We all have rusty tools laying around somewhere. The question is, do you toss them or clean them? Most of the tools I had to contend with were my father’s so I didn’t want to toss them. He always told me “You never throw away tools!” So I had to clean them, for my conscience. Let me show you how to remove rust from tools so you don’t have to replace them or add them to a landfill.
I am not a fan of harsh chemicals. Having a septic tank makes disposal of most any chemicals difficult for me. Washing paint brushes is off limits and even too much bleach can cause trouble.
I chose to try out vinegar and I must say, it worked VERY well.
This is the pile I started with.
That is one big rusty mess!
CAUTION: Remember to work in a well ventilated area, outside would be best, wear goggles and gloves. Safety first!
- White distilled vinegar
- Scrub brush or toothbrush you don’t plan on using again (and no I don’t mean on your teeth, I mean it will no longer be your cleaning toothbrush once you are done with the rust.)
- nitrile GLOVES
- Dropcloth or something to protect your work surface. This gets messy.
- A mask so you don’t inhale the fumes
- eye protection – I have these goggles by Dewalt and they are my favorite.
1. Put your tools in a bucket or container and cover with vinegar.
2. Let the tools soak for 24 hours.
3. Get to scrubbing!
It was time to get in all those nooks and crannies and really clean up these babies. I put together a little video so you could all see exactly how easily the rust comes off. (Please note, I did not protect myself from fumes or splashing. I ain’t always the sharpest tool in the shed.)
It is really important that you thoroughly rinse the vinegar off the tools or they will rust again.
5. Protect them.
After they were all rinsed I dried them off thoroughly and coated them with WD-40. That helps keep them from rusting again. Don’t they look great?
6. Store In a Dry Place
Be sure to keep your freshened up tools in a dry place and store them with silica gel packs to absorb the moisture they do get.
If you do notice some rust starting on a hand tool, use a little steal wool or fine sandpaper to clean it up right away. Then coat with WD40 or coconut oil.
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