Tip & How-To about Crafts & Hobbies
#1 DIY (... so far tested)
"APPLE CIDER VINEGAR" is food safe and easy to get. It will help clean and sharpen files fast in a dip. Vinegar will leave a grey finish that is a type of rust crystal that adds a small degree of rust resistance (light natural patina). A lot of old kitchen knives have this finish. I usually leave stuff in vinegar overnight, but it can remove a rusted locked thread in a few hours if kept covered in vinegar... cheap, fast, and non-toxic.
#1 ON THE MARKET
"EVAPO-RUST" is not only one of the best rust removers currently available, but it is non-toxic. It's a water-based environmentally friendly product. A higher cost.
It contains chelating agents that remove iron from oxides but not from metallic iron. "Evapo-Rust" also has a sulfur compound in it that precipitates out the iron.
So effective, it now has competing generic brands of all types in auto and hardware stores.
BEST OTHER REVIEWED METHODS (not personally tested)
Citric Acid is food safe and used to pickle (I have not tested this). Add enough water to the citric acid to let it fully dissolve, then drop rusty metal in it. Rust may take less than a day to be removed.
Molasses is a tricky one (that I have not needed to try). A 3:1 ratio (3 parts water - to 1 part molasses) is a fast and deep clean on iron; "it will clean areas that sandblasting won't get." It contains chelators for iron and does the same thing as Evapo-Rust by stripping the Oxygen from the rust molecule ... just with a little more time, and alot less $ money.
Molasses contains a small amount of naturally occurring phosphoric acid. The harder the steel, the longer it takes (works best with iron not steel). Used in a 3:1 soak is fast and deep clean for iron.
CAUTIONS: Final result leaves the iron on your chosen metal project completely de-oxidized and highly prone to rust! You will need to top-coat very fast!
NOT safe for Zinc Die Cast Metal (also known as "pot metal"), as it will dissolve that "pot"!
Phosphoric Acid is one of the favorites (that I haven't felt the need to test), and it is considered one of the milder acids available for cleaning cement. Some hardware and some office supplies will stock it. Use it on bare metal to provide a rust-free patina.
Posted by Monty... on
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