Remove rust before using your axe.
It will develop when your axe has been lying in water or if water has been dripping on the axe for a long period of time. After removing rust from your axe, prevent it from developing again by spraying the axe with a lubricating oil. It will create a thin, water-resistant layer. Also, store your axe in a dry place and clean it before you sharpen or use.
Rinse the axe with water.
Scrub the rust with a wire-bristle brush. This will flake off the rust. Work until you remove all of the rust and you reach the shiny metal surface.
Scrub the area with steel wool to smooth the axe surface.
Rinse the axe to remove the rust residue and flakes.
Dry the axe completely with a clean cloth.