If you've ever neglected your tools then you know how easily they can rust.
When my husband and I got married, my father-in-law gave us some of his tools. A sturdy old box, filled with everything we could possibly need. The thing is, we didn't need them -- not for while, anyway. That box sat untouched for a few years. It wasn't until we bought a house that we found ourselves digging into that old neglected tool box.
Needless to say, we were met with rusty wrenches
, screwdrivers, and the like.
Luckily, bringing them back to life is easy.
is iron oxide, a product of corrosion that results when iron is exposed to air and water. Acid forms on the surface of the wet metal, mixes with dirt and dust, and forms rust which then spreads.
If you've caught the problem early and the corrosion is still only confined tsurface spots, you should be able to scrub it away. Cover the rust spots with WD-40
, and scrub it with sandpaper. If that doesn't do the job thoroughly enough, graduate to steel wool.
If a good scrub isn't enough, try this The Baking Soda Method:
1. Mix the baking soda and lemon juice to make a thick paste.
2. Spread the paste over the rust spots and wait a few minutes.
3. Wipe it clean with a dry towel.
A similar paste can be made from salt and lemon juice. Another option is this Salt and Vinegar Solution, which is great for minor spot work:
1. Squirt lemon juice over the rust spots.
2. Pour salt directly onto the spots.
3. Scrub the spots with a brush.
4. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
Or how about the plain old Vinegar Method:
1. Soak your tools in undiluted vinegar. This will eat away at the rust, but it will potentially strip your tools as a result. Do not use vinegar on anything brass.
2. After you've soaked the rusty items, rinse and dry them.
3. If any small rust spots remain, you should be able to scrub them off.
If the rust is too tough for the above solutions, try The Molasses Method.
1 part Blackstrap molasses
9 parts water
1. Mix the molasses and water together in a bucket
2. Immerse the corroded tools
3. Let sit (heavily corroded tools will take as long as 3 weeks)
4. Remove the tools and wash them
5. Dry thoroughly
Most jobs don't need a commercial solution, but if DIY ones aren't cutting it, there is a selection of commercial products available for removing rust from tools. You'll find products like the popular (and environmentally friendly) Evapo-Rust
at your local hardware store.
How to Prevent Rust
Once you've removed the rust, you'll want to take some preventative steps, making sure you don't have to deal with the same problem again and again. Here are some tips for keeping your tools rust-free
1. Apply a light coat of WD-40 after each use. If you don't use the tools regularly, apply another light coating between uses.
2. Keep your tools clean and dry.
3. Place a few pieces of charcoal in your tool box
to prohibit the accumulation of rust.
4. Combine old motor oil and sand in a bucket. After each use, stick the tool in this bucket. The oil and sand will protect the tool.
5. Read ToolSnob's review of the 3-in-1 No Rust Shield.