How to Clean Rust Off of Antique Metals

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Keep your antique metal rust-free without using harsh chemicals.
Keep your antique metal rust-free without using harsh chemicals. (Image: Jupiterimages/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

When cleaning rust off antique metals, you will want to be careful not to damage the surface of the metal. Many anti-rust chemicals are available on the market, but you may be hesitant to use them for fear of damaging the metal's surface. Luckily, two options have no harsh chemicals in them: white vinegar and paraffin oil. Use them together or separate to remove the rust off of your precious metals.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Dish pan
  • Sponge
  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Paraffin oil
  • Steel wool
  • Cotton cloth
  • White spirit

Pour white vinegar into large bowl or dish pan. Place the rusted item into the vinegar. If you are unable to place the item in the vinegar, soak a sponge with vinegar and hold it on the metal.

Leave the metal in the vinegar for a few minutes. Use a cloth or soft bristled toothbrush to scrub off any persistent rust.

Place the metal object in a dish pan of paraffin oil, if the white vinegar did not completely remove the rust. Leave the object in the oil for 30 to 60 minutes.

Rub the rust off of the metal object with a soft bristled toothbrush. If your metal object is strong, you may wish to use steel wool to rub off the rust.

Clean the paraffin oil off the metal with a cotton cloth soaked in white spirit. Allow the metal to dry for at least 12 hours before handling it.

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