simple, and safe method of removing rust from your old tools (or
anything else for that matter) is to immerse the rusty parts in
a solution of citric acid. There are many questions asked
about citric acid and I will try to answer some of them here.
These are my personal opinions only, and I am solely responsible
Q: Where do you get citric
acid and how much does it cost?
online, or locate a brewing supply store. I buy mine at a local
brewing supply and it costs about $17 for 5 pounds.
Q: Will the acid hurt
havenít seen any damage, but I donít leave my parts in the
solution for a very long period of time. Your mileage may vary
if you leave the parts in for a really long time.
Q: How much do I need?
depends on how many rusty things you want to clean. My 5 pounds
has cleaned a lot of tools, and I still have 3 pounds left.
Q: Can I re-use the acid?
When you have finished with cleaning any parts, put the acid
into a plastic container and save it for the next job. If you
like, you can replenish the acid with fresh powder to keep the
is fairly inexpensive, I toss mine when it starts to look nasty.
It is environmentally friendly, so you can toss it down the
drain when you need to dispose of it.
Q: Is it safe, and does it
have a nasty odor?
A: I put
my hands in it all the time without any harm. It does sting in a
fresh cut though. It has no odor.
Q: How much do you have to
A: I put a
cup of powdered citric acid in a gallon of warm water. Others
say they use a lot less. My reasoning is this: I want the job
over and done with as quickly as possible.
I donít like to leave
any chemistry out overnight. My preference is to stay with the
parts in the acid until they are clean.
In the picture story
that follows, I was finished within 25 minutes.
Q: Do you have to agitate
Probably not, but I scrub the parts as they are soaking using a
soft wire brush. This gets the acid into the rust faster, and
when I bring my rust free parts out of the acid they are clean.