Rust forms when iron corrodes in the presence of oxygen and water and/or salt. Whether you own a metal or plastic mailbox, over time rust spots can form – from exposed metal areas where paint has worn away, from rusting hardware or from rust-containing water dripping off nearby rusty objects. Although commercial rust removal products exist, you can usually remove any rust stains using basic cleaning supplies that you likely already have in your house.
Things You'll Need
- Light, cooking or multi-purpose oil
- Spray bottle
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lint-free microfiber cloths
- Fine-grade brass wool (optional)
- Melamine resin foam eraser (optional)
- Gel, spray or paint-on sealant or paint
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Apply a rust-removing basic cleaning agent on to the rusted areas on your mailbox. If dealing with rust on a metal mailbox, apply light, cooking or multi-purpose oil. If dealing with rust on a plastic, fill a spray bottle with undiluted distilled white vinegar and spray the rust stains and/or rusting hardware.
Wait 15 minutes. Apply a small amount of oil or vinegar to a lint-free microfiber cloth and then rub the soaked rust spots. Continue rubbing, reapplying the oil or vinegar as needed until the rust rubs completely off the surface.
Remove any tough spots by scrubbing the area with a slightly abrasive tool – fine-grade brass wool on metal, damp melamine resin foam eraser on plastic.
Rinse the mailbox surfaces thoroughly with warm water to remove cleaning agent residues and rust particles.
Wipe dry your mailbox as much as possible and then allow it to air dry. Apply a gel, spray or paint-on protective sealant or paint to all metal areas.