Rust-removing chemicals containing hydrochloric or phosphoric acid; nontoxic, acid-free soaking solutions; and liquid or spray rust converters are good products to remove rust from metal. An alternative to chemicals is a power tool, such as a drill, oscillating tool, sander or a grinder, equipped with a grinding wheel or stripping disc.
Rust-removing chemicals get rid of rust by dissolving it. When using these chemicals, it's important to wear proper protective gear, including a respirator, goggles and rubber gloves. The steps in removing rust using chemicals involve applying them on the rusty metal, waiting for a period of time as instructed by the manufacturer and scraping the liquefied rust. Several applications may be necessary to remove thick rust accumulation thoroughly.
Using a nontoxic, acid-free soaking liquid requires cleaning oil and grease from the metal, immersing the rusty area in the solution, and waiting for the manufacturer's suggested period. Some solutions dissolve rust within 30 minutes, while others work overnight.
A brushable liquid converter seeps into heavy rust more effectively than a spray converter. Both products eliminate rust, prevent the rust from spreading and makes the metal ready for painting. Before applying a converter, it helps to use a wire brush to get rid of flaking paint. After spraying or brushing the converter on the metal, it's essential to let the metal dry before applying a primer and paint.