguely recall how you came by it: a tag sale, or your father-in-law, or a neighbor who was moving away. “Everybody has them, these little hidden jewels,” says contributing editor Richard Romanski, a fine woodworker and unrepentant tool collector. “Restoring them is pretty easy.” We gathered a bunch of forlorn implements and went to work in his studio, a cavernous former church in North Salem, New York. We found that all it takes is some basic chemistry and a little work to salvage tools that look like they’ve been sitting on the bottom of the ocean for a century or two.

This ball-peen-hammer head looked dead before we removed the rust, polished the bare steel, applied a glossy enamel, and added a life-affirming new handle.

A rusty, wobbly table saw

Craftsman table saw, circa 1980s, purchased at a church auction for $80. Ben Stechschulte

A table saw that earns its keep in an unheated garage, shop, or barn will soon rust. Condensation forms on its steel and cast-iron parts because they are cooler than the surrounding air (1). The rust makes it difficult to slide a piece of plywood across the table, which should be smooth and nonabrasive. It also makes it hard to raise and lower the blade or adjust its tilt. This early 1980s Craftsman saw cost $80 at a church auction. Its table was rusty, and its parts had been thrown out of alignment.

The first step was to move the saw to a warm, dry workshop. We took it off its rolling stand and hoisted it into a Ford F-150, then drove it down the street to Romanski’s studio.

Tools grow dull, and when they grow dull they are set aside, and when they are set aside they rust

The restorers, from left: editor in chief Ryan D’Agostino, contributing editor Richard Romanski, and senior editor Roy Berendsohn Ben Stechschulte

Next came disassembly. We unbolted the cast-iron wings from each side of the saw and removed the motor. We were pleased to find that the motor was a commercial-duty type with twin capacitors–one to start the motor turning and another to provide extra kick to the run winding. The motor’s shaft and pulley were all in good shape. We used compressed air to blow accumulated sawdust and cobwebs out of the saw’s cavity.

Next came removal of surface rust from the saw’s table and wings. We wet down the surface with kerosene as a cutting lubricant and left it alone to penetrate while we ate lunch. To buff the rust away, we chucked up a variable-speed electric drill with a 2.5-inch abrasive nylon cup brush embedded with 240-grit aluminum oxide. At a low 500 rpm, with a back-and-forth movement, the brush removed the rust without marring the surface.

We mounted the wings back on the saw and found that we could align them with the saw table by flexing them slightly and carefully tapping them into position with a dead-blow hammer.

After placing a new 10-inch carbide blade on the arbor (the shaft the blade goes on), Romanski used a machinist’s square to ensure the blade was perpendicular to the table. With the blade at 90 degrees, the pointer on the saw’s tilt scale should read 0 degrees—if not, the pointer is moved to the zero mark. Next we adjusted the fence and its locking mechanism to make it snug, a fussy trial-and-error process. With the saw blade raised to its full height, we used a pair of steel rulers to check that the fence was parallel to the blade at the front and back.

The tuneup was completed when Romanski reinstalled the motor and used a long steel ruler to align its pulley with the pulley on the saw’s arbor shaft. We buffed on a coat of paste wax to provide rust protection and bolted the saw to its stand. Once it was in place, we made a few test cuts on some scrap pine to check for alignment. It was perfect (6).

Corroded hand tools

Ben Stechschulte

Rusty tools turn up in the garden shed of the house you just bought. A friend gives you a boxful of them. Often their handles are rotted away and their steel is so rusty that you could get tetanus just by looking at them.

To restore a pile of ball-peen-hammer heads and a couple of hatchets, we first removed what was left of their handles. We sawed off the handle stubs using a handsaw, then clamped each head in a machinist’s vise and used a punch to knock out the remainder of the handle.

Ben Stechschulte

Corrosion removal began in earnest when we submerged the heads in a bucket containing 1 gallon of white vinegar, an inexpensive supermarket item. We covered the bucket with a piece of plywood and let the parts soak. After about four hours we took a few out and tried scrubbing off the rust with No. 1 steel wool, and wouldn’t you know it, a little came off. There was hope. We dunked the tools back in the vinegar overnight, then hit them again with steel wool. (Steel wool is available in eight grades of coarseness, ranging from superfine, No. 0000, to extra-coarse, No. 4. We had good results with No. 1 wool, but you may need to go more or less coarse, depending on the amount of corrosion.) The rust came off. We rinsed the tools thoroughly in clear water to remove any last trace of vinegar and wiped them dry.

