The Best Rust Stain Remover (2021)

If you are bothered by the unsightly rust stain you see on your metal items or fixtures, removing the rust will be more practical than throwing or replacing your metal.

You can try some basic remedies found in your kitchen that can help get rid of rust stains and some good store-bought rust removers that are effective.

You’ll find below guides and steps on removing rust on your metal stuff and answers to question to what is the best rust stain remover used to counter rust formation?

It’s better to understand also what is rust and why do you have it in the first place on your metal surfaces so you’ll know how to deal with it easily.

What is rust on metal?

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hard water stain remover

Ultimate Hard Water Stain Remover Set - Includes non-scratch scourer, microfiber cloth, gloves and detailing brushes

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We all know what rust is.

Rust is the common name of chemicals when iron reacts with oxygen and water. Rust is also the term that is used for the corrosion and oxidation of iron such as steel.

Iron rusting happens when it goes through a process of oxidation wherein oxygen and water work to produce iron oxide.

Although metals are durable materials to form a structure that lasts a lifetime it is also prone to corrosion and rust sets in with the slightest hint of water and oxygen.

So using an effective rust cleaner will help a great deal in removing rust from your metal whether it be in your furniture, bike metal chain, appliances, or other surfaces.

How to remove rust off metal and stainless steel?

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Keeping an eye on what rust remover methods work best in your metal over its years of use will help prolong the life of your precious metal.

If you haven’t tested some of the treatments used to remove rust from metal and stainless steel, we have listed some below to help see what is the best method most convenient to you to remove rust.

Get rid of rust by scrapping the metal surface.

This method of scrapping rust on metal surfaces requires hard work and a lot of muscle to scrub the surface of unwanted rust. It is the easiest way for removing light rust.

You can use a metal steel wool, or any steel tool that has an abrasive surface to get the job done after which you can use fine-grain sandpaper for any scratches on the surface.

If removing rust on larger and thicker surfaces, you can use an electric rust remover such as an electric sander or electric grinder. Start first with the area that has the roughest grain and work your way slowly to areas that have lesser metal rust.

Get rid of rust with the use of WD40 rust cleaner.

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It gets really frustrating when you see corrosion or rusting on your household items. One way to return the item to its original state is to use a WD40 multi cleaner product.

WD4o is designed to weaken rust in the metal surface by penetrating its porous layer and using its lubricating properties to loosen rust.

It is a spray-on cleaning product that is found in many homes and is also helpful to get rid of rust stains especially when you want it the quick and easy way.

Get rid of rust using rust remover chemicals

It is a powerful and effective method that uses powerful solutions that contain hydrochloric or phosphoric acid to remove rust from stainless steel and other surfaces.

It can be applied on smaller items with a brush and wiped clean with towels.

Rust stains removing chemicals should be handled with caution to a great extent since it is unsafe to inhale and touch.

Make sure to wear necessary protective gear like gloves and respirators when using chemical rust stain remover on metallic or stainless steel items. It is best practice to read carefully the instructions on how to use the product with care as it may differ from one product to another.

Oxalic acid rust remover

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Oxalic acid is used for the toughest cleaning job. It features bleach-like qualities in removing rust stains on metal objects.

It appears as a white crystalline in form. When mixed with water it becomes an odorless and colorless cleaning solution.

The use of oxalic acid should not be taken lightly as it can bring serious damage when accidentally in contact with the skin or inhaled the acidic fumes. Put on protective gear like gloves, masks, and safety glasses when using it.

How to use oxalic acid to remove rust:

Step 1: Clean the item by using soap and rinse with water. Remove rust gently by using stainless steel scrubbing pads or brush with metal bristles.

Step 2: Prepare the solution by diluting 25ml of oxalic acid to 250ml of water.

Step 3: Soak the object for at least 20 minutes. It works fast and you can see immediately the rust disappearing and the pure steel appearing.

However, if you are not satisfied yet with the result, soaking it for 24 hours will normally do the trick of removing the rust.

Step 4: Wash the item thoroughly then let it dry.

Citric acid rust removal

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This is one of the easiest, safest, and cheapest with minimum risks of removing rust. It’s clean, biodegradable, and can be found easily in most shops.

Step 1: Make the solution by putting the citric acid in a plastic container and add some hot water.

Step 2: Soak the rusted covered objects into the solution making sure that you use the appropriate size of container to fit the metal object.

Step 3: Leave it overnight and rinse in the morning.

Step 4: Wipe with a clean cloth.

The rust converter method

Rust converter prevents the rust from further reacting from metal. It does not remove the rust but converts it to a black coating that prevents further rusting of any metal object or surface.

If you intend to paint any metal surfaces or metal objects, the rust converter serves as a primer coating.

Some important notes on rust converter:

  • Always make sure to read the label.
  • Apply product when the temperature is above 50 deg F.
  • Do not pour back any unused excess rust converter back to the bottle.
  • Only use oil-based paint on top coating and not latex paint.

