LAST UPDATED: October 7, 2019
Best Rust Removers: Clean and Protect Your Vehicle
Prevent the spread of rust and remove it for good with these high-quality rust removers
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PUBLISHED ON October 7, 2019
Taking care of a car can be expensive. You have to fill up the gas tank, make sure the engine runs smoothly, and keep it clean. There is also the possibility it will rust if it’s not properly maintained, which will degrade the value and look of your vehicle. However, if you use a rust remover you can ensure it isn’t further damaged. Here are the best rust removers to consider if you spot any on your car.
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Benefits of Rust Remover
- Keep your vehicle in good condition. Rust can wreak havoc on a car or truck, and you don't want it to get out of hand. Over time, rust will eat away at the metal, which will eventually disintegrate and affect the vehicle's durability.
- Maintain tools and other items. Rust removers have a variety of uses besides just automotive maintenance. If you have a set of tools that is showing some signs of corrosion, the best rust remover can make it look good again. It's also good for farm equipment, household appliances, and antiques.
Types of Rust Removers
Some rust remover products come in spray bottles or aerosol cans for easy application. Typically, these products are designed for rust stains and not deep rust. Spray formulas are good if the rust is located in a hard-to-reach spot. They usually don't require the user to chisel or scrape away the rust.
If you have a metal surface area with a lot of built-up rust, you may need to soak the part to treat the corrosion. Sometimes this process takes just a few minutes, but tougher jobs may require an overnight treatment. Look for brands that have reusable liquid, so you get more bang for your buck.
For minor rust stains on carpets, clothing, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets, you may want to use a rust remover powder. You can sprinkle the formula into your toilet bowl or even into a washing machine if necessary. This type of product is good if your water has a high level of iron in it.
Chemical-Based Rust Removers
Many people use chemical rust removers, which are great for tackling stains and rust buildup. For example, acid-based removers are very fast-acting and effective and typically take just a few minutes to work. However, they emit toxic fumes and need to be used with protective equipment in a ventilated area. They can also be a little too corrosive and cause surface damage if not used correctly.
Eco-Friendly Rust Removers
If you don't want to deal with potentially hazardous chemicals, choose one containing chelating agents instead. These products are acid-free and non-toxic, so they're better for you and the environment. They don't work as quickly as chemical-based rust removers, but they're still effective at cleaning a variety of tools and surface areas.
If you have so much rust that it's difficult to remove, consider using a rust converter. It turns rust into a black coating that will protect the surface area and act as a primer, so you can paint it with oil or epoxy-based products. Rust converters work on iron or steel but not on aluminum, copper, or stainless or galvanized steel.
Corroseal is made by the Rodda Paint Company in Portland, Oregon. It's designed for a wide variety of uses, including shovels, wheelbarrows, garden tools, boats, trailers, car undercarriages, truck beds, and industrial applications. The Rodda Paint Company was founded in 1932. One top product is the Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter.
Evapo-Rust was founded in 1997 and is a non-toxic, biodegradable, non-corrosive formula that removes rust without harming unrusted surfaces. The company is based in Springdale, Arizona. Its popular product is the Evapo-Rust The Original Super Safe Rust Remover.
The WD-40 company is headquartered in San Diego, California, and made its eponymous formula in the 1950s. It produces a series of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers, including the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak.
Rust Remover Pricing
- Under $10: You can purchase smaller quantities of Evapo-Rust and products such as the Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover Spray Gel for just a few dollars. Less-expensive products may only treat rust stains, not intense rust buildup.
- $15-$50: You can find a variety of rust treatment formulas in this price range. The pricier products tend to be larger in quantity and have stronger ingredients to tackle tougher jobs.
You should decide what you plan on using the product for before you make a purchase. If you want to remove the rust from a collection of tools, then you need a product that will allow you to soak them. If you plan on using the rust remover in the bathroom, the product should be safe to use on septic systems and pipes. There are also non-toxic and biodegradable options if you want something that is environmentally-friendly.
It goes without saying that most people want a rust remover that is easy to apply, but some formulas are easier to use than others and require less preparation. Check to see if the product requires you to scrub or scrape the surface area during application. If possible, look for one that dissolves rust quickly and efficiently without requiring much elbow grease.