Ben Stechshulte

Severely pitted surfaces were then smoothed out using a 100-grit abrasive on a disc sander, and heinous damage—metal that had been peened over by a hammer blow, for example—was rectified by clamping the head in a machinist’s vise and hand-filing the surface smooth. Finally, the tools were wiped clean with mineral spirits, primed with a rust-preventive metal primer (we used spray-on Rust-Oleum), and painted with a gloss alkyd enamel. Cutting edges on the hatchets were hand-honed on a series of water stones used for woodworking tools. We completed each tool by fitting a hickory handle through the cavity in the head.

Dull precision tools

Ben Stechschulte

Begin restoring any precision tool with a careful disassembly, separating corroded parts from the clean ones. In the case of the smooth plane pictured above, the body was not as badly corroded as it looked. We removed most of the rust with a hand wire brush. Then we lapped the sole of the plane on a succession of abrasive papers, beginning with 60-grit and proceeding through 1,000-grit. We taped the paper to a workbench that has a dead-flat laminate surface and slid the plane body over the paper, swapping it end for end every six passes. We used a few drops of odorless mineral spirits as our cutting lubricant. The body came out flat and smooth, with only minor pitting.

Precision tools require careful—okay, fussy—restoration and adjustment

Next we sharpened the plane iron on a horizontal wet sharpening wheel and even honed its back surface so that it was flat several inches behind the cutting edge. This ensures that the chip breaker will tightly mount to it and not allow wood shavings to be trapped and torn off.

After sharpening, we took the lever cap and the plane iron’s chip breaker and buffed them out on a muslin buffing wheel with jewelers red rouge polishing compound.

Senior home editor Roy Berendsohn, buffing Ben Stechschulte

Romanski has more than forty years of woodworking experience, so he did the final inspection of the plane iron. He followed the machine honing with a careful trip over his water stones, leaving the plane iron with a mirror finish. He assembled and adjusted the plane and took it for a test drive on a piece of clear white pine. The result was a tool that cuts perfectly, taking long, silky-smooth shavings with every pass.

Ben Stechschulte

Whether a mechanic, carpenter or an ordinary guy, or girl, you’ve likely came across some rusty tools before. Hand tools are extremely vital to numerous job sectors and industries. They are very versatile, and often interchangeable, as they can help the vast majority of people complete numerous tasks. However over time, these tools can often become rusty from usage or storage.

When people leave their tools in a cold, enclosed toolbox for an example, the tools get colder than the surrounding aid, and moisture ends up clinging to these tools, causing rust.

Although rusted tools may not look aesthetically pleasing, they are still generally functional. However, if you wish to remove the rust from those tools, and make them look almost like-new, follow some of these steps below to remove rust from your tools.


Vinegar – The most popular cleaning method

What you need:

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Scrub brush (toothbrush will also work)
  • Rags
  • Bucket or container
  • WD-40

First, you should place your tools in the bucket and cover them with the vinegar. Next, you must let the tools soak for 24 hours in order to absorb the vinegar. After soaking, you must get to scrubbing. The vinegar soaked in the tools will eat into the rust and allow for an easy scrubbing process to remove the rust.

Rust come-off from tools after soaking in vinegar

Most importantly, you must make sure to thoroughly rinse the vinegar off of the tools so they don’t rust again. Lastly, after rinsing and drying the tools, spray them all with WD-40 so they don’t rust again. WD-40 is a widely used substance to help keep metals from rusting.

Elbow grease

What you need:

  • Dish detergent
  • Coarse sandpaper, scouring pad or steel wool
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Kerosene (optional)

Start by rinsing the tools in soapy water in order to remove dust, dirt and grease from them. Make sure you rinse and dry them thoroughly. Always start by scrubbing the tools with the coarsest abrasive to remove built up rust. Next, switch to a finer sandpaper to smooth out the grooves caused by the coarse grit.

