How to Clean Rust From Mild Steel

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Working with steel can be fun and rewarding, but there is always the constant threat of rust. When in small forms, such as surface rust or scale, the rust can be removed easily and shouldn't be feared. It's when the rust goes unchecked that things can get more severe. To clean rust from mild steel takes a few tools and some time, but can be done fairly easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Red scuff pad
  • Wire brush
  • Drill
  • Pneumatic angle grinder with 80-grit sandpaper attachment
  • Air compressor
  • Shop rags
  • Run the red scuff pad across the rusted area, scuffing up all of the surface rust and removing whatever loose rust there is on the mild steel.

  • Attach the wire brush to the drill and run the wire brush over the mild steel to loosen the rust even further. This should loosen up the majority of the rust, and get the job complete.

  • Connect the angle grinder to the air compressor and use the angle grinder with 80-grit sandpaper to sand off the rust. This will also take down the surface of the metal a little bit as well, so make sure you do just enough to get off the rust.

  • Wipe off the mild steel with a shop rag and clean off all of the rusty dust that's formed. If you need to remove more of the scale, repeat the process until it's clean.

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