How to use rust converter to remove rust:

Step 1: Prepare the surface by removing rust with a stiff-bristled brush.

The goal is to loosen as much as possible any flaky rust off the object rather than sealing it in.

Step 2: Clean and degrease the surface and let it dry so as not to contaminate the surface that will interfere with the rust converter.

Step 3: Apply a rust converter with the brush on the smaller areas and a roller on larger surfaces.

Step 4: Let it dry for 20minutes but it takes 24 hours to cure. Application for second coating will ensure proper rust conversion.

Step 5: Clean the rust converter from application equipment by using soap and water.

How to remove rust using natural methods

Not fund of chemical solutions for rust cleaner?

There are natural methods that you can use that are more environment-friendly and with minimal risks on your part.

The best part is the ingredients are just a grab away from your kitchen.

White Vinegar

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White vinegar is naturally acidic and its acidity is effective in countering rust in various iron tools or metal items.

How to use for rust removal:

Step 1. Pour vinegar into a bowl.

Step 2: Soak the rusted tool or item in it and leave for 24 hours. If the item is large you can put the vinegar directly to it and leave it soaked for 24 hours.

Step 3: Remove the metal after soaking it for a time.

Step4: Wash thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

You can repeat the process if you deemed it necessary.

Salt and Lemon

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Lemon’s acid and salt abrasive nature are a powerful combination that removes rust stains in metallic objects and keeps them safe from rusting.

How to use for rust removal:

Step 1: Mix salt and lemon juice in a bowl.

Step 2: Pour the mixture on the rusted metal and let it sit for 3-4 hours.

Step 3: Then scrub the surface to remove the rust.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle the salt directly into the rusted item then squeeze a lemon on it. Leave it on for 3-4 hours then scrub away the rust on the surface.

For stainless steel, you can mix lemon juice and cream of tartar and apply on the rusted part then clean it by scrubbing the area. Rinse and wipe clean with a cloth.

Baking soda

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Baking soda is a versatile cleaning agent that is abrasive in nature and can best dissolve rust particles.

How to use:

Step 1: Mix baking soda and water to make a paste.

Step 2: Spread the mixture to the rusted part of the metallic object and leave it for a few minutes.

Step 3: Apply once more a layer of the mixture to the affected part after a few minutes scrub the rust away.

Watch this video for full cleaning methods on how to remove rust.

The Best rust remover in the market

If you find the methods above to be tiresome and exhaustive to do in cleaning the rust off from your metal surfaces, we round up some of the best rust removers out in the market that you can buy and use quickly and easily to your stainless steel items.

1. The Crown Choice hard water, limescale, and rust remover

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The Best Rust Stain Remover (2021) 2

Best Hard Water Stain Remover - Calcium, Lime, Rust Remover

The Best Rust Stain Remover (2021) 2
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  • ✔️ BEST HARD WATER STAIN REMOVER: Clean hard water stains from all surfaces due to mineral deposits
  • ✔️ CLEAN, RESTORE & SHINE: Polish and make porcelain, ceramic, and glass shine again
  • ✔️ GREAT HARD WATER CLEANER: Goodbye to calcium, lime, rust and other minerals


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It’s an all-around cleaning solution that cleans, polish, and restores your surfaces making them shine like new again. Clean tough messes from rust, dirt, limescale, hard water stains and bring back the shine in your kitchen and bathroom. Use it to clean chrome, stainless steel, porcelain, tile, ceramic, and fiberglass surfaces.

It’s safe to use for everyday cleaning.

2. Starbrite rust stain remover

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If you want to eliminate rust stains on surfaces of your RVs, exterior walls of your home, or wherever it will form, the Starbrite rust remover formula is perfect for this.

It works directly in contact with the rust resulting in dissolving oxidation that causes the stains. Just spray it on and no heavy scrubbing is needed.

3. Iron Out outdoor rust stain remover

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If you are looking for a rust stain remover that can e apply outside with our harming your garden, then Iron out outdoor rust stain remover is for you.

You can use it ideally in removing rust stains on vinyl siding or exterior walls, concrete sidewalks, driveways, fences, outdoor equipment, and many other outdoor surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best rust stain remover?

There are many rust stain remover products that are best in cleaning off rust depending on the desired outcome you want to see.

If you prefer a natural way of eliminating rust then you can try the natural ingredients listed above.

If you’re keen on using chemicals, then just be careful in using them.

You may also check out some products in the market like The Crown Choice which is an all-purpose cleaning solution that eliminates rust stains and other stain problems all in one bottle with the price of one.

2. What will remove stains?

You can either use chemically based stain removers or naturally made rust remover. They both are effective in cleaning rust off.

3. Can vinegar remove rust?

Yes. Its natural acidity is what causes the rust to loosen up and eventually disappear on metal surfaces.

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