Restore Your Old and Rusted Tools–Step by Step Guide

Rusted ToolsRusted Tools

Power tools are expensive and they are prone to wear due to excessive use and weather condition. Using some effort can help you to restore your old and rusted tools like a new one.

I know Restore Your Old and Rusted Tools can be extremely laborious, but not complicated. Power tools are a huge investment, so why replace then when you have the opportunity to restore them.

Don’t put yourself in dilemma position rather go through the hassle of removing rust and restoring them in their previous state. Sure you’ll be glad to get them back whether to discard them.

So, no more further due, let’s discuss the ways of how to remove rust from tools in the easiest way.

How does Rust Form?

Rust is a natural phenomenon of a chemical reaction–a form of yellowish or reddish brown stains. It’s happen when the surface of iron exposed with moisture presence in the atmosphere, and air. The resultant otherwise known as ferric oxide and ferric hydroxide is most widely recognized form of rust or corrosion.

Presence of moisture is requisite for corrosion or rust to form, which tells why your tools are likely to develop a surface of reddish brown stain in humid condition. However, an air-tight tool chest can be a solution to safeguard them against rusting.

Till now, I’m trying to convince you about removing rust from your favorite tools and other. Here, it’s the time to explore the various ways to accomplish the task.

Restore Your Old and Rusted Tools

Arranging the Important Components

Marking the Work Zone

A great way to begin is dividing the space wherein you’ll operate with the tools and rust cleaner.  It’s very necessary because whether it’s the entire or a tool chest which requires being free of rust, all the needed things should remain your arm’s distance through the procedure.

Benefits of marking your work area are-

  • While your requisite things are in your hand’s reach, you can fully concentrate on your work till it’s complete.
  •   Excepting the working corner, the remaining house becomes clean.
  • Minimal possibilities of hazards in lieu of both the cleaning agents and tools are close to you.

Ideally selecting a space that receives very little foot traffic and minimal disturbance can enhance your work without any difficulty. Spread a mat or cloth over the lawn or floor where you supposed to work. Plus, keep some tissue paper and supply of newspaper to overcome any accident or emergency spillage.


Need to clean the rust and make your power tool a new one as perfectly as possible, there are certain degrees of preparations that you require to do. For this, you’ll need-

  • Sandpaper- fine & coarse
  • Steel wool
  • Scouring pad
  • Rags
  • Liquid detergent

Gently scrub the devices with cleaning agent and rinse through the water. In this process dust, grease, and oil might remove that would have accumulated a long period of time. While the tool is fully dry, scrape the outside with sandpaper so that detached rust falls off & only attached patches remain. After finished with sandpaper, take a dry rag and clean the entire outside with it wherein the tool cleans completely.

Selecting the Rust Remover

Light rust isn’t difficult to deal with. But if there are deeply embedded flecks to peel-off, you’ll need rust removal solutions. Those who are fresh in the job, rust removal can be divided into 2 categories- one is chemical-based such as oxalic acid and the other is natural. Of course, depends on the component and rust quality, choose the cleaning method.

Oxalic Acid

Oxalic Acid

Truly oxalic acid works very effectively in removing rust away from the tools. While you utilize oxalic acid for cleaning rust, there are some steps you require to follow,

  • Prepare yourself with sufficient protection in the form of rubber gloves for hands and goggles for eyes.
  • Clean tool thoroughly with detergent & water and make sure they’re absolutely dry before using removal agent.
  • Oxalic acid emits gas rather than being mild so avoid inhaling it. Plus, ensure a well breezy working place.
  • Before applied in tools, rust remover like oxalic acid certainly dilute in water. The perfect ratio is 3 tablespoon of acid: 1gallon of water (3:1).
  • Soak the tools in the acid mixer and submerge them to set for 20 minutes.
  • After rust removes completely, rinse in water and dry them. Now your tools are ready to use or store.

Natural or Homemade Rust Remover

Now, talk about natural or homemade rust remover that you can utilize them on your power tools.

Vinegar & Salt

Vinegar & Salt

The acetic acid found in vinegar which is very efficacious against rust. This is the reason removing rust with vinegar is an economical choice for cleaning tools. To create the solution, you roughly add ¼ cup of salt for 1 liter of vinegar. Then submerge the tools in the solution for the 24 hours. The salt has the ability to increase the acidity level of vinegar meaning the solution can dissolve the rust more evenly. While you rinse off tools in the next morning, they have been rust free.

Baking Soda

Make a mixture of baking soda and use it in the rusted place. Then leave it for some hours.

Note: Possibilities are high that the entire rust will go away with the mixture.

Lemon & Salt

Critic acid is present in lemon which works great against the rust. Make a paste of lemon and salt and leave it on tools for a couple of hours. After that scrubbed the rusted area and then enjoy the difference.

Note: This natural rust remover can help you to eliminate the rust in the early stage of that.

