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How to Remove Rust From Tools

By Willi Galloway ; Updated September 21, 2017

Tools can last for years if you take care of them. But don't worry; if your favorite shovel has gotten a tad rusty, it's a snap to make tools shiny as new.

Tools can last for years if you take care of them. But don't worry; if your favorite shovel has gotten a tad rusty, it's a snap to make tools shiny as new.

If you have a bench vise, clamp the tool into it with the blade facing down. If you don't have a vice you can do tool maintenance on a solid concrete surface.

Coat the blade with kerosene or a penetrating oil.

Brush downward, using steel wool or a wire brush. Depending on how rusty the blade is, you may need both.

Wipe away the rust residue with a soft brush or cloth. Then wash the blade in warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly.

If the wooden handle of your tool is splintery, sand it lightly with fine sandpaper and then rub the handle with linseed oil to prevent the wood from drying out.

Prevent rust by cleaning your tools thoroughly after every use. An easy way to coat them in oil is to fill a 5-gallon bucket with sand and dump two quarts of vegetable oil into it. Using a trowel, thoroughly combine the oil and sand. Before putting your tools away, dunk them into the bucket of sand. It will come out with a light coating of oil.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Steel wool
  • Wire brush
  • Linseed oil
  • Bucket of soapy water
  • Rags
  • Sand
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sandpaper
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Trowel

Resources

About the Author

 

Willi Evans Galloway loves to read, write, talk about, and teach people how to garden organically and grow their own food. For the past five years, she has worked as the West Coast Editor of Organic Gardening magazine. Willi also recently created www.digginfood.com, a site that serves up gardening and cooking inspiration. Willi lives in Seattle with her husband, four pet chickens, a lawn-destroying labrador, and way too many tomato plants.