How to clean rusted bolts

Written by kara page
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How to clean rusted bolts
Rusted bolts are a nuisance, but a few household products will usually do the trick to clean them. (rust image by Stanislav Halcin from Fotolia.com)

When a look into your toolbox reveals old, rusty bolts, you may be tempted to just throw them out and buy new ones. However, if the bolts are particularly old or designed for a speciality product, you may not be able to find new ones in the right size or shape. You also may have rusted bolts already in place that are challenging to remove. You may be able to use your rusty bolts (or remove them more easily) if you clean them.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Vinegar or rust remover
  • Toothbrush or wire brush
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fill a bucket with vinegar, diet cola or a rust remover solution you get from your hardware store.

  2. 2

    Place the rusted bolts in the bucket, fully submerged, and cover the bucket.

  3. 3

    Leave for 24 hours, then rinse clean.

  1. 1

    Fill a spray bottle with vinegar, diet cola or a rust remover solution you get from your hardware store.

  2. 2

    Spray the area with the rusted bolts thoroughly and let sit overnight.

  3. 3

    Scrub the area with an old toothbrush, a wire brush or fine-grade sandpaper.

Tips and warnings

  • For extra stubborn rusted areas, apply heat with a propane torch for a few minutes until the metal begins to expand, then scrape the rust away with a wire brush.

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