A handy rust remover can be made using molasses and water. Iron oxide is the chemical name for the rust that appears on cars, metal hardware and tools. Molasses is a byproduct of refining sugar cane by boiling and extracting the crystallised sugar. The process by which iron-oxide is removed from a metal by molasses is called chelation. Molasses compounds bond and suspend iron oxide molecules away from the metal surface.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-liter beaker or jar
- Measuring cup
- de-oxidene (phosphoric acid)
Pour 900 millilitres of water into a 1-liter container. Measure out 100 millilitres of molasses and add it to the 900 millilitres of water.
Stir the two together until the water is a uniform brown colour. Immerse the rusted tool or metal piece in the solution.
Leave the object in the molasses solution for one to three days. If the rust is especially severe, the solution mayl take a week or more to show results.
Scrub the object with a wire brush after soaking for a few days. Rinse the object with de-oxidene to prevent rust from rapidly recurring.
Tips and warnings
- For best results try a mild molasses with a higher sugar concentration.
- Metal will rust almost immediately after the treatment when exposed to open air and humidity.
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