For more severely rusted tools, you may want to consider using kerosene, which will act as a cutting lubricant. If the problem still remains, you may want to consider a more powerful solution.

Oxalic acid

What you need:

  • Dish detergent
  • Oxalic acid
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large plastic container

This method is excellent for moderate rust issues. Additionally, it is very useful for hard to reach rust spots since this acid gets right into the joints and crevices to solve the rust problem.

First, thoroughly clean the tools with dish detergent in order to prevent lingering dirt and grease from blocking the chemical process. Next, make sure to put on your goggles and gloves for protection.

After, mix three tablespoons of oxalic acid with one gallon of water in the large plastic container. Make sure the solution covers the tools completely. Next, let the tools soak in the container for about 20 minutes, or until the rust is gone. Then simply remove them, rinse them clean again and dry the tools thoroughly. Lastly, store the tools as usual.

Lemon Juice and Salt – Natural Method

What you need:

  • Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Steel Wool or Sandpaper
  • Container
  • Cloth or Rag

To use this method, combine lemon juice and salt in a sizeable container, and rub the combined solution on by using a steel wool or sandpaper. The salt will act as a corrosive or an abrasive, while the acid present in the lemon juice cuts through the corrosion.

For severely rusted tools, let the solution settle on the surface of the tools for some time, five minutes or so. When the corrosion has been removed, wipe down the tool with a dry cloth.

Vinegar and Baking Soda – Another natural method

What you need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels
  • Two containers or buckets
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Coconut oil (optional)

First, fill the first container with vinegar to where the tools will be completely covered when submerged. Next, drop the rusty tools in the vinegar and let them soak for about 3-5 minutes. After that, remove the tools and scrub away with a toothbrush.

After scrubbing, fill the other container up with one third baking soda, and two thirds water. Then simply place the scrubbed tools in there for about five more minutes. After this, rinse clean the tools with water, and make sure to dry them immediately with paper towels. For hard to reach areas and tight spaces, you can try using a hair dryer to make sure they are dry in order to prevent further rust.

Lastly, you can apply the coconut oil on the tools to apply additional rust protection in the future. Many people also use WD-40 as a rust preventer.

Coca-Cola (Coke)

What you need:

  • Large enough container or bowl
  • A liter of Coca-Cola
  • Rags or cloths

This is a very renowned method for its simplicity. First, you must pour a sufficient enough amount of the Coca-Cola into the bowl, tub or container. Next, simply drop your rusty tools in there and let the settle for 24 hours, depending on the corrosion level of your tools, and make sure the Coca-Cola completely covers the tools. Severely rusted tools may require additional time.

Next, simply remove the tools after no rust is present. Additionally, apply oil or WD-40 on them to help keep them from rusting again.

This works very well since Coca-Cola is loaded with phosphoric acid. This acid is capable of dissolving iron and iron oxide, or rust. However, since this phosphoric acid melts iron oxide very quickly, do not leave the tools in the solution for a long time, as they may get even more corroded. A few days however, will get rid of the solution no problem.

Rust is inevitable, and it continues to corrode tools faster and faster once it starts. Making sure to take care of your prized possession of hand tools, saw blades and screw drivers is vital since the majority of people use these tools on a daily basis.

Tools are also not cheap, so ensuring they stay like new, and ready for any project at any given moment is critical. But in case you face some nasty, rusty tools, you can use one or more of the above methods to bring them back to life.


Today I’m showing you how to remove rust from tools. One way to do it anyway. The other day I took some time to clean my table saw. I asked my Instagram community about their cleaning rituals– and there were a lot of products I’d never heard of. Check out that post if you want to see all the other suggested products. The vast majority of commenters use WD-40 and a metal brush or steel wool. That’s what I use. It’s cheap, readily available, and effective.