In addition to removing rust, some products also incorporate a protective barrier that prevents rust from coming back. This is a great added feature; otherwise, you may have to reapply the product when rust returns. Some of the best products have anti-moisture seals that keep rust and corrosion at bay.
- Size: Rust remover products come in a variety of sizes. Choose one that matches your task to save money and space. Some brands come in quart containers, gallon jugs, or spray containers. Which one will meet your needs? Also, take into consideration how much square footage the product can treat. Some formulas are designed to work on up to several hundred square feet without a problem.
Best Rust Remover Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The water-based Corroseal rust remover and latex metal primer both restores metal surfaces and extends their lifespan. The formula is also designed to protect and prevent further rust corrosion. It's not designed for use on freshly blasted steel or new galvanized surfaces.
The product is easy to apply and allows users to paint, prime, and convert rust in one single step. You can brush it, roll it, or spray it on. The one-gallon product will provide 200 to 250 square feet of coverage. Overall, a little bit goes a long way. It is quick to clean with soap and water. It’s also non-flammable and non-corrosive, and it can be used for marine, automotive, industrial, and household purposes.
One problem with Corroseal is that it must be applied by hand and does not come with a spray bottle for easier application. In addition, even though a primer isn't required, it's recommended that you use one to prevent discoloration in the metal.
This nontoxic and eco-friendly rust remover is easy to apply. It’s water-based and removes rust in just a few minutes without the need for scrubbing or sanding. Evapo-Rust doesn't contain any acids, bases, solvents, or VOCs, and it's safe for your eyes and skin. It also doesn't produce any fumes or odor. The rust remover comes in a one-gallon container and works on up to 300 pounds of steel.
This product is versatile and can be used on metal, plastic, PVC, rubber, and steel. It works great on automotive parts as well as on antiques, cast iron cookware, grill grates, and more. Plus, it’s non-corrosive, biodegradable, and environmentally-safe. You don't need to wear special gloves, eyewear, or a mask to use it.
However, the Evapo-Rust works best on surface rust, so if you have deeper rust, you will need a sandblaster to remove it. Also, if you leave the product open for a short time, it will lose some of its rust-removing power.
The WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak removes and dissolves rust on old metal and metal parts and is non-toxic and biodegradable. It doesn't require the user to scrape, chip, or scrub the surface area to make older metal look new. The product is also VOC-compliant.
The industrial-strength solution effectively removes rust without the use of acids or caustic chemicals and provides deep penetration on tough materials. It's great for treating trailers and hitches and automotive restoration as well as cleaning rusty tools and farm equipment. Overall, it's easy to use, easy to clean up, and works better than many rival products.
One problem with this formula is that it leaves behind a dark coating on the metal, which you may not like. You also need to buy a spray bottle to reach more difficult areas. In addition, it may take a lot of the compound to successfully remove rust on certain surfaces.
- To make the process more effective, first, scrape or scrub away the rust with a wire brush. Then you can apply the rust remover to speed things up.
- While rust remover may not be dangerous to your skin, you should still consider wearing gloves to avoid it from getting on you.
- Rust remover isn’t a fix-all guarantee. There may be rust that is too large or too deep to properly be removed by the solution. You will need to grind it down or take it to a professional if the remover isn’t effective.
- It’s important to properly dispose of the rust remover. Different removers have their own levels of toxicity, and they could impact how you get rid of it.
Q: What materials can I use a rust remover on?
A: You can apply rust removers on a wide selection of metals and other materials. They work best on iron and metal but can also be used on steel. You can use them on vehicles or construction machinery. You can also use them on plastic and fiberglass to remove rust on boats.
Q: Do I need to wear protective clothing when using rust remover?
A: Many rust removers can contain a high level of toxicity, so it’s wise to protect yourself from harsh chemicals. Consider wearing thick materials, and use gloves and eyewear to keep your eyes safe. Also, a paint mask will prevent any chemicals from entering your mouth.
Q: What’s the difference between a rust converter and a rust remover?
A: A rust converter covers the rust to prevent it from spreading. You can then chip it away or paint over it to match the previous color. A rust remover completely removes rust from a surface.
For one of the best ways to fight against rust, consider the Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter.
Or save some cash and get the Evapo-Rust The Original Super Safe Rust Remover to combat rust and prevent it from spreading.