If there is no protective coating on the surface of metal products, upon contact with air, the oxidation process occurs, as a result of which rust appears. It is able to destroy metal, so the question of its elimination arises acutely quite often. How to clean rust from metal? This can be done not only with store-bought special compositions, but also with folk methods.

Chemical means

You can clean the unattractive red coating from the surface with a metal brush or sandpaper. Sandblasting can come to the rescue, but not everyone has it at home. It is difficult to process small parts mechanically, and it is difficult to wipe off old traces with sandpaper, so it is worth choosing a simpler and more effective method of solving the problem.

How to clean rust from metal


At any hardware or hardware store, you can purchase a rust neutralizer or converter, or a special cleaner. The basis of store products is usually orthophosphoric or other acid. They perfectly corrode rust, and another advantage of their use is that a protective film is formed on the treated surface, which prevents further corrosion.

Shop tools are used as follows:

  1. Parts, tools or a rusty surface should be cleaned mechanically – with sandpaper or a metal brush. This will help remove flakes of red plaque and remove dust.
  2. Then degrease the surface with gasoline or solvent.
  3. Using a brush, apply the converter to the rusted metal and leave it for a while. The duration of the procedure depends on the degree of corrosion damage. The appearance of a black or dark blue coating indicates a reaction.
  4. When the parts are dry, clean them with fine sandpaper to remove the black coating.

Advice ! To clean small metal products, they can be placed in a plastic container and filled with a converter. It will not be difficult to soak the traces. It is enough to leave for a while, and then dry and clean.

Zinc chloride

Zinc chloride will also help to remove traces of corrosion. To 50 g of this substance, you need to add 5 g of potassium hydrotartrate, and then perform the following actions:

  1. The components are mixed in a container and a chain, bolts and nuts or other elements are placed in the prepared solution.
  2. Leave for a while.
  3. Then it is taken out with the help of tongs. If necessary, clean with a brush.
  4. Remains of aggressive substances should be washed off with running water.

Pay attention! The components are very aggressive, so when working, you should observe safety measures and be sure to use rubber gloves to protect your hands.

Hydrochloric or sulfuric acid

Acid will help to completely dissolve the rusty plaque. Hydrochloric or sulfuric acid is suitable for the method. As in the previous case, it is important to observe safety measures, and the cleaning procedure consists of the following manipulations:

  1. Prepare a 5% solution, that is, you need to take 5 ml of acid per 100 ml.
  2. Add 0.5 g of urotropin to each liter of solution.
  3. Place small parts or treat the rusty surface of the metal with a solution using a brush.
  4. It remains only to dry the elements and protect them from further oxidation.

Urotropin is used to prevent strong acid action. It does not allow to destroy the iron. If you don’t have urotropin, don’t be in a hurry to get upset, because you can use a folk trick – potatoes.

Do not throw away potato skins, but use them to fight corrosion on bolts, hinges and other elements:

  1. Half fill a three-liter jar with potato peels.
  2. Pour the acid so that it completely covers the potatoes.
  3. Stir the contents of the can regularly for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain. That’s it, the home remedy against rust is ready to use.

With this composition, you can remove rusty plaque from parts of various sizes or tools, including from a barbecue. Wire can be treated with this tool, but aggressive substances should not be used for dishes, knives, pans or jewelry.

Lactic acid

Traces of corrosion can be removed from jewelry and coins using petroleum jelly (100 g) and lactic acid (50 g). You need to perform simple actions to remove rusty or dark spots from a chain or other jewelry:

  1. Mix the components. It is better to use a plastic container for this.
  2. Apply the mixture with a brush or other convenient method to soften the corrosion.
  3. Salt forms on the surface, which can be easily cleaned with a toothbrush or fine sandpaper.
  4. To remove traces of the substance from keys or other parts, wipe them with a soft cloth dipped in petroleum jelly.

how to clean rust with lactic acid

Oxalic acid

Effectively removes corrosion and oxalic acid. I use it like this:

  1. Add 4 tablespoons of an aggressive substance to a glass of water.
  2. Immerse damaged metal parts or tools in the prepared solution. If there is strong rust, then large flakes must first be removed with a metal brush.
  3. Leave for half an hour.
  4. Carefully remove with tongs. Cleaning with a toothbrush is the final stage of the procedure.

Advice ! If the nut is heavily rusted and you cannot unscrew it, wet it with kerosene or turpentine. Leave for a while and try again. If this does not help, light kerosene (if possible) and unscrew the nut without problems.

