How Do You Clean Rusty Tools?


Quick Answer

To clean rusty tools, mix citric acid with water, immerse the tools, scrape off the rust, dip the tools in diluted baking soda, and dry them with a towel. This procedure takes several hours and requires citric acid, water, plastic tubs, a plastic brush, gloves, goggles, baking soda and towels.

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Full Answer

  1. Mix the citric acid bath

    Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles. In a large plastic tub, mix 1 part powdered citric acid and 10 parts warm water.

  2. Immerse the tools

    Immerse the tools in the citric acid bath, and soak them. If they are slightly rusty, soak them for several minutes. Severely rusted tools generally need to soak for at least an hour.

  3. Remove the softened rust

    Scrape the tools with a plastic scrub brush. If some rust remains, return the tools to the citric acid bath, and soak them again. Alternate soaking and scrubbing until the tools are rust-free.

  4. Neutralize the acid with baking soda

    Fill a clean plastic tub with water, and add enough baking soda to make a cloudy solution. Dip the tools in the diluted baking soda to neutralize the citric acid residue.

  5. Dry the tools

    Blot the tools with a towel, and let them air dry for several minutes. They must be completely dry before you store them.

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