How to Loosen a Nut on a Spinning Bolt

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Prolonged exposure to water can rust a nut on a spinning bolt.
Prolonged exposure to water can rust a nut on a spinning bolt. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A nut can stick on a spinning bolt for a variety of reasons, including rust or calcium buildup or even simple general wear and tear of the product. Before you attempt to loosen the nut on the spinning bolt, hold down the bolt; ask a friend to hold it for you with a wrench. If it is already in place, secure the bolt so that it will not move even with the additional applied pressure.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Penetrating oil
  • Hammer
  • Hair dryer
  • Wire brush

Tighten the nut. Although this step may seem counterproductive, any movement to the nut helps by breaking up rust, calcium or lime deposits.

Heat the nut with a hair dryer to expand the metal. While the nut is still warm, finagle it with a wrench. Try to tighten or loosen the nut. When the metal cools, the nut will contract. The grooves that you created with the hot metal should affect its cooled state; thus, it should become easier to loosen.

Hit the nut with a hammer. Employ a gentle tap, not a hard hit. After several taps, use a wrench to loosen or tighten the nut.

Use a wire brush to clean off any rust, lime or calcium deposits. Apply penetrating oil to the nut and let it sit for 24 hours. If necessary, clean off more of the buildup with the wire brush. Use a wrench to tighten and loosen the nut.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses.

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