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How to Make a Nail Rust Fast

Updated February 21, 2017

Nails are fasteners that attach objects to one another. While important in the construction of buildings and appliances, nails are also used in art projects or science experiments. Rusting is an electrochemical process in which two compounds combine to form a new compound. In most cases water molecules combine with iron molecules to create rust. Nails are made from a variety of metals including iron, tin and steel, so when the nails come into contact with water they rust easily.

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  1. Scrub the nail's surface with sandpaper or steel wool pad. This removes the protective rustproof layer on nails.

  2. Open a window to get fresh air and put on rubber gloves to protect the hands. Pour equal amounts of vinegar and household bleach into a glass container or bowl. Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

  3. Submerge the nails in the vinegar and bleach solution. Keep nails in solution for up to one hour. The longer the nails are in the solution, the more they will rust.

  4. Remove nails from the solution. Place them on a paper towel.

  5. Put the paper towel into direct sunlight for one to two hours. The heat from the sun accelerates rust formation on the nails.

  6. Repeat soaking in the vinegar/bleach solution and drying to get the nails to rust faster.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper or steel wool pad
  • Glass container or bowl
  • White vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Paper towels

About the Author

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