How to remove rust from garden tools?

by  | Oct 9, 2022 | garden tools | 0 comments

What is rust? Rust is a chemical element and another name for iron oxide. It is a reddish-brown flaky coat that forms when iron (or an alloy that contains iron, like steel) gets exposed to oxygen and moisture for a while.

It’s common to get rust on garden tools after a long season of garden projects and chores. We forget to clean our tools and provide them with good storage. The regular use of garden tools accumulates dirt and rust, making it difficult to clean them. Are you guys troubled cleaning your garden tools? Do you need to know how to remove rust from garden tools? Bingo! We are here to help you learn how to clean rusty garden tools.

The first step in how to remove rust from garden tools is cleaning them. Just make sure you have all these things listed below-

  • Rusty tool
  • Cleaning vinegar or white distilled vinegar
  • Empty jar, aluminum can, or small container
  • Heavy-duty scouring pad
  • Soft clean rag
  • 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil
  • Salt, Lemon
  • Protective gloves
  • Dry Cloth
  • Sandpaper

Rust is a stubborn steak. If you don’t get rid of it at the correct time, it will get worst with time. There are many methods how to removing rust from garden tools. You can start by scrubbing the rusty tool with steel wool, wire brush, or sandpaper. This method only works if the metal has not been rusted too much. You can also apply a little grease to them for easy flow.

Another method in how to remove rust from garden tools is using a can of cola . Have you ever wondered if cola can clean the rust? Cola and other soft drinks contain high levels of phosphoric acid (a common ingredient in store-bought rust removal products). Dip the rusty tools in cola and scrub them with sandpaper. This method can be challenging as the tools might get sticky.

We all have studied the properties of baking soda in school. It contains mild alkali and causes dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. Therefore it acts as a great cleaning agent for lots of household messes. Have you ever tried it on rusty garden tools?

Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. The paste should be rich enough to stick to the rusted surface. Let it sit there for a while, and then start scrubbing it off with a wire brush or steel wool. Repeat this process couple of times and see the difference.

Vitamin c is not only fruitful for glowing skin and a healthy gut but also effective in removing rust. Sprinkle some coarse salt onto the rust, then add lemon juice. Let it sit there for a while, but not too long, or it might cause damage. Wipe the solution and rinse it with clean water.

Now add lemon juice and vinegar for a constructive solution. Dip your tools in it and then peel off the rust with a hand or sandpaper.

Black tea is also effective in removing rust. Soak your tools in a cold solution of black tea for 1-2 hours. Scrub the rust away with a wire brush.

How to remove rust from garden tools? The most popular method for removing rust on garden tools is vinegar. Vinegar contains acetic acid (CH3COOH), which reacts with rust (FeOOH) to form a salt (Fe(CH3COO)3) and water.

Just make a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water. Soak all your rusty garden tools overnight in this solution. After 12-24 hours, the rust will have fallen off, and the rest of it will be loose and easy to remove by hand.

The second step of how to remove rust from garden tools via vinegar is scouring the rust. Wear protective gloves before holding these tools. Now remove the tools from the solution and start scrubbing the rust using a heavy-duty scouring pad (like the green Scotch-Brite) to wipe any remaining bits of rust off the metal. The rust will come off effortlessly.

Now remove the tools and bathe them with clean water to remove the last rusty flakes and traces of vinegar.

When the tools are rust-free, dry them thoroughly with a soft rag. Be careful with gears and joints as moisture collects here often. Dry them as possible.

Once the tools are dry, it’s time to lubricate them to avoid new rust from forming on them. Apply a few drops of mineral oil or 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil to the blade and joints, and wipe them clean with a rag to distribute the oil.

How to remove rust from garden tools?- Prevention and cleaning

Prevention is better than cure. It’s best to take some precautions to prevent your garden tools from rusting. Make it a habit to clean your tools well after each use with a brush, soapy water, or pine solution. Remove any sap or sticky residue. Clean the tools, dry them and apply mineral oil to them. It will protect the garden tools from getting rust.

How to remove rust from garden tools?– Storage

Storage plays a vital role in preventing rust. If you store them in a place with a dipping shed or moisture, the tools will get rusted. Store your tools hanging on hooks in a dry airy location. Many gardeners store the tools in a bucket of sand mineral spirits.

How to remove rust from garden tools?- Paint

If you have skipped the iron oxidation topic to your high standard, you will have trouble understanding the importance of paint in preventing rust. Painting tools add a protective coating that prevents the reaction of iron with moisture and the formation of iron oxide. After removing rust from the tools, add a thick layer of paint as a protective coating.