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How to Clean Rust Off of Aluminum Heat Ducts

Kaye Wagner

Rust can naturally develop on certain metals. It is a reaction between the metal and oxygen. Aluminum, however, does not rust naturally, but your aluminum heat ducts can develop rust stains if rusty water drips on them or if the aluminum has steel or iron nails or rivets. This rust can weaken the aluminum heat duct and make it look dirty. It can also cause additional stains if water runs over the rust and onto walls and carpets.

Clean rust from heat ducts as soon as you notice it.
  1. Remove any coverings with a screwdriver so that you can access the rust on the aluminum heat duct.

  2. Scrub the rust with a wire-bristle brush. Work until you remove as much of the rust stain as possible.

  3. Scrub fine steel wool over the surface to continue removing the rust stain.

  4. Spray a rust remover over the area if the rust remains visible.

  5. Let the rust remover sit on the area according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  6. Scrub the rust remover and remaining rust with fine steel wool.

  7. Rinse the area with water and repeat Steps 4 through 6 until all rust is gone. Dry the aluminum heat duct completely with a clean cloth.