How to Remove Rust from Tools


  • WD-40
  • 00 steel wool or an abrasive pad

It doesn’t take as much elbow grease if you let the oil sit longer. Just don’t let it sit so long that it dries. Find the happy medium. If you have other tasks to complete while the oil sits, great. If not, it’s like waiting for water to boil. You just want the rust to dissolve and move on. So you can get to work doing the thing you wanted to do with that rusted power tool! I have included the patient method and the

Time and Elbow Greese

  • saturate steel top tools with WD-40
  • let it sit for about 10 to 30 minutes
  • scrub the abrasive pad or steel wool

Then wipe with paper towels and repeat.

Depending on how bad the rusted area is, you may need to let the oil sit longer. Or you can use a power sander. I was able to get my table saw smooth to the touch by scrubbing by hand. However, there were still some visible blemishes that I wanted to remove. I don’t have the patience to let the WD-40 sit for more than 30 minutes so I brought in a power sander. Protecting the blade insert from the power sander is a good idea. Remove that puppy.

Power cleaning

My random orbital sander made quick work of getting rid of the remaining rust spots. I applied more WD-40 and used 600 grit sandpaper on medium speed. A shop apron is a good idea if you’re using a power sander. The sander tends to splatter a bit of dirty oil at you.

Coat and protect

The final step is to coat your freshly cleaned steel top tools with T-9, a waterproof lubricant. Let that dry, then buff. An alternative to T-9 is Renasainse Wax. Either can be recoated frequently.

Keeping metal tools polished helps material slide easily as well helping the tool stay clean and rust free.

This technique would certainly remove rust from other power tools, hand tools, and woodworking tools and bits too. Let the rusted tools soak in a plastic container with WD-40. Then scrub with a wire brush and wipe with paper towels.

My table saw looks practically new again after dedicating an hour to cleaning and polishing. If I polished it weekly it would take 10 minutes and wouldn’t get so bad that it would again require an hour. Tools are pretty big monetary investments. It’s a good idea to take good care of them to help them last longer and work better!

Want to see why I no longer use my table saw blade guard? Watch this!

Additional workshop projects you might like:

Drawer Bit Storage Organizer

Rolling plywood storage cart

Easy sliding cabinet doors

Thank you for Pinning and sharing!


Help, My Garden Tools Are Rusted: How To Clean Rusty Garden Tools

After a long season of garden projects and chores, sometimes we forget to give our tools a good cleaning and proper storage. When we return to our garden sheds in the spring, we find that some of our favorite garden tools are rusted. Read on to learn how to clean rusty garden tools.

Help! My Garden Tools are Rusted

Prevention is the best solution for rusty garden tools. Try to clean your tools well after each use with a rag or brush, water, and dish soap or pine sol. Be sure to remove any sap or sticky residue. After cleaning your tools, dry them and then spray them with WD-40 or rub down with mineral oil.

Store your tools hanging on hooks in a dry airy location. Some gardeners swear by storing their tools blades down in a bucket of sand and mineral spirits.

However, life happens and we can’t always give our favorite garden trowel the TLC it deserves. There are many folk remedies for removing rust from tools with simple

kitchen ingredients like salt, vinegar, cola and tin foil. When you really love that garden trowel, you don’t mind trying a few until you find the one that returns it to its full shiny glory.

How to Clean Rusty Garden Tools

The most popular method for cleaning rust on garden tools is with vinegar. Soak the tool overnight in a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% water. Then with steel wool, a brush or a crumpled up piece of tin foil, rub the rust off in a circular motion. When the rust is gone, rinse the tool in soapy water and then just clear water. Hang in to dry, then rub it with mineral oil or WD-40.

Another interesting rust removal recipe involves just using a can of cola and a crumpled piece of tin foil or wire brush to scrub away the rust. The phosphoric acid in cola dissolves the rust.

There’s also a recipe that calls for using strong black tea – first to soak the tools in and then to scrub the rust away.

Using salt and lemon juice is yet another popular method of cleaning rusty tools. This recipe uses 1 part table salt, 1 part lemon juice and 1 part water a homemade rust solution. Rub on with steel wool, then rinse and dry.

Can You Renew Rusty Garden Tools With Power Tools?

If you’d like to add a little power and speed to your rust removal project, there are wire brush attachments for drills and Dremel tools specifically designed for rust removal. A bench grinder with wire wheel and buffing wheel attachment also works great on rust removal. Always wear safety goggles and gloves.

