How to Remove Rust with White Vinegar

People often look for homemade recipes to remove rust from various objects. Objects made with iron can rust when they are exposed to moisture and humidity, which causes the material to be coarse and flaky. Fortunately, there are ways to remove rust, including one method that uses a white vinegar solution. Read on to learn how to use white vinegar to remove rust.

Vinegar Solution & Rust Removal Tools

The first step is to get your supplies ready. You will need the following items:

Often people clean tools and kitchenware, such as pots and pans, as well as anything else that is rusted. If you are cleaning a smaller item, you can use the bucket to soak it. If you are removing rust off of something larger, such as an iron table, you will need to use the spray bottle and the scrubbing brush.

How to Use Vinegar to Remove Rust

1. Prepare the Vinegar Solution

You should fill your bucket or container with one gallon of distilled white vinegar. You should add one cup of table salt; the acid in the vinegar is the agent that removes rust and table salt increases the potency of this acid. Now you can stir the mixture. If you are cleaning a smaller object, you can cut the solution in half.

2. Place the Rusted Item in the Solution

The next step is to place the rusted item into the solution. You need to make sure that it is completely submerged. How long you leave it there will depend on how rusty it is. You will start by leaving it there for anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours.

The acid in the vinegar will cause the rust to fall off and you will be able to see the difference. If it isn’t ready after 12 hours, make sure that you check it periodically to see how it is coming along. It can take up to a few days for some items that have heavy rust.

The reason why it is important to check your item is that vinegar reacts differently with different metals. If you are soaking aluminum, the acid in the vinegar can damage the protective coating so you will need to check it more frequently. Make sure that you do not soak delicate materials in vinegar; you will use a different method for removing rust from them.

3. Scrub the Rusted Object

After you have soaked your object in the vinegar solution and you see the rust coming off, you can take your scrubbing brush and scrub the object. Make sure that you have a pair of latex gloves on and lift the item out of the solution. You can lay out one of your towels and start scrubbing the loose rust off of the item.

4. Remove the Remaining Vinegar and Excess Moisture

Once your item is free of rust, you should mix a gallon of water with one cup of baking soda. Stir the solution and then let your object soak in the solution for about ten minutes. This will neutralize the acid from the vinegar. Once you remove it, you can rinse the item in water and dry it with a towel. Make sure that it is completely dry before you put it away.

Spray Bottle Method

If you need to remove rust from the leg of a table or another object where soaking isn’t feasible, you can use the spray bottle method. You will fill the spray bottle with vinegar and add a quarter-cup of table salt. Shake the bottle to mix the solution.

Hold your object over a towel and spray the rust. You can let it sit on the rusted object for up to 30 minutes. Once you see the rust corroding, you can use your scrubbing brush to remove the rest of the rust. You should rinse the object thoroughly and dry it once you are finished.

Final Words

Using a simple homemade solution of vinegar and salt can remove rust from objects and restore them to the functional items that they once were. Be sure to have your supplies on hand before you start and follow the steps above for the best results.

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