How to Naturally Clean Off Mild Rust

2 Materials
20 Minutes

I don't know about you but I can be quite forgetful. I leave things outside when I shouldn't. Tools and other items get rust on them and I am upset by the idea of throwing them away due to it being my fault! I also don't like using lots of chemical products on things because the products get into our waterways and harm wildlife. Here is a solution to mild rust which won't harm nature and probably only requires items you already have at home.

Here is everything you need. The tool or other item which has been affected by rust, some white vinegar and some foil. I would advise that you also have a rag or towel which you don't mind getting stained.

As you can see here, this saw has been affected by rust. However you can see that other than mild rust, the blades still look good. Severe rust will not be solved with this method, but will be OK for this saw.

Put some vinegar into a bowl or other container. You don't need loads. A shallow layer in the bottom of the container is plenty.

Next take some foil and scrunch it into a rough ball like this. Don't scrunch it too tight as you need the spiky rough edges. As shown is tight enough.

Dip your foil ball into the vinegar.

Firmly rub the vinegar soaked foil over the rust affected areas of the item. Depending on the size of the item and how bad the rust is, you'll need to re scrunch the foil and dip it again. In some cases you may need a new ball of foil if the roughness of the first one has all been used up. Rinse regularly as you scrub to track your progress.

There you have it! A rust free (well very nearly!) saw simply using foil and vinegar.

For more eco tips and ideas, please visit @plastic_what_you_preach on Instagram xxx

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Uzma Shehzadi
    on Sep 2, 2020

    Do you have any tip to clean burnt toaster oven tray without scrubbing or hard work?

  • Diane
    on Sep 2, 2020

    Can oven racks be cleaned with foil and vinegar ?? Or what would u recommend ? Thanks

    • April Rose-Sharp
      on Sep 9, 2020

      Diane, I use Oven cleaner.

      Take the oven racks out of the oven. Lay them on something, old newspaper, cardboard or plastic. Spray oven cleaner on the racks and let the cleaner set for awhile. Depending on how dirty your racks are. I always wear plastic gloves for this job. Because it's going to be messy. Wipe with paper towels.

      You will be amazed.

  • Nancy Quick Burt
    on Sep 9, 2020

    Do you think this method would work on getting rust off an old claw foot tub we bought?

    • If the rust is light it will work. If its more 'pitted', it wil probably require something more like polishing tools and drill bits to smooth out,and clean.

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