Cleaning rusted tools is an essential step in fixing up your grandfather’s old tool collection. You can do it at any time, even while the item is still warm!
When cleaning rust off of tools, you must be aware of its location. Any exposed metal that is not covered by glue or oil will rust. When removing old paint from a surface, take care to angle the tool properly so that the gap between the hole and the base of the tool is filled in.
Some rusts are permanent and cannot be removed. These include sandstone and steel oxide (precursor to steel when dry). Other rusts can be cleaned with mild household ingredients such as WD-40 or petroleum jelly.
Find a clean container and place the tool inside
Now you are ready to do some cleaning! First, you will need some WD-40. Most hardware stores or stores that sell tools have a bottle of WD-40.
To use it, simply sprays the inside of the tool and then wipes the outside. Then, you let it dry and try it!
If it still looks funky, takes a lot of drying and trying, then you probably needed to apply more WD-40.
Pour some WD40 onto a cloth
Then wipe the tool down with the cloth soaked in WD40
This prevents metal to metal contact which can chip or stain your cloth or tools. You can also put WD40 on after you take off any polish to prevent it from rubbing off.
It is also a good way to preserve the letters and numbers on your tools!
Many people use this for cleaning Their kitchen knives but this works for many types of tools as well. Keeping a bottle of WD40 nearby will help clean your tools more often.
Cleaning Your Tools Early in their life helps them stay clean longer so try washing your tools as soon as you get out of work or school, whichever comes first. Letting the oil dry will help with later cleaning.
Rub the rusty areas until they are smooth again
When you are finished, wipe the tools with a clean cloth to remove the wd40 and to remove any accumulated dirt. This process will take a few tries, but eventually you will get it right every time!
This works because when you put the tool in the oil, it adds more oil to gradually mix with the steel. When it sits for a few minutes, more oil will dissappear and give you a smoother finish.
If you have very hard-to-clean tools such as screws or nuts, these may be better to leave off of your list. Dependant on how strong your Oil is, the number of times you clean them, and if they are going to be exposed to water or rain, they may cause them to rust faster.
Wipe down the tool with a clean cloth
Once you have cleaned the tool, the next step is to wax or grease it. Wadding is a traditional preparation method for waxed or oiled tools.
Wadding can be done as a byproduct of cleaning or removing rust as a feature. Theoretically, both reduce friction which in turn improves your odds of finishing your project on time and in quality.
Admittedly, I had never tried putting wadding on my own tools before so I was skeptical that it would work. It did! Easily enough that I decided to try it on other projects too.
To wax or grease your tool, you first need to remove any dust and/or debris that may be obstructing the flow of oil or wax. Then, you need to place the tool in a dry location with some heat source nearby. You can also use an oven if you do not have heat source nearby!
How much you want to apply depends on how thick and/or greasy your tool is.
Let the tool dry
Once the tool is dry, you can start cleaning it! First, you can use some WD-40 on your hands to help remove any dust or mud that may have accumulated on the tool. Next, you can use a vacuum to pick up any leftovers.
You should do this periodically to keep the tool looking and working well. Keep taking care of your tools and they will take care of you.
To get the best results, try moving the tool around in a vacuum just before cleaning so that it gets some more friction against the suction element. Also, change out tools every few uses so that something new enters your collection.
Apply more WD40 and rub until all rust is gone
Once you get the hang of it, this method can clean most rusty tools in just a few passes. You will need more WD40 though, so be prepared to remove some from your tool to apply it.
To prevent the WD40 from evaporating, place a rag over it or cover with a kitchen towel until use. You can also add it straight to the tool as well, but leave that up to you whether to use more or not.
When cleaning your wrench or pliers, try turning one end over the other end to let any oil and dirt come out. This will help keep the surrounding surfaces cleaner and dryer.
You can also use this on other metal objects that have been through something bad.
Wash off any remaining WD40 with water
Once you have cleaned your tools, it is time to protect them! We recommendUsing an alcohol-based cleaning product to clean your tools. This prevents any harmful chemicals in the tool killer from coming into contact with your tools.
Alcohol-based cleaning products are generally safe on metal, so do not worry about using one of the less common brands. Most kitchen store stocks a variety of brands that are reliable and good quality. Make sure to test the strength of the cleaner on a small portion of your tool before applying it on the whole thing!
After washing your tools, if you have any residual oil or paint that did not break down with the soap and water, use a bit of WD40 to help protect them. Place one bit lengthwise on each end and let it hold for an hour or two before removing. This will help prevent any foreign object pieces from contacting your tools and causing damage.
Dry with a dry cloth
Avoid using alcohol, cleaning compounds, and gasoline while the piece is still wet. If the piece is heavily rusted, you may want to use a solvent such as WD-40.
To prevent rusting, keep a lid on the tool until needed. To prevent heavy salt water exposure, use a waterproof container or cover for the tool.
To restore shine and protect the wood from damage, use a natural wax such as vegetable butter or coconut oil. Make sure to check your tool for wear before replacing the wood. A slightly worn wood can last longer than one that is completely dried out.
Drying your tool in this manner will help keep it clean and safe from water damage or foreign objects getting stuck in it.