Very impressed by white vinegar as rust remover!

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Forum topic by boston_guy posted 01-23-2015 07:33 PM 1140 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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160 posts in 2387 days

01-23-2015 07:33 PM

I have a plastic container at home in which I throw nails and screws that I pick up on the streets when walking. I only pick them up if they are not rusted. I just find it fun. The nails and screws are also handy when doing all kinds of projects at home. I have all kinds of sizes.

However, in the fall I left this plastic container on my rooftop deck. Well, when it rained most of the nails and screws got rusted.

I was going to dump the whole collection this week. But then I decided to google and see whether there was a solution. I found some sites that said white vinegar would remove the rust. I decided to give it a try. I filled the container with vinegar which is really cheap at my local Market Basket supermarket.

To my surprise, it worked. The rust went away. I’m going to leave the container filled with vinegar for at least a week, just to make sure all the nails and screws are thoroughly soaked.

Just sharing this info in case it’s of help to anyone.

3 replies so far

View dawsonbob's profile


3143 posts in 1993 days

#1 posted 01-23-2015 07:37 PM

In a week the vinegar solution will very likely turn very dark as it dissolves the steel/iron. This is a common technique for making an ebonizing stain.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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Richard H

489 posts in 1918 days

#2 posted 01-23-2015 07:38 PM

White vinegar works well but I have found some cast iron flash rusts almost as soon as you remove the item from it. I used white vinegar on a old Stanley miter box and instead of a bunch of spots of bad rust I ended up with a even light rust over the entire thing I had to than remove. I stopped using it after that.

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7106 posts in 2437 days

#3 posted 01-23-2015 08:22 PM

White vinegar works well but I have found some cast iron flash rusts almost as soon as you remove the item from it.

I’ve seen cast iron flash rust before my eyes, regardless of treatment.. electrolysis, blasting, vinegar, whatever.. it’s the nature of the beast. Once it’s exposed to air/moisture, that’s what it does :) I typically give it a good rinse followed with a dilute phosphoric acid solution to prevent it from happening.. usually followed soon after with a good coat of primer (unless it will be unpainted, and then it gets a good coat of wax).


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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