How to Clean Rusted Metal: A Step by Step Cleaning Guide

Rusty brake rotor and anti-rust spray on wooden table. Car maintenance, before and after anti-corrosion agent.

How to Clean Rusted Metal: A Step by Step Cleaning Guide

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Rusted metal can be unsightly, but it can also be dangerous. If you have rusty metal around your home, it’s important to clean it and keep it clean. The following article will explain how to clean rusted metal and keep it clean. Rust is caused by a reaction between iron and oxygen in the presence of water. When iron rusts, it produces a reddish-brown oxide called hydrated iron oxide. Rust is a very thin oxide layer that flakes off and exposes the metal beneath it to oxygen and water, which causes the metal to continue rusting.

Removing Rust Using Vinegar

Vinegar is a common household product with many uses. It can be used for cleaning, cooking, and even as a natural beauty product. Vinegar is a cheap and easy way to clean your home, cook healthy meals, and even improve your skin and hair. In this scenario, however, we’ll be using it to remove rust from metal.


These are the materials you’ll need:

  • 1 Distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Borax
  • 1 Lemon juice
  • 1 Salt
  • 1 Baking soda
  • 1 White potato

Step One: Cover the Object with Vinegar

Put the rusty item entirely under distilled white vinegar. If the item is large or contains electrical components, heavily spray vinegar on the rusted region or cover the rusted area with a cloth that has been drenched with vinegar.

Step Two: Allow the Metal to Soak

Allow the rusted metal to soak in the vinegar for some hours. Doing this will allow the vinegar to break down the rust and make it easier to remove. You can either let the metal soak overnight or for a few hours during the day.

Step Three: Scrub the Metal With an Iron Brush

After you have allowed the metal to soak in vinegar for an extended period, it is time to scrub the rust off of the surface. This can be done with several different tools, but an iron brush is typically the best option. Be sure to scrub thoroughly, as any rust that is left on the surface can quickly spread and worsen the problem.

Step Four: Rinse and Dry

You should always rinse and dry the metal after soaking it in vinegar and brushing the rust off. If you don’t, the metal will start to corrode.

Vinegar Alternative: Baking Soda

Removing rust with baking soda is a simple and effective way to clean metal surfaces. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that will remove light rust from surfaces. It is also non-toxic and will not damage the metal. To remove rust with baking soda, mix a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the rusted surface and scrub with a brush. Rinse the surface with water and dry it. Repeat as necessary to remove all the rust.

Vinegar Alternative: Electrolysis

In electrolysis, an electric current is used to remove rust from a metal object. The process works by passing an electric current through a metal object that is submerged in an electrolyte solution. The electric current causes the rust to break down and be removed from the metal surface.

Electrolysis is a simple and effective way to remove rust from metal objects. It is also relatively safe and can be done at home with a few simple supplies.

Final Thoughts

Rust is a common problem for metal surfaces exposed to the elements. If left untreated, rust can cause extensive damage to the metal. There are a variety of ways to clean rust from metal, and the most effective method will depend on the extent of the rust damage. For more interesting tips on cleaning rust from metal, contact regional services.

Regional Services

Regional Services

Regional Services are an experienced commercial and office cleaning company based in London. Regional Services are an award winning and fully accredited cleaning company who provide a full range of facility management services and expertise including cleaning, maintenance, waste removal, pest control, gardening and more.


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