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Please can anyone suggest ways to remove rust from old 'heirloom' tools ....

I've been working hard on fixing up shelves and storage in my shed and came across very fascinating old tools.

It will be interesting to see how the 'ancient' tools will look when cleaned up.

Some of the tools seem really useful and intriguing !

I've tried gently sanding a few of them, but don't know the best way to carefully remove rust.

Is there a substance I can paint on ?

Thanks. :o)



How funny - or is it - just below your question is an ad for rust removing gel - big brother or what! Well I understand WD40 is amazing for all sorts of things. I can't remember where the info is so I shall have a look for it. Just found it "2000 plus uses for WD40" - but haven't checked through all its uses.

30 Apr, 2014


Hi Cammomile .. Thanks..
I don't have the ad. for rust removing gel...
just a plain page ...

all ideas welcome :o)

30 Apr, 2014


I've got the ad - it says Buy Gel Rust Remover UK - Strong thickened phosphoric acid - derusts cars, boats, machinery, etc. No idea what its like, I just rub mine all over with WD40 and hope for the best, but yours are probably really rusty.

30 Apr, 2014


Hi Bamboo...
thanks ...
I'll try WD40 tomorrow and see what happens !

30 Apr, 2014


Hi Terratoonie if they're really rusty then you need to remove it either with the gel or a wire brush then what I do is just rub them over with an oily rag, all the best Roy.

30 Apr, 2014


Hi Roy ..
thank you ... some of the tools are in worse condition than others, so it seems I'll try all of the methods suggested above, depending on the amount of rust.

I have some little wire brushes ... so that's another good idea.. Thanks.

30 Apr, 2014


Tomato sauce lol. I was watching an antique programme a couple of nights ago and old tools are can be worth a lot, especially by a certain maker which i can't remember :) Google it Terra you never know..

30 Apr, 2014


Hi Tt, sorry I can't comment on the rust removal, but I can recommend a method of rust prevention, particularly for tools such as spades, forks, trowels etc, if you get a container which is wider than your spade, and a few inches deeper, fill it with builders sand, then pour a couple of pints of oil into it, so the oil soaks right in, then after you've cleaned and washed off any soil, push the spade, fork etc, right down into the mixture, they can be left there,the container acting as a stand, Derek.

30 Apr, 2014


Hello Dee ...
I'll research tomato sauce uses.. thanks !

Hi Derek ...
That's a very good idea to keep tools rust-free.
Thank you. :o)

30 Apr, 2014


[long]Result of researching tomato sauce !!!

Rust Removal Home Remedies
Looking for some rust removal methods? The following article suggests some of the most effective home remedies for removing rust from metals, clothes, and porcelain.

Rust can occur anywhere: on metal surfaces, clothes, tiles, utensils, decorative items, porcelain, vehicles, etc. Rust develops when water and oxygen from the air combine, and a process known as oxidation occurs on a surface.

Usually, rust forms a reddish-brown-yellowish spot, or flakes on affected surfaces. For getting rid of it, there are a number of products and cleaning solutions available in the market. However, if you are looking for some easy and environment-friendly methods, then given below are a few rust removal home remedies.

If the surface from which the rust has to be removed is small, such as the blade of a knife, an effective method is to put salt on a peeled potato, and rub it vigorously on the spot. If the spot is on a utensil, a good idea is to simply keep the peeled potato and salt on the area, for about fifteen minutes. Follow this up by rinsing and drying the surface. Potatoes consist of oxalic acid which helps to remove rust from metals.

This works for clearing rust off aluminum items. Fill a tub with clean water. Next, soak all the aluminum items in the water. Put in a few Alka-seltzer tablets. Shake the tub so that the water, mixed with Alka-seltzer tablets, rubs off on the entire surface of the aluminum items. Let the items sit in this mixture for about five minutes. After this, rinse them with clean water, and make dry them thoroughly with a towel cloth.

