I have a cheap tool with some rust on it. It's probably cheaper to buy a new one than to clean it. But I wonder if is there any solution where I can drop it and retrieve it clean. Is there anything like a rust solvent?

  • 1
    Coca-Cola works too, and is a fun experiment. :-) ehow.com/how_5133333_remove-rust-cocacola.html Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 23:31
  • A woodworking magazine recently recommended the salt-and-vinegar approach to removing rust from old metal-framed hand planes, followed of course by a bicarb-of-soda bath to remove the remaining vinegar and salt. If it's good enough for a serious tool like a plane, on the advice of serious woodworkers, it's probably good enough for me. (They do warn that it will also remove the traditional black lacquer from the tool.) I don't remember the details offhand, which is why I'm making this a comment rather than an answer, but websearch should find them.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 2:36

7 Answers 7


Perhaps naval jelly would (Phosphoric acid) do the trick? Or maybe electrolysis…

  • Be careful if you use naval jelly. That stuff is really toxic.
    – skiggety
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 17:42

This stuff is sick: http://www.evapo-rust.com/

I used it on a drill press my buddy left out on a patio in the rain for a year. Virtually no scrubbing. I don't understand how this is not one of the most widely known products in the world. It is THAT good. I guess with the military as a client, they don't need the business from the public. Here are some pics. Truly an amazing product. I purchased a gallon of it at a Harbor Freight store for $20.


enter image description here


enter image description here

  • I am buying a gallon next time I am at HF... however why isn't it more well known... maybe the 1998 website?
    – DMoore
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 4:14
  • I can't figure that out for the life of me. The product is amazing.
    – Evil Elf
    Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 13:55

I use CLR for that sort of thing. The main purpose in my house is for hardwater scale, which accumulates on everything, but it also works on rust. Handle with care, it is wicked strong.



In Brazil we have Semorin - Tira Ferrugem (rust remover)


SUPER EASY!!! Get a cheap nail brush (but a big one for use on feet is better, if you're willing to sacrifice it), toss your tools in a tall cup of baking soda (don't measure, dump in as much as you think you need and a little more) with some water. Take out one piece at a time and go to town scrubbing on top of a good hand towel. Keep going until it's as clean as you need it to be.

  • If you have a significant other, doing this on the good hand towels will get you in lots of trouble. I'd recommend an old rag.
    – BMitch
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 11:51

1 part molasses to 8 parts water. soak for one week. it works like a miracle. I got some old rusted out drill bits at a flea market. I mean really rusted out. After this treatment I could read the size markings on the bits.

  • This is an awesome suggestion.
    – treeNinja
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:19

It used to be that pepsi and/or coke would eat away rust - not sure if the newer formulations will still to that, though. You could also try some vinegar.

  • coke was a myth - i tried it with several cokes type in 3 countries. Even mythbusters mythed it. Coke is bad for your teeth because they used to use RO water, which striped calcium (Tooth = Calcium) Now they use mineral water...
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 16:32
  • #ppumkin - did not know that. I did find both snopes.com/cokelore/acid.asp and ehow.com/how_5133333_remove-rust-cocacola.html, though personally I'd go with naval jelly or a sand blaster.
    – chris
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 19:20
  • Yea - i went thorugh many of those sites. Its not true :( a bit of a read- but maybe worth it - pkula.blogspot.com/2010/05/… - PS - In the motor industry the scret to remove rust is........ pool acid (hydro-chloric acid) work slower than industrial (beware-it eats skin!) after usuge though you need to chrome-or paint it. or it will come back- duh?! Also very good for getting rid of moss/lime/mildew of cement/bricks. etc.. not populaor because its slighlty hazadrous- but works a mint!
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 21:16
  • I've never used Coke to remove rust. I have used it to remove acid build-up on my battery cables and it worked great for that. Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 10:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.