Potato and Dish Soap

Potato and Dish Soap

“Potato”-it may sound strange, but really its works well. Actually, raw potatoes contain oxalic acid and this feature makes it a natural homemade rust remover.

To do the work well simply, use half of the potato and dip the cut end into the dish soap. Afterwards apply the soaked part in the rusted area and rub. To repeat the process, just cut the top portion of the potatoes and re-apply the soap.

Note: Potatoes are good for light rust to remove not a few years old one.

Aluminum Foil with White Vinegar

Aluminum Foil with White Vinegar

The easiest way to use this method is spray white vinegar on the strain and scrub gently by using aluminum foil. After that, dry well the tools with a soft piece of cloth.

Note: Its works magical especially on remove rust from stainless steel tools.

Not Recommended Chemicals

Popular rust cleaner for hand tools is petroleum types of chemicals such as kerosene and silicon spray. Despite these are very demandable products, they can damage the electrical components. So, try to avoid them if you don’t have a limited collection of those tools.

Steps to Restore Your Rusted Tools

Finally, it’s time to open your tool chest and find the tools that are marked with varying degrees of rust. Rather than throwing away, you made up your mind to undertake this process in a DIY way. By this time, you get a general overview of what you need to accomplish this task. Now, it’s time to use the above tips.

Take off the Wooden Parts

In the cleaning process, tools will be exposed with water, vinegar or other cleaning agents. These materials have strong possibilities to damage wooden parts or handles. So, try to take off those parts if possible. In case take-off not possible, try to take them away from water and definitely from vinegar, because it can oxidize the wood and turn it black

Replace the Damage or Broken Components

Replace the Damage or Broken Components

Finding out the broken or damaged parts and try to replace it (if available) is the best way to restore your old rusted tools. In an economical way, this idea will boost your tools life.

If your tools come from a well-known manufacturer, you’re likely to find out the replacement parts. Or, if your broken parts used to operate the tools like knobs or handles, it can be set up in an easy way. Just lookout for the same manufacturer and get replacement. Even you can make a custom handle for your broken tools as well. Make sure you check for the damaged parts and get a replacement as soon as possible to reduce further injuries.

Check Out Belt, Cord, and Brushes

After refurbishing your old tools, ensure safety is necessary. However, never forget to check the damage cords. Sometimes, the cord of any old tools may get frayed in several places. Needs to check it out and repair it before using it.

Often tools seem to gets out of order due to its damage to belts. This can be easily replaced and it cost very few. Also, the brushes of power tools are subjected to damage in regular or extended use. Simply replacing the brush can increase the life of the tool functionality. These brushes are easily available and you can replace it by yourself.

Clean the Rust from Blades and Bits

The blades and bits are requisite items to operate power tools and it exposed to rust over time. Using a cleaning agent, you can renew your old rusty tools. From the above mention rust remover, clean you rusty bits and blades. Simply submerge the tools in the rust remover and leave it for instructed time and wipe it gently to get rid of the rusted layer. This will clean all the rust from the surface and make them shine like new.

Remove Tough Rust with Abrasive Sander

Remove Tough Rust with Abrasive Sander

A widely used tool in the DIY carpentry sector is a sander. It’s very useful to smooth the surface more evenly manner. A 100-girt disc sander can sleek out the pitted surface in an effective way. So, if you have any tool that seems to be intensively corroded, use the disc sander to sand away the uneven surface to a sleek one.

Free from Corrosion

No new tools can match the performance of your old tools. It’s because old tools are better in quality and offer heavy-duty as compared to the new tools that are compromised in quality to suit your budget.

Ensure Lubrication

If moving tools can’t get proper lubrication at a correct interval, they can get damaged. So, if you restore any power tool that has moving parts, not forget to lubricate them. Make sure you dry and lubricate all the parts properly. And avoid applying grease as it attracts dust and dirt.

Properly Storage

Once you have clean the rust it’s essential to make sure that the tools don’t get rusted again. By dying the properly and store them in an airtight chest can ensure the best result. You can also use a coating of protective oil which preserves the tools even in the humid weather.

Ways to Prevent Your Tools from Rust

Ways to Prevent Your Tools from Rust

While there are various methods and tips for removing rust, one way can break the rest and that is “prevention”. The following tips will help you to keep your tools rust-free. 

  • Always dry tools immediately after use.
  • Even can use rust inhibitor such as WD-40 to spray sensitive tools.
  • Make sure your toolbox is moisture-free. For this, you can use canisters or silica gel packs to absorb excessive moisture. Even you can use a wooden toolbox as well.
  • To get the highest protection, invest in a dehumidifier to control the climate and humidity.
  • Finally, for long term use- store bags tools in plastic and tools in indoors.

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Final Thoughts

Usually, old tools are high-quality and strongly built and can restore just using a little energy. All you need to do is check the tools thoroughly and restore the damaged portion.

In our article, we provide some important techniques of how to remove rust from tools in the easiest way. But in your restoring time, if you find any of your tool damage completely and no chance to restore, then it’s better to send them for recycling.

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