This is one of the easiest, safest, and least abrasive ways to remove surface rust from old steel tools.Supplies:
- Citric Acid Powder (available at drug stores or grocery stores as a health food supplement or a baking ingredient)
- Warm Water
- Scouring Pad / Brass Brush
- Rusty Parts
- Rubber gloves are a good idea
- Don't splash it in your eyes
Other Ways to Remove Rust:Wire Wheel on a Grinder
- Do a test before trying this on something important - I've noticed it caused a swan chisel to turn very slightly yellow.
- Do not try this on something like a saw blade with an etching you want to preserve - it might disappear.
- this is probably the quickest way to remove rust, but it's still abrasive, so be careful around logos you want to keep.Electrolysis
- works well, but you have to be careful with batteries and water. not for the novice.Sandblasting
- very quick, but can leave a rough finish depending on the media. requires masking on painted parts.Sanding
- tedious and dirty and removes metal, but it works. sanding in very tight places can be impossible.Advantages to using Citric Acid:
- Does not remove painted finishes.
- Less messy.
- Requires nothing you don't already have in the kitchen.
- Can be poured down the sink (citric acid is the main ingredient of some biodegradable cleaners).
- Way cheaper than sandpaper.