How To Remove Rust on Woodworking Tools

How To Remove Rust on Woodworking Tools

You might have heard the old saying “rust never sleeps” which is sadly true when it comes to woodworking tools! In pretty much every garage across the United States you will find lonely and abandoned tools. Perhaps you’ve forgotten they’re even there anymore but once you come across them, your natural instinct is to toss them away rather than removing rust. Don’t do it!

You can absolutely restore your rusty hammer or chisel and it doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to do it either. In this article, I will show you how to shake off the rust and bring your old tools back to their former glory.

Removing Rust with Citric Acid

There is a wide range of techniques to help you get rid of rust but first of all, let me provide you with a shopping list of sorts. These items will help you remove rust with citric acid.

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removing rust

  • Citric Acid
  • Wire Brushes
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Paper Towels or a Regular Towel
  • Plastic Container
  • Degreaser & Spray Bottle
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Lubricant (Oil or Spray)

Add just enough warm water to the plastic container to cover the tools and add up to ½ cup of the citric acid while stirring the water. You should see bubbles in the solution after a couple of minutes but if you don’t, add another ¼ cup of acid. Place the rusty tools in the solution and leave them there for about an hour.

Use the wire brush to start removing rust; it should come off relatively easily. If it doesn’t, leave the tools in the water for another hour or however long it takes before the rust scrapes off. Once the rust is gone, dry the tools with the paper towel or regular towel. Quickly lubricate them before the rust comes back.

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