What is a Rust Remover?

A rust remover is a specialized solution designed to dissolve and eradicate rust, restoring metal surfaces to their original luster. These powerful formulas can be chemical-based or natural, each with unique benefits for tackling stubborn oxidation. Wondering which rust remover is right for your project? Consider the type of metal and the extent of corrosion as you continue with our guide.
Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

As the name implies, rust remover products are special formulas used to remove rust stains, which generally contain oxalic acid. Not only is oxalic acid extremely toxic, but it can also eat away at a variety of surfaces such as plastic and metal. Rust stains can cause a number of problems for home and business owners because of their destructive tendencies.

Rust stains are often a shade of reddish brown or dark red. Inside pipes, rust can create rusty water stains wherever water flows. While rust stains can be bothersome, they can be removed with a little hard work and the help of a rust remover. There are a number of products for removing rust available on the market, but several common household items can also be used to battle rust stains. These household items can be used individually or combined to create effective, safe rust removers.

Rusty metal gears.
Rusty metal gears.

Cream of tartar, hydrogen peroxide, and a product such as Borax or baking soda can be combined to create a homemade rust remover paste. The Borax or baking soda can be replaced with other similar products because their main purpose is to add grit to the solution without causing damage to the surface when used. To make this, a teaspoon of cream of tarter and a quarter cup of Borax or baking soda should be mixed with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste.

The paste should be rubbed onto the rust spot and allowed to stand for 30 minutes. Then, the rust stain should be wiped away with a damp sponge. If the stain remains, the entire process should be repeated.

A rusty I-beam.
A rusty I-beam.

White vinegar is another rust remover commonly found in homes. When using white vinegar to remove rust, it should be sprayed directly onto the rust stain and scrubbed in. Then, the area should be sprayed again with white vinegar and allowed to sit for twenty to thirty minutes. After being allowed to sit, the rust stain should come off easily when the vinegar is wiped away.

Lemon juice mixed with Borax can remove rust.
Lemon juice mixed with Borax can remove rust.

Yet another homemade rust remover solution is a cup of Borax mixed with the juice from one lemon. This mixture makes a paste that can be applied directly to the stain. It should sit for twenty to thirty minutes and then be scrubbed clean. It might take a couple applications for this substance to be successful, but this concoction is safe for many surfaces, as well as safe for pets and children.

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Discussion Comments


I want to make rust. I have heard vinegar facilitates rusting. Any other suggestions?


what is buttress thread ? what is ltc thread?


I tried the lime juice and baking soda combination on my stove top espresso pots. Not only does the formula seem to be working, I'm disgusted at how dirty the water chambers have become. No wonder my coffee has been tasting bad. Thank you so much for this information.

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    • Rusty metal gears.
      By: psyberartist
      Rusty metal gears.
    • A rusty I-beam.
      By: slgckgc
      A rusty I-beam.
    • Lemon juice mixed with Borax can remove rust.
      By: Britta Laser
      Lemon juice mixed with Borax can remove rust.
    • A paste of baking soda and water can remove rust from metal.
      By: Marek
      A paste of baking soda and water can remove rust from metal.
    • White vinegar is a rust remover.
      By: Roman Ivaschenko
      White vinegar is a rust remover.