With any of these rust removal methods, be sure to clean your tools thoroughly. Don’t leave any sticky residues. Keeping tools sharp can help decrease damage that leads to rust, so it’s a good idea to sharpen your tools while you’re giving them a good cleaning.

How To: Remove Rust from Hand Tools


Has it been a while since your last home improvement project? If your do-it-yourself skills are a little rusty, chances are your tools are, too. Without regular use, metal tools are prone to problems. Over time, iron and steel exposed to oxygen and moisture form a chemical reaction called oxidation. The visual evidence of this reaction is the burnt orange speckling that covers your metal possessions. Eventually, too much rust will ruin your tools—giving you yet another excuse to put off those projects.

Well, no more excuses! Grab those tools and get to work, because rust is removable. Here we offer two ways to quickly and easily bust that rust.


METHOD 1: Scour, Scrape, and Sand

If you don’t mind using a little elbow grease, you can physically remove rust with abrasion. Choose an effective scrubbing material when dealing with light to moderate surface rust problems. Deeper rust issues may require more than just muscle, but this physical solution is a good first step.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS Available on Amazon
– Dish detergent
– Coarse sandpaper
– Scouring pad
– Steel wool
– Fine sandpaper
– Kerosene
– Electric drill
– Wire wheel brushes for drill

STEP 1: Remove dirt and grease with dish soap.

Start by cleaning the rusted tools in soapy water to remove dirt and grease. Then, rinse the tools with water and dry thoroughly.

STEP 2: Scrub the rusty tools with an abrasive pad.

For light rust, scrub the surface with a scouring pad, sandpaper, or steel wool. Always start with the coarsest abrasive to remove the built-up rust and pockmarks, then switch to a finer grit to smooth out the grooves caused by the coarse grit. If you still see rust, it’s time for a more heavy-duty course of action.

STEP 3: Use a drill-powered wire wheel to buff away stubborn rust.

For more serious rust problems, coat the surface of the tools with kerosene to function as a cutting lubricant. Wait several minutes. Then, attach a wire wheel to an electric drill to buff away the stubborn rust. Finish off with fine-grain sandpaper to remove any leftover residue. If the surface rust is gone, your work is done. But if the problem persists, you may need a stronger chemical solution.

Photo: via Josh Larios

METHOD 2: Soak in Oxalic Acid

When you want to save yourself some energy, oxalic acid offers an effective chemical-based treatment for dissolving light to moderate rust problems. This mild acid gets right into joints and crevices to penetrate the problem areas, making it especially good at removing rust in tight spaces and hard-to-clean spots. Just pick up the inexpensive chemical at your local home improvement store to get started (you can also buy it online via Amazon or another vendor).

TOOLS AND MATERIALS Available on Amazon
– Goggles
– Rubber gloves
– Dish detergent
– Large plastic bucket
– Oxalic acid
– Towel

STEP 1: Clean the rusty tools with dish detergent.

First, clean the tools with dish detergent and water before you begin so grease and dirt won’t block the chemical process.

STEP 2: Pull on protective gear, then submerge the rusty tools in an oxalic acid solution.

Before you pull out any chemicals, don’t forget to strap on a pair of goggles and rubber gloves for protection. Although this is a mild acid, always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid fumes. Mix three tablespoons of oxalic acid with one gallon of water in a plastic container large enough to submerge the hand tools you’ll be cleaning. Then, place the tools in the solution and make sure it covers the tools completely.

STEP 3: Soak the tools for 20 minutes.

Leave the tools in the bucket for approximately 20 minutes, or until the rust is gone. (You may need more time or less depending on the level of corrosion.) Then, rinse, dry thoroughly, and store the tools once more.


4 Tips to Prevent Tools from Rusting

While there are a variety of different methods for removing unwanted rust, one solution tops the rest: prevention. The following tips will help you stop a rust problem before it starts.

