Asked on Sep 07, 2018

How do I clean rust off of this bathroom towel rack?

by Dipity

This towel rack looks disgusting on my newly painted bathroom wall. Can I bring it back to like new condition without scratching it? What should I use as a protective coat? Thank you.

  12 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Sep 07, 2018

    I think I would use a good cleaner (such as vinegar) with steel wool and a steel brush to remove as much of the rust as possible. And then use a good metal spray paint (like rustoleum) to repaint the entire rack. Its been my experience that, honestly, once that kind of corrosion starts you can't really stop it. In awhile you will have to repaint again.

  • Dipity Dipity on Sep 07, 2018

    Thank you - that's a very good idea! My house is 150 years old and that 'modern' looking towel rack looks out of place with the claw foot iron tub. Painting it will make it stand out less

  • 16999903 16999903 on Sep 07, 2018

    WD-40 is great for removing rust. Use a very fine grade steel wool to polish the rust off. As long as there isn't any pitting from the rust, you might want to coat it with several layers of clear coat to keep it from rusting again.

    • Dipity Dipity on Sep 07, 2018

      Thank you for your answer. I'll use that WD-40 to clean it up. If it's looking OK, I'll seal it. If it's still ugly I'll paint it like some one else suggested.

  • MadameRã MadameRã on Sep 08, 2018 rectify this type of problem usually willnot work by the way of cleaning with a plethora of product ideas.

    Just general clean making sure to use a heated hand towel(by microwave) to dry/& to warm-up towel rack. Use a high graded silver spray paint with primer to prevent rust. Spray immediately (with nozzle around 20cm directly away from item being sprayed); this ought to fasten the drying time , including any slight drips( Incase by spraying to close).. always Top graded paint here as the final result you’ll want to last; top grade with all required products in one can will set you back around ten bucks a can, in your money:)

    *^*Please always be safe,& use appropriate recyclable ‘things’ that can thrown away as protection ( for walls/floors ect.. ;)

    Always wishing Happy Therapy Crafting!

    • Dipity Dipity on Sep 08, 2018

      Thank you for such an in depth reply to this decorating problem, I really appreciate all of the advise, suggestions and information given by yourself and others. Now all I have to do is decide how to do it

  • Cjmcmlln Cjmcmlln on Sep 08, 2018

    coca cola and aluminum foil ....and elbow grease

    • Dipity Dipity on Sep 12, 2018

      That's certainly the cheapest suggestion. Some days I wish I could pick up elbow greese while Im shopping

  • CJ CJ on Sep 08, 2018

    SOS pad. :-)

  • Kimberly Monroe Kimberly Monroe on Sep 08, 2018

    Use aluminum foil. I used it on my bicycle chromed handle bars and they came back shiny as ever! Good luck!

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Sep 09, 2018

    There is also a product made by CLR to remove rust. It is environmentally friendly. Make sure you clean the bar off with vinegar before you paint it so that there is no residue of anything you cleaned it with including WD40. I would then spray paint it with a metal paint suitable for the product your bar is made of.

  • George George on Sep 10, 2018

    0000 steel wool and chrome polish.

  • HC HC on Aug 18, 2019

    I realize this is an older thread so I hope it's okay to add to the discussion. I have some outrageously expensive wrought iron towel racks that were hand made. I elected to have a clear coat only over the wrought iron. Whelp, after about 6 months, ALL of my towels became covered in rust from the racks. I read through the suggestions here, and ultimately, I had to sand, sand, sand then add a ludicrous amount of clear coat (Rustoleum clear coat). But, I still don't trust it.... and, I buy crazy expensive towels. I think my ultimate solution will be a rustoleum spray paint, but in a color like off-white or something like that. That way, I can tell if the rust is resurfacing. Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread! The information was very helpful. 👍

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 28, 2020

    Rustoleum makes a spray paint for items like this even in metal finishes you can find it at Walmart, Home Depot, etc