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Homemade Methods of Removing Rust

Jessica Jones

Rust can permanently damage metallic surfaces, tools and equipment. Homemade methods for rust removal include acidic fruit, cleaning products, backing soda and vinegar. These methods are inexpensive and will not pollute the environment. If allergic to harsh chemicals, homemade rust cleaners allow you to remove rust without having an allergic reaction.

Natural Ingredients

Ingredients such as acidic fruit and sea salt found in your kitchen can be useful in removing small rust stains. Cutting a lemon or lime in half and coating the fleshy part with sea salt creates an abrasive surface. The acidity of the fruit and the abrasiveness of the sea salt help loosen and remove rust from most surfaces. Wear gloves if sensitive to lemon or lime juice. A dry cloth can be used to remove loose rust flakes. Make sure the surface is completely dry to prevent future rust build-up.


Borax is a cleaning product found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores. When mixed with lemon juice or white vinegar, borax helps remove rust, dirt and other debris. To make this rust removal solution, mix equal parts borax and lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl. Use a dry cloth or sponge to spread the solution onto the rusty surface or soak rusty objects in the solution. Depending on the size of the stain, you may need to soak or reapply the solution multiple times. Remove any remaining rust and rinse using water. Dry the surface completely.

Hygroden Peroxide and Baking Soda

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixed together form a paste that can help remove rust stains. To create the paste, add hydrogen peroxide to baking soda and mix. You may need to add additional hydrogen peroxide to achieve an oatmeal-like thickness. Use a sponge or small paintbrush to spread the paste over the rust stain. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and remove using water and a dry cloth. Depending on the size of the stain, you may have to repeat the process. Make sure the surface is completely dry after removing the rust.

Rust Prevention

Rust occurs when the chemicals in metals such as iron or steel oxidize after coming in contact with oxygen. Exposure to extreme heat, moisture, water and salt water encourage the spread of rust. To prevent rust build-up on tools and metal surfaces, cover outdoor equipment during cold and rainy seasons. Store tools in cool, dry places. Do not store tools and other equipment in uninsulated basements, outdoor sheds or extremely humid areas as rust may develop.