Rust is not just a disturbing and non-aesthetic phenomenon – it causes metals to weaken and shortens the lifespan of the tools and surfaces on which it forms. Although there are things you can buy to get rid of rust, we usually end up throwing out our rusted things because of how expensive these products are. The following tips will help you prevent the formation of rust, fight it in natural ways using materials found in every home, and even remove the stubborn stains from clothing.
What is rust and how can we prevent it from forming?
Rust is a product of a process called corrosion that passes through metal as a result of contact with water and oxygen. The process weakens the bond between the molecules in the iron compound in the material and contributes to their disintegration more quickly. So before you think about how to treat rust, why not avoid it in the first place with a few simple steps? Of course, we all know the solution – keep metal tools in a dry environment and away from water, and of course dry after contact with water, but there are a few more steps you can take to prevent the disturbing phenomenon.
- Paint the right way – painting is the best way to protect from rust, but when you do this, use basic colors and apply a thick layer to help create a layer of insulation that will reduce the metal’s contact with the humidity in the air. It is recommended to apply more than one layer to ensure the paint’s effectiveness.
- Take advantage of water’s greatest enemy – everyone knows that oil and water never mix, so to protect the metal items you don’t intend to paint just apply any vegetable oil, put them in the sun for ten minutes and then wipe them down with paper towels. Note that rinsing the surface or using a wipe to remove the oil will undo the treatment and will make the surface or tool susceptible to rust once more.
- Think ahead – this is perhaps the most obvious tip, but also the most effective – rust prevention will only be possible through regular maintenance of your tools and surfaces, storing them in a dry place and oiling them every few weeks. The end of any metal object is rust, but just as you take care of your health, the same care should apply to your favorite metal things to prolong their use.
5 Natural Ways to Remove Rust
Not many people know that alongside the expensive rust removal products that can be found in stores, there are a variety of options to solve the problem using cheap and available materials that can be found in almost every home. These are the 5 most natural and effective ways to remove rust:
- White vinegar
The acidity of this liquid allows the rust to dissolve quickly and efficiently within a few hours. Regular vinegar can also be used to remove rust, but a longer soaking of 24 hours will be required to ensure good results.
Directions: If it’s a small object, place it in a bowl with white vinegar, let it soak for a few hours and then carefully scrape the rust off its surface. If it is a relatively large object, you can dip a rough rag or steel wool in white vinegar and scrub the object with it.
You probably never thought that your favorite drink would save your favorite metal things from rust, but the carbohydrates in beer, which go through a cooking process, contribute to the decomposition of rust particles created on the surface and allow you to remove it easily.
Directions: Use a rag to apply the beer to the rusty surface. Place the item in the sun for a few hours until it dries, and then scrape the rust off using aluminum foil.
3. Baking powder
This magic powder can be used for a variety of household cleaning jobs, and even if you don’t use it for cooking, it’s good to have in your home to handle a variety of maintenance crises. Even in the war against metal’s worst enemy, baking powder can come to your aid.
Directions: Place the baking powder in a bowl and add water until it starts to thicken. Use a knife or spatula to rub the paste over the metal object and wait a few hours. Then scrub the items thoroughly with a brush or aluminum foil.
Potatoes do much more than serve as a great side to every dish. The oxalic acid in it fights rust effectively if you know how to use it correctly. All you need to turn your potato into a rust-resistant warrior is to combine it with soap and water, creating a highly effective chemical compound for treating the phenomenon.
Directions: Cut a potato width-wise, place the two pieces in a bowl and add a large amount of water and soap. After a minute, remove the potato pieces from the bowl and rub them well over the rusty surface. Dip the potato in the bowl several times while scrubbing. If the potato becomes mashed while scrubbing just cut off the top layer and dip it in the bowl once more.
This soda may have a bad name because of its harmful effects on our health, but those of you who prefer to avoid its usual purpose can find a host of other surprising ones, such as in cleaning and maintaining your home. In the effort to remove the rust, coke is an extremely useful solution, thanks to the phosphoric acid that binds to the iron oxide and causes the layer of rust to dissolve.
Directions: For best results, it is recommended to soak the metal in a bowl of coke for 24 hours or more, and then remove the rust using aluminum foil or steel wool. If the item is large you can scrub it using a sponge soaked in the drink and then scrub with aluminum foil until the rust is removed.
The recommended way to remove rust from clothing
Rust doesn’t only affect our metal tools, it can also stick to clothes and become a very stubborn and difficult to remove stain. With a few simple steps, you can fight these stubborn stains effectively. All you need is water, table salt, lemon juice and some sunlight. You can also use this mixture to remove rust from metal surfaces.
- Mix a glass of water with lemon juice and a flat tablespoon of salt until a uniform mixture is formed.
- If you need more than a glass of water, use a higher amount of salt, but be careful not to add too much salt causing the liquid bubble up too much.
- Apply the mixture to the rust stain. Then place the garment in the sun for an hour.
- Wash the article of clothing as usual. If the stain doesn’t come out, repeat. Hard rust stains may require several repetitions of the process.
- If you want to use the mixture to remove rust from metal surfaces, soak the rusty items in it for several hours, then scrub them thoroughly.