How to Polish Rusted Metal

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Not only is rust unsightly, but if left untreated, it can eventually destroy metal entirely. Iron usually suffers the worst from rust, although other metals will rust to a degree. You can clean and polish your metal to restore its sheen. Use the finest sandpaper or finest grade steel wool that you can buy when you remove the rust. If you use a coarse product, you are likely to scratch the surface of the metal.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • Metal polish
  • Clean off the existing rust. If you polish or clean rusty metal but leave traces of old rust behind, the item will continue to rust and decay. Use sandpaper or steel wool to clean off surface rust. Use a sanding block made from rubber to access areas that regular sandpaper can't reach.

  • Wash the surface well with clean water. Ensure the surface is clean so that your polish will adhere well. Clean away any flecks of rust that you loosened when scrubbing the metal.

  • Dry the metal extremely well. Wet metal will only lead to more rust in the future.

  • Use a metal polish to restore the sheen to your metal item. Buy a metal polish specifically designed for the type of metal that you are polishing. For example, steel polish and chrome polish contain different ingredients that will work best on the respective types of metal. Use a polish that states that it protects against future rust to get longer life out of your metal.

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