Rust is no fun. And over time it can ruin tools or equipment. But there are some ways to remove rust and save the item you thought might need to be trashed.
Obviously preventing rust is the best solution. Keep metal out of damp or wet situations. If they do get wet, be sure to dry them completely and maybe even apply a thin coat of oil. Cast iron cook pans are a good example. They need to be re-seasoned at times…because no one likes a little rust in their dinner!
You might already have this in your home. Soak the rusted item in vinegar. After a few hours pull it out and scrape off any loose rust with a brush, steel wool, or rag depending on how much rust you started with. If the item is too big to submerge, wrap a vinegar-soaked rag around it.
Lemon juice and salt
Put regular salt on the item and pour lemon or lime juice on it and scrub with a rag. Lemon juice is a natural acid, and the salt is a good scrubber. Think facial scrub for tools!
Baking soda paste
Mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply the paste and let it set. Then scrub it off using the paste. This is another form of “facial scrub”.
There are some solutions out there that claim to be “safe” to use. WD40 has a chemical remover version as well as Evapo-Rust. Check your local hardware store for options.
This is just plain cool. But it might not be for everyone. Basically, you use a battery charger and wrap wires around the item and submerge it in a water/baking soda mixture. It might take a day or two, but it does work. This does use electricity, so be smart and safe about it. There are detailed YouTube videos if you want to give this a go.
So, try some of these ideas before you go out and buy a replacement for your rusted object. It might save you some money!