  • Remember to always dry your tools immediately after use, and even spray them with a rust inhibitor like WD-40 (available on Amazon).
  • Store your tools in a clean, dry place. Dust attracts moisture, and moisture leads to rust. Yes, you need to dust your house and your toolbox too!
  • Keep your toolbox moisture-free. Use silica gel packs (available at your local home improvement store) to absorb excess moisture. Or, use an old-fashioned wooden toolbox instead. The wood will absorb any excess wetness.
  • Finally, for maximum protection, invest in a dehumidifier to control the climate and limit the humidity. Beyond saving your metal tools, it will keep you comfortable as you tackle your next to-do with your rust-free equipment.

There are many products that are hyped as alternatives to traditional products for natural green home cleaning. The questions that is often floating around is “Does it work?” and if it does, “How does it Work?” Many flaunt the benefits of cleaning with Coca-Cola or other colas.

Since its introduced at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886, Coca-Cola is everywhere. What once began as a health drink, is now one of the most recognized brands in the world. Today it is found in over 200 countries. In fact globally, the average person consumes a Coke product every four days (Coca-Cola currently has a product portfolio of more than 3,500 beverages under 500 different brands).

In the world of green cleaning many applications for cola are publicized, including:

  • Shining up a tarnished copper penny
  • Cleaning stains in toilet bowl
  • Removing rust, especially from chrome on the bumpers of motorcycles and cars
  • Taking out grease from clothes

For the science of cleaning, some of the benefits of cola that contributes to the ability of these natural green home cleaning strategies to work are:

  • Low pH. Similarly, many cleaners are acidic. (The average pH of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other colas is 3.4.)
  • Carbonation combined with the acid can dissolve the metal oxides and remove tarnish from copper, brass and other metal alloys.
  • Citric acid is known to remove the stains
  • Phosphoric acid is commonly used for rust removal.
  • Carbonic acid dissolves limestone and may break down some of the mineral build-up.

As a mythbuster, some of the issues with its cleaning effectiveness, however, are:

  • Cola is basically a carbonated syrup. It is sticky, no matter how you use it. Removing the stickiness applies in all applications.
  • It is slow. Most applications say to soak it a long time, sometimes for a couple of hours, sometimes overnight, and in some cases even for a fortnight! Since we are usually seeking instant gratification, overnight is not a time frame we are seeking.
  • While cola is good for removing tarnish on some metals, on others such as iron, tin and steel, it can corrode the metal.
  • Since the phosphoric acid, citric acid, and carbonic acid in the cola is what does the cleaning. Much stronger more application specific solutions are available.
  • Cost … if you need a liter or more to clean the toilet, a quart of Washroom Cleaner at the same price is more cost effective, since not as much is used for the same application.

As for the notion that the acid content of cola drinks makes them useful for various household cleaning purposes such as scrubbing toilets and removing grease from clothes, let’s just say there are plenty of more effective, less costly and decidedly less sticky alternatives available. In fact, Coca-Cola states “We don’t make any claims relating to other uses. Instead, we recommend using products specifically designed for cleaning or rust removal.” Green Cleaning Products can provide those application specific products to you.

Lawn maintenance, bug repellent, and 41 other bizarre things you can do with a can of Coke

There aren’t many things more refreshing than a cold glass of Coke on a hot day.

But the famous soda, which dates all the way back to 1886, has so many more uses than that.

From getting rid of rust to keeping grass lush and green, a little bit of Coca-Cola can go a long way. Plus, it makes a mean BBQ sauce.

And even though Coke can clean your toilet or polish the chrome of your car’s bumper, it’s still safe to drink. The carbonic acid which makes this soda so good at cleaning is still way less acidic than your stomach acids or even a lemon, according to LIVESTRONG, meaning Coke won’t have the same effect on your stomach lining as it has on a dirty coin.

Keep reading to see the 43 things you can do with a can of Coke.


Putting coins into a glass of Coca-Cola can make them look shiny and new. iambents/Flickr

Clean coins: If your coins look dull and you want to spruce them up, drop your money into a glass of Coke. Wait for a full day or overnight before pulling your coins out. Wipe with a rag and buff the coins — most of the grime will have come away.

Clean toilet: Diet Coke is better than most chemical cleaners. Pour it around the rim and let it flow into the bowl. Let it sit for about an hour and then scrub off any stubborn stains with a toilet brush. Flush once you’re done.

