Methods Used to Prevent Rust


Preventing rust is an important part of maintaining steel and iron. Rust is another way of saying corrosion, and it occurs when iron and steel are exposed to moisture and oxygen. There are ways to prevent rust from occurring, from proper storage to protective products.

Paint Iron and Steel

  • You can prevent rust on items made of iron and steel by applying a coat of acrylic paint to them. Paint acts as a protective coating, creating a barrier between the surface of the metal and oxygen and moisture. When metal items already have paint applied to them, maintain that paint job and touch it up when it begins to chip.

Climate Control

  • Tools and other items made from iron and steel often rust because they are stored in damp or humid areas like the basement or garage. Store tools and other items made from iron and steel in an area of your home that is climate controlled. Climate control areas of the home are insulated from the elements, and kept at a steady temperature via a heating and air-conditioning unit.


  • You can use dehumidifiers to reduce the moisture level in areas where there are items made of steel and iron. Large dehumidifier appliances can balance the moisture level in a room. You can also use smaller silica gel dehumidifiers in small areas like a closet or tool chest to reduce moisture. After silica gel dehumidifiers absorb the moisture in one area, you can dry and reuse them.

Oil it Up

  • Apply a coat of oil or wax to items that are made of steel or iron. Keeping steel items like cars waxed and bike chains oiled helps keep a barrier from the elements, preventing rust. Do this periodically to maintain the protective barrier.

Keep it Clean

  • Keeping items made from iron or steel clean and dry is also important. It may seem trivial, but periodically wiping these things down and drying them can help remove things like salt that accelerate the process of corrosion. This is of particular importance for vehicles when they have gotten salt on them during the winter months, or from being near the ocean.


  • Photo Credit rusty ruler and tools image by Alena Yakusheva from
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