Folk remedies

If for some reason you cannot use chemicals, for example, you want to clean dishes or remove rust from a ring or other jewelry, it is better to use natural safe methods. At home, it is not difficult to remove an unattractive red coating from dumbbells, knives, tools or auto parts, if you choose the right method.


You can remove rust from knives or dishes with the help of potatoes. Cut the potato in half and wipe the metal parts damaged by corrosion with the cut part. If the damage is severe, then the potatoes cut into plates are placed on the surface and left for 10-15 minutes. Then wipe the product with a damp soft cloth. You can use another method to get rid of corrosion:

  1. Grate the potatoes on a fine grater.
  2. Add a lemon twisted on a meat grinder and a couple of spoons of table salt to the porridge.
  3. Apply the mixture to the rusted areas.
  4. Leave for a while and then rinse.

Lemon juice and vinegar

A combination of lemon juice and table vinegar is a simple but effective remedy for the problem. It will be able to remove even deep corrosion, it is enough to perform a few simple actions:

  1. Mix lemon juice and table vinegar in equal proportions.
  2. Apply the mixture with a brush or foam sponge to problem areas of the metal.
  3. Leave for a couple of hours, and then rinse with clean water.

In this way, it is easy to clean rust from a faucet or a pipe, as well as dishes and even various parts. If the measures taken did not help to solve the problem, it is worth mixing lemon juice with fine-grained salt. Next, apply the mixture to the problem area on the refrigerator or other surface, rub lightly with a toothbrush. Remove the residue with a damp cloth.

Pay attention! You can use only table vinegar. Wine or apple cider vinegar can leave dark marks that will be difficult to get rid of.

how to get rid of rust with lemon

Citric acid

You can soak the rusty plaque with citric acid. Apply the available tool as follows:

  1. Dissolve 3 packets of acidic powder in a liter of water.
  2. The prepared solution should be brought to a boil, and rusty nuts, iron nails, bolts and other products should be placed in it.
  3. Leave for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. The softened rusty layer is easily removed with a toothbrush or sandpaper.

And although citric acid is not as aggressive as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, it helps to etch rust well from various metal elements.


If you need to restore the original appearance of the coins, use ordinary baking soda. Add a little water to the powder to make a slurry. Place coins or other small items in the prepared mixture. Leave for 20-30 minutes, and then rub them with a brush or a coarse sponge. Red spots can be removed by this method from tools or large elements, only in this case the slurry is applied to the surface and rubbed with a brush or crumpled aluminum foil, and then washed off with clean water or completely removed in another way.

Unusual ways

Traces of corrosion can be removed using unusual but effective methods.

Coca Cola

You can quickly get rid of unpleasant traces of metal oxidation from a stroller, household items, and even a car body with the help of a popular drink – Coca-Cola. Carbonated water should be poured into a plastic tray or container, and then the corroded products should be lowered into it. It usually takes a few hours for the drink to eat away even strong rust.

Carbonated water can be used to remove rusty traces from boards or other delicate products. In this case, it is necessary to wet a cloth or sponge in Coca-Cola and wipe the surface. If necessary, repeat the action.

Advice ! You can also use cheaper carbonated water. It is important that it includes phosphoric acid, because it is it that performs the oxidation.

how to clean rust with cola

Ketchup or tomatoes

If you find expired canned tomatoes or ketchup in the refrigerator, do not rush to throw them away, as they can be used to clean metal from red marks. To eliminate them, it is enough to apply ketchup, tomato paste or tomatoes on them and leave for 20 minutes. In case of severe damage, the processing time can be increased. After that, you just need to wash everything well from traces of food.


If washing or folk remedies are not effective enough, you can use electricity to solve the problem. It is necessary to perform the following action algorithm:

  1. Pour warm water into a plastic tub or tray.
  2. Add a couple of spoons of salt or baking soda.
  3. Take a car battery charger.
  4. Screw a metal plate to one terminal.
  5. To the other wire, connect the part from which you want to remove rust.
  6. Immerse both ends in the prepared solution and pass the current, setting the current strength to 4-6 amperes.
  7. Leave for 30 minutes or more.
  8. Remains of traces are easily erased with a brush or coarse sponge.

Be very careful when processing metal with this method. Do not remove the product from the tub until you have turned off the electricity.

Choose the right option to clean rust from damaged metal and restore its aesthetics or functionality. To prevent the problem from returning, protect the surface with a primer, paint, varnish, oil, or other agent.

How to clean rust from metal – available methods