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How to clean rust off scissors

A good pair of scissors is a handy tool for many activities, from crafts and sewing to kitchen work. However, you must take proper care of your scissors or rust can interfere with their usefulness. If you have neglected your scissors and rust has appeared on the blades, you can remove it with some basic household products you probably already have in the kitchen. Do not use water to clean rusty scissors, because this can cause more rust.

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  1. Open the scissors and place one blade flat against a table or counter top. Rub the upper surface of the blade with a fine steel wool pad. You do not need the soap-encrusted type, such as S.O.S or brillo. Rub in a tight, circular motion to remove the rust. Use as much pressure as needed.

  2. Repeat Step 1 for the flat surface of each blade -- and again, for the tops of the blades. Do not rub the sharp edges, as this will dull the scissors. Snip the steel wool pad with the scissors when you are finished, to sharpen the blades.

  3. Wipe the blades with a clean cotton cloth to remove all the rust and dust.

  4. Pour full-strength white vinegar into a plastic or glass bowl and dip the scissors in it -- only if there is heavy rust on the hinge. Wipe the scissors completely dry with a clean cotton cloth. Do not use vinegar if there is no rust on the hinge. Vinegar can cause future rusting, if the blades are not stainless steel.

  5. Spray the blades and hinge with WD-40. Open and close the scissors a few times to distribute the oil, then wipe off the excess with the cotton cloth. This will prevent future rust.

  6. If you use the scissors for crafts or sewing, do not use WD-40 on the blades. It can get on fabric or paper you cut.

  7. Store the scissors in a dry place to prevent further rusting. Never leave scissors outside overnight, even if they are on a porch or covered area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fine steel wool
  • White vinegar
  • Cotton cloths
  • WD-40

About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.

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