I recently asked this question about our bath, and someone requested I make this cleaning query a separate follow-up.

We need to repair the enamel in the hole below, and to do this we need to clean out the rust etc. Does anyone have any advice about the tools / techniques to do this?

enter image description here



  • Some of that rust is likely on raw metal. The smaller crack above the pit probably extends down to metal. You can't "clean" that away. Grind out the whole pit down to raw metal including the area up to the crack above it, then keep grinding a bigger area til you get to rust-free metal all around then immediately prime it. The little rust spot at bottom right can probably be removed with whatever stuff is recommended in the answers.
    – jay613
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of products that may help:

  • CLR - a calcium, lime, rust remover (I'm sure there are other brands as well, this is the one I know of).
  • Naval Jelly - This will do a great job of converting the rust from iron oxide to (??) something that won't rust any further. I used it on my table saw last summer.
  • A wire-wheel - an attachment for your drill with wire bristles that will (reasonably) gently grind the rust away. Note that this will also grind away some of the existing enamel if you're not careful, making for a larger repair area.
  • A wire brush - a hand operated version of the wire wheel. Less likely to do unintentional damage, but much slower and involves burning more calories to get the rust off.
  • 3
    I would go with CLR + but I would also grind that crack out , while cleaning that up you may not need anything more than grinding.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 17:36
  • 2
    Think a slightly larger repair area would be a plus. Want to make sure all the loose stuff is removed, rusty or not.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 20:05
  • 2
    Naval as in fleet of warships, not navel as in belly button.
    – shoover
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 1:04
  • You know, @shoover, I looked at that 3 times... :/
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 11:04
  • Thanks folks! We're snowed under with stuff at the moment, but will see what's available at our local place soon (we're in Spain, so hoping I can translate some of this...)
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 14:33

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