How to clean rust off of antique metal trunks

Written by andrew smith
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to clean rust off of antique metal trunks
A homemade cleaner removes rust without damaging an antique metal trunk. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Antique metal trunks can make for decorative pieces or serve as additional storage units inside your home. Reddish rust stains located on the surface of the trunk can transfer onto items placed inside the trunk or prevent you from painting or otherwise decorating the outside of the trunk. Combining a food item with a common household product creates an effective homemade rust remover that adequately dissolves and eliminates such stains without harming the surface of the aged trunk.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Baking soda
  • Bowl or container
  • Potato
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Pour approximately a cup of baking soda into a small, dry bowl or container.

  2. 2

    Slice one potato in half so you have two equal slices.

  3. 3

    Dip one of the slices into the baking soda.

  4. 4

    Scrub the portion of the metal drunk covered in rust with the potato. According to The Kitchn website, oxalic acid in the potato, combined with the adhesive nature of baking soda, safely dissolves the rust found on the trunk.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps 2 through 4, if necessary, until all of the rust has been covered.

  6. 6

    Moisten the toothbrush with tap water. Scrub the metal trunk with the brush (while the homemade rust remover is still on the trunk) to remove darker rust stains.

  7. 7

    Wipe the trunk dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.