How to Make Non Toxic Rust Removers

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If ever there was an age of the environment, it is today, and it is now. Changing habits, conserving natural resources and choosing chemicals and products friendly to the environment are all beginning steps toward a reversal of fortune for our planet. Popping up on shelves across the country are cleaners and household products claiming to be “green.” Many of them are. Visit the local auto body shop, however, and you’ll find shelves lined with a toxic mix of products promising to remove rust from your fender. They do. Unfortunately, what they leave in their wake are poisons not easily disposed of. Before you go that route, try a couple of these home remedies.

Things You'll Need

  • Coke
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon or lime
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Purchase a bottle of Coca-Cola. There are myths galore about this 100-year-old product, but its powers of rust removal are actually true. A combination of its carbonation, created from carbonic acid, and the phosphoric acid in its list of ingredients does the trick. Phosphoric acid is actually the active ingredient in some of those on-the-shelf rust removers at the body shop.

  • Place the rusty piece in the soda. For example, if you’ve got a rusty nut and bolt that you cannot turn and you do not want to strip, simply place the bolt into a glass of Coke.

  • Wait overnight.

  • Remove bolt. It really works.

  • Try an alternative. Another home remedy for rust removal is soaking the rust in undiluted white vinegar. Allow to soak overnight, then wash with warm water and dry completely.

  • Try another alternative. The acid in lemon or lime juice can be combined with salt to make a paste. Apply to the rusted area. Allow to set. Sand off or scrub off with an abrasive cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • The best way to deal with rust is to prevent it. While this is easier to say than to accomplish, making every effort to keep metals in dry environments is worth it in the end. Even if you live in a climate known for its humidity, you can battle back against rust by using a dehumidifier in the garage, catching chips in paint before they turn to rust and keeping your metal vehicles, equipment and tools clean and dry.

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