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How to Remove Rust From a Screwdriver

Giselle Diamond

Rust is the process of oxidation--the process in which oxygen and moisture change the composition of metal surfaces, turning them an orange color. Rust can be an irritating and inconvenient occurence, especially when it happens to a useful tool such as a screwdriver. You don't have to throw that screwdriver away.

Removing the rust from it is easy.

  1. Use the sandpaper to rub as much of the rust off the screwdriver as you can. The downside to this is that sometimes the screwdriver itself can be damaged. If there are big lumps of rust on it, get those off or at least down some with the sandpaper. This will make the next steps easier.

  2. Lay the screwdriver on a disposable surface, preferably outside, or on an outdoor concrete surface. Put on your goggles, gloves and mask to avoid inhalation or accidental ingestion or contact with eyes and skin.

  3. After reading the label on the spray-on rust remover, use the hand pump to spray the screwdriver until it is thoroughly coated. Allow the screwdriver to sit for the recommended amount of time on the particular brand of rust remover you've used.

  4. Wipe away the spray-on rust remover with a clean rag or cloth, using a little elbow grease to bring away the rust with it. You may rinse it briefly to get all of it off, but be sure to dry it immediately so as not to start a rusting process up again.

  5. Keep your goggles, mask and gloves on. Fill a small tub or container with the recommended amount of soaking rust remover and water, or, in some cases, just the rust remover.

  6. Slide your screwdriver into the rust remover, and wait the recommended amount of time. This is usually about 30 minutes, maybe less. These types of rust removers claim to be specially formulated to remove only rust without damaging the hard plastic or metal of your screwdriver.

  7. Pull the screwdriver out, and wipe away the excess substance and rust with a cloth. Again, rinsing it briefly is okay as long as you dry it immediately afterward.

  8. Tip

    To prevent rust, keep your tools clean and in a cool dry place. You may be able to stop after step 1 or step 4. It depends on how much rust your screwdriver has.


    Spray on and soaking rust remover can be dangerous to skin, eyes and clothing. Always read the label on the products. Always wear your goggles, mask and gloves when working with rust removal substances.