Remove stains from clothes: If you get grease stains on your clothes, you can break up the stain with a can of Coke. Just pour the soda in with your regular normal cycle and detergent to combat the stain.

Remove blood stains: While the rumor that police use soda to get blood stains off highways is a myth, Coca-Cola is really effective at busting through blood stains — the show “MythBusters” even confirmed that this was possible.

Polish chrome: Whether it’s for your car’s bumper or another chrome surface, aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola will remove rust much better than any traditional polisher.

Clean burned pots: You can “unstick” burnt pots and pans by pouring in some Coke and bringing it to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and carefully use a scrubbing brush to stir the soda — the food should come right off.

Get rid of rust: If you have any rust stains or tools covered in rust, Coca-Cola will eat away at the rust for you. Leave the rusty object submerged in Coke for an hour or overnight and then scrub off the rust.

Descale a teapot: Filling a kettle with Coke and letting it sit overnight will dissolve any scale hiding inside. You can then thoroughly scrub with a sponge and by the time you’re done, the teapot will look like new.

Get rid of tile grout: Because it’s caustic, Coca-Cola can lessen tile grout stains and build-up. Wet the grout with Coke and let the area sit for a few minutes before wiping with a clean cloth. Repeat until the grout is clean.

Remove marker stains from carpet: To remove a marker stain, soak the area in Coke for a few minutes, before blotting up the excess liquid and diluting the area with water. Keep blotting until the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove permanent marker from dry erase boards: If someone mistakenly used a permanent marker on a dry erase board, soak it in Coca-Cola for a few minutes and then wipe clean with a rag.

Unclog garbage disposal: Pour Coke down your garbage disposal and wait for the fizzing to stop. Then rinse with hot or boiling water. The Coke and hot water should be enough to help break down the gunk and clean the disposal.


We always hear soda isn’t good for you, but it could have some surprising health effects.

Relieves nausea: Drinking flat Coca-Cola will help relieve a queasy stomach. Avoid regular carbonated Coke since that could agitate your stomach and make it feel worse.

Soothe jellyfish stings: If you find yourself stung by a jellyfish, a little bit of Coke could help. The acid of the soda will help combat the jellyfish venom and ease the pain.

Fight stomach blockages: A new study suggests that soda could help fight stomach blockages. Researchers think it could have something to do with Coke’s acidity level that resembles gastric acid and could help the digestion process.


Don’t cut the gum out of hair before soaking it in Coke. modenadude/Flickr

Get gum out of hair: If you or someone else has gum stuck in your hair, pouring a little Coke over the gum will help it slide right out.

Fades hair dye: If you got a dye job that you don’t like or if the color looks too vibrant or dark, you can wash some of the color out with a can of Coke.

Texturize hair: Model Suki Waterhouse recently admitted she rinses her hair with Coca-Cola to give it more texture. It also gives your hair some extra body and bounce, which is a plus as well.


A concoction of Coke, beer, soap, mouthwash, and ammonia will make your lawn look amazing.

Lawn tonic: Combine a can of regular (read: not diet) Coke with a can of beer, dishwashing soap, household ammonia, and a cup of mouthwash and put it in a 10-gallon hose-end sprayer to dilute the mixture. Spraying this on your lawn a few times a week will keep it green and thick.

Keep bugs away outdoors: If you’re having a picnic or have food that bugs keep coming over to inspect, fill a bowl with Coca-Cola and place it far away from you. The sugar will draw the bugs to the bowl and away form you and your food.

Eliminate oil stains: Coke will help get rid of any oil stains on your driveway or in the garage. Pour Coke over the stains, scrub with a brush, and then rinse with water.

Kill slugs: If slugs or snails are overrunning your garden and plants, you can lure them away with a small bowl of Coca-Cola. The soda will attract and kill the pests, leaving your garden slug-free.

Defrost windshield: Pour a can of Coke onto your car’s windshield if you’re out of windshield-wiper fluid or don’t have a scraper. Just avoid getting it on the paint, since the corrosive soda can ruin the paint job.

