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Removing Rust With Science

2 simple chemical processes that remove rust so you don't have to get a wire brush out and do anything strenuous.

Modification Details

Removing Rust With 2 Old School Tricks

They might seem odd but they work. Who would have thought that you could remove rust with food or water!
These 2 methods should only be used on ferrous metals like steel and iron.

Black Treacle (Molasses)

Black treacle! Yep, the edible food sold in supermarkets. Mix 1 part black treacle to 8 parts water and
place the item you want to de-rust into the bucket. Leave it there and check the piece daily. It
normally takes a week or 3 depending on how badly the part is rusted.

The process is called Chelating.
It is a reverse oxidation process that removes the oxygen from the rust (iron oxide) to just leave iron.

You must degrease your part first and the process does smell bad but at the end of it,
the liquid you have left is safe to pour onto your garden or down the drain.


You will need:

Battery charger,
Scrap ferrous metal
Washing soda crystals
Plastic Bucket
Measuring jug

Washing soda is not the same as baking soda. This is the crap they used before Daz and Bold.

Take your bucket and empty it of any hangover vomit.

Fill the bucket with a measuring jug so you know how much water is there.
You will need 1 teaspoon of washing soda crystals for every 1 litre of water.

Place in your clean scrap piece of metal. This is what is known as a sacrificial piece as it'll collect the rust.

This is the rustiest thing I could find, an offcut of 80lb rail.

Attach the negative (black) electrode to the item you want to de-rust.

Attach the positive terminal (red) onto the scrap piece of steel. This terminal MUST stay dry.

Place your item into the water. The negative electrode can get wet, however, the 2 parts must NOT touch.

Plug the battery charger into the mains and put it on full power.

You'll be able to tell if it's working in a few minutes as you'll get bubbles appearing on the surface of the water.

If nothing happens (as it did in my case), check everything again. In my case, the charger wasn't powerful enough.

So, I had to cheat a little bit and use a car battery. If you also use this method, there is 1 very important rule.

Do not let the 2 pieces in the bucket of water touch each other. The amperage from the battery can weld
the 2 parts together, short circuit the battery and even cause the battery to explode. I added a sheet of rubber
between the 2 pieces of metal just to be sure they couldn't touch each other.

After 2 hours there was a foamy scum on the surface and a slight discolouration around the sacrificial metal plate.

12 hours after starting the experiment, the foam was turning colour and increasing.

After 24 hours, it looked like someone had taken a curry shit in the bucket.

After about 30 hours I disconnected the battery from the 2 pieces of metal and removed the sacrificial metal
plate. This is what a shit creek paddle would look like. It can be scraped off and the metal used again.

The deposits are just rust, water and the washing soda crystals, it doesn't smell.

After disconnecting the negative terminal from the piece we wanted to de-rust, here it is.

After running it under a tap, the rest of the shit just slid off leaving you with a rust free piece of metal.

Quickly dry the piece of metal to stop further rusting.
You can then paint, powder coat, wax, the part so it won't rust again.

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