Lemon Juice and Vinegar
A simple homemade rust remover can be made by mixing together lemon juice and vinegar, in equal quantities. Apply this mixture on clothes, tiles, or metals, which have stains on them, and let it stay for some time. For the clothes, fifteen minutes would be enough for stain removal, while for metals two hours would be fine.

After letting the mixture sit for an appropriate duration, rub the spot gently with a brush in case of a cloth item, and with a steel wool for a metal surface. Rinse with water, and make it absolutely dry. This is one of the most useful home remedies for removing rust from clothes, porcelain wares as well as metals.

Coke and Tomato Sauce
To remove rust from metals, rub them with coke and tomato sauce. Let these remain on the metal for a few minutes, and then rinse off with water. Many people vouch for this remedy. Hence, you can give it a try in case of an emergency.

Baking Soda
Another way is to apply baking soda on the metal surface. Start with mixing baking soda with water so that it obtains the right consistency. It should neither be too thin, nor too thick. Now, cover the metal surface with this mixture. Let it sit for fifteen minutes. After this, take a steel wool, and scrub the metal surface. Rinse with water. Repeat the procedure till you find the rust spot clearing away.

White Vinegar and Flour
For brass items, an effective method is to make a paste with a cup of vinegar, one teaspoon salt, and enough flour to form a thick paste. Cover the brass item with this paste, and let it sit for half an hour. Next, take a clean cloth, and rub the brass surface with it. Rinse the brass item with water, and using a towel cloth, wipe it dry. Repeat the entire process, till the brass becomes shiny and clean again.

Make sure that you do not keep the natural solutions given here on the rust spot for a very long time, otherwise they may damage the clothing or the metal item. Also, after every procedure, do not forget to rinse and dry the surface. Keeping it wet may further add rust to it. With these precautions and solutions, now you can look forward to making your home completely rust-free.

30 Apr, 2014


If they're really old then they'll look better and more authentic with the patina left on. Clean off the loose/surface dirt with a soft cloth soaked in WD40, dry off and then lightly oil with 3-in-1.

30 Apr, 2014


if you remove the rust then you are losing some of the tool as the rust is Iron oxide. So what looks like a solid lump of metal ends up looking a bit 'lacy'.

The phosphoric acid rust remover will be a 'bit harsh' on your skin so wear gloves and wash any splashes off your skin immediately.

OH wipes with wd40 or similar when looking at ancient bike bits before he sets to with a wire brush. Again the wire brush will remove the oxide but then the final tool will have that lacy effect.

lets know how you get on TT as I'd love to see them.

30 Apr, 2014


Derek thats a brilliant idea, I even have the sand, its covering a patch of oil on our drive from the taxi my hubby drives sometimes...GRR, not pleased about that though...
I always use WD-40 Terra, its also good for removing paint off ones hands, I cannot paint without getting in a state, just remember not to use it if one has a cut...
We use to clean our pennies by dropping them in a glass of coco

30 Apr, 2014


Fascinating blog Terra, I rememer coke making pennies gleam!
as to aluminium before plastic jugs where I worked had aluminium ones, there was water left in one over a weekend, on the monday tje water had gone and the jug was full of tiny pinholes.....the water had dissolved the aluminium!!

1 May, 2014


Thanks Urbanite, Seaburngirl, Sue and Pam for your comments and suggestions ...

.... maybe I should have made this a blog rather than a question !

If I'm able to take photos of the tools, I'll make a blog about the challenge of the rust, and I'll put a comment on this question thread when the blog is published.

Thank you again. I'll be careful with any chemicals etc. I use.

1 May, 2014


WD40 do a Specialist Rust Remover Soak - just found it on the interweb!

1 May, 2014


There seem to be various products called Rust Remover Soaks, but all in the USA for dollars. Did you find any available in the UK ?

2 May, 2014 Hammerite rust remover gel - 750 ml - takes back to bare metal - just under £15. This is uk based but you might get it cheaper on Amazon.

2 May, 2014

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