Pesticide: Coke and Pepsi were both rumored to have been used by farmers in India where the sodas are cheaper than traditional pesticides. Though this is unconfirmed, soda does actually work rather well as a pesticide since it not only attracts the bugs but also kills them. Spray or pour a little Coke next time on any unwanted ant hills.

Kickstart compost pile: A can of Coke will infinitely help your compost pile. All you need to do is pour in the soda, and the mildly acidic soft drink will help break down all the organic matter in your compost and attract micro organisms that will be helpful in the composting process.

Clean bugs from car windshield: If you have a lot of dead bugs and grime on your windshield, pour a can of Coke over it. Let it sit, and then wipe down with a damp cloth to easily remove any residue. Rinse with water to keep Coke from damaging the car’s paint.

Pool cleaner: A few sites say that if you pour two two-liter bottles of Coca-Cola into your pool, you’ll notice a significant change in your pool’s appearance for the better once the pool has cleaned out the soda. No more iron or rust stains!

Clean car batteries: If your car battery is looking corrosive, you can clean it with Coke. Since Coca-Cola is a mild acid and the corrosion is a mild alkali, it causes a chemical reaction and remove the corrosion.


Mixing brownie mix with Coke will have surprisingly delicious effects.

Brownies: By mixing together a box of fudge brownie mix and a can of Diet Coke, you can get perfectly cooked, moist brownies in under half an hour.

Jell-O: You can substitute any type of Coca-Cola with the water in a Jell-O recipe to create a sweet and soda-themed version of the classic. The blog Something Swanky has some good combination ideas, like lime Jell-O with regular Coke.

Diet Coke float popsicles: You can combine Coke, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to create a Diet Coke popsicle spin on the classic root beer float for the summer time. See a recipe here.

Chicken drumsticks: This recipe only takes three ingredients: Coke, soy sauce, and chicken wings. Throw everything in a slow cooker and set it on low for six hours. Once the wings are tender, pour the leftover liquid into a pot, simmer it down to a glaze, and then pour over wings.

Barbecue sauce: Combine Coca-Cola with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a few other seasonings of your choice. Simmer the mixture, and it will turn into the delicious BBQ sauce of your dreams. See a popular recipe here.

Cupcakes: Combine Diet Coke with a box of chocolate cake mix — it will fizz at first, but don’t freak out. Pour the batter into a cupcake pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Top with powdered sugar.

Pot roast: A can of Coke combined with au jus, McCormick’s slow cooker Savory Pot Roast season packet, and the rib roast itself will make an amazing meal. Slow cook the roast and seasoning for eight hours on low in a crock pot for tender and delicious results.

Baste a ham: Combining Coca-Cola with a little brown sugar and crushed pineapple will make for a delicious dinner that’s very easy to make. See a recipe here.

“Dirty Diet Coke”: The blogger community went crazy for this easy-to make recipe. Combine Diet Coke with half and half milk, coconut syrup, and a squeeze of lime. Drink and enjoy.

Cocktails: Mix your alcohol of choice with any Coke product and then add any accoutrements you’d like. Here are some recipes to get you started.


Mentos dropped into Coca-Cola will create a soda geyser. Matt Hebert/Flickr

Exploding Mentos: Drop a few Mentos mints into a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke to create a Coke geyser. This is “MythBusters” tested and incredibly fun.

Skunk odor killer: Though tomato juice works better, Coke is an effective skunk odor remover. Rub the soda into your hair and skin and let sit for a few minutes. Then rinse off with soap and water. This will also work well for any skunked animals.

Remove paint from metal furniture: You can remove paint from metal furniture by soaking a bath towel in Coca-Cola and covering it for a week, continuing to saturate the towel with Coke every day so it stays wet. After a week, the paint should strip off very easily.

Loosen rusted bolts: If you happen upon a rusted bolt that you can’t undo, soak a hand towel in Coke and apply it to the area for a few minutes. Continue soaking the bolt until most of the rust has been removed and comes off on the towel. After the bolt is removed, rinse the area with water to avoid stickiness.

Make antique-y pictures or letters: Coke can give paper an aged or antique look in lieu of coffee or tea. Just soak the paper in Cola, wipe off excess liquid after letting it sit, and dry in the oven for five minutes or until the paper has dried and the edges start to warp.

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