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Thread: Cleaning rusty tools using vinegar??

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    Tracker WFR's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning rusty tools using vinegar??

    I have several old tools that have been exposed to the elements and have rust on them.
    I have been told that soaking them in vinegar will help remove the rust.
    How do you go about doing this?
    I can get a gallon of distilled white vinegar at Costco for a little over $3.
    I have a small plastic bucket.
    How long do you leave the tools in the vinegar?
    Any guidance would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    WFR

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    Leave them in as long as it takes. It can take anywhere from 1-5 days from my experience.

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    +1 on 1-5 days.

    Also make sure you wash them good with soap and water when done. The black film that builds up on the steel is some nasty stuff.

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    use a steel wirebrush or some sandpaper first. Than put it into the vinegar.
    Speeds up the proces and gives a smoother, better looking finish.

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    I've had better luck using electrolyses. all you need is a power source(I use a car battery charger) a bucket ,some water with a little bit of baking soda, and some sacrificial junk steel you don't mind getting more rusty. if you look it up,there's plenty of tutorials online with better instruction than I could give you.I've even used the process to clean up corroded lawnmower carburetors.

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    Default Wood handles

    I have a hatchet I want to do, do you reckon the vinegar would mess up the handle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFR View Post
    How long do you leave the tools in the vinegar?
    Until all the rust is gone.


    Brush it with a wire brush every few hours or at least once a day.

    When you have no more rust your done

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSisk2 View Post
    I have a hatchet I want to do, do you reckon the vinegar would mess up the handle?
    My best guess is yes. I dumped an old knife with wood handle in vinegar and let it set over night. Wood handle swelled and seperated. I assume it would do the same to a hatchet handle if it was wood.

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    Also look at Naval Jelly. I does some of the same things.

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    Second vote for electrolysis.

    For chemical treatments, I've switched to Ospho from Naval Jelly.

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