Friday, 8 June 2012

How to remove rust

Patience please. No finished paint work in the office yet. I hope I get a chance to finish it on the weekend, but on saturday we will go to a wedding and on sunday my sister moves and I will need to help her, but still I hope I have some time for my painting project.

I had a lamp and a door handle, they were cool but they were covered in rust. One ex co-worker happened to tell me about how she cleaned rust off with citric acid from some components (Yes, you know if I'm talking of you :D ). Too bad I didn't know about this trick last summer.

In Finland citric acid can be bought at least from the pharmacy in chrystal form. The chrystals look very similar to sugar. According to the information I found online the citric acid should be mixed with water in a ratio of 40 grams citric acid per one liter of water or around, it's not very precise. Use this unit converter if you don't like metric units.

Only problem cleaning with citric acid solution is that the whole component should be dipped in it. I read from somewhere that you could make a paste from water, citric acid chrystals and wallpaper paste and then smear that on the rusty areas. I cannot say if that would work or not, since I haven't tried it.

But dipping the whole part in a citric acid solution really does the trick. I left the door handle and the plate thing in the solution for over a night but the lamp cover it self was still looking a bit rusty so I left it in the solution for another ten hours or so. The solution didn't seem to do any harm on the areas where the metal was not rusty. Heat is supposed to accelerate the reaction, but I felt it was just easier to let the parts sit in room temperature water for as long as they needed.

Don't expect your steel parts to look brand new and shiny after the bath. Since the citric acid removes only the rust it leaves the surface very rough. The metal must be polished afterwards if that is the look needed.


  1. What a great trick. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend! :)

  2. That is nice! I had no idea there was such an easy way, thanks for sharing.

  3. Interesting. The only way I know how to buy citric acid around here is to get vinegar (5%). However, if I boiled the object in vinegar, it might work. Thanks for the tip. Do let us know hat you do ith the lamp. Have fun helping your sister move!

    1. Don't know abot the vinegar, but the citric acid is also a food conservative so it might be sold in food stores too.
      I will make a post about the lamp, when ever I find the time to renew it.


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