Aluminum is a metal most commonly found in our kitchen’s pots, pans, baking pans, and utensils. Believe it or not, this metal is prone to corrosion, which causes our favorite household tools to tarnish and be covered in rust. If you’re looking for information on how to remove rust from aluminum, keep reading.
Surprisingly, when water from everyday use has not been adequately removed from aluminum, it jump-starts an oxidation process in the metal. Over time, this corrosion can leave wear and tear on your once perfectly shiny pots and pans. Putting in a bit of elbow grease leaves your kitchen and house tools looking brand new.
- Ways to Clean Rust from Aluminum with a Few Tools and Ingredients
- Ways to Remove Rust from Aluminum using Steel Wool or Sandpaper
- Remove Rust from Aluminum using Aluminum Foil
- Removing Rust from Aluminum with Condiments and Vegetables
Ways to Clean Rust from Aluminum with a Few Tools and Ingredients
Removing rust from aluminum may sound like a difficult task, but there are many standard household tools and ingredients that put in most of the hard work for you. If you have scrubbing pads and aluminum foil at home, you’re already in good shape.
If you have baking soda and condiments in the fridge, you’re even closer to quickly removing rust from aluminum in your home. Here are some tips and recipes that are smart ways to clean rust from aluminum.
Ways to Remove Rust from Aluminum using Steel Wool or Sandpaper
Using steel wool and sandpaper are both effective ways to remove rust from aluminum. Steel wool contains a bundle of fine fibers that easily scrub away hardened grease and stains. Sandpaper is often kept in the garage, but you can bring it inside to help remove rust.
Scrubbing pads are okay too, but be careful not to use any metal objects you find. The key when using either of these on aluminum is to make sure they’re not too coarse. High-grade steel wool or high-grit sandpaper do more damage and leave scratches in the metal.
Fine grade, 0000 steel wool or 100 grit sandpaper are both gentle enough not to scratch the aluminum, while still strong enough to scrub away any signs of erosion. Take your aluminum pot, pan, or tool and gently scrub a small area to make sure you’re not causing any damage to the metal.
Once you’ve determined it’s safe, rub over any spots that contain rust. Wash the object how you usually would. Dry with a clean cloth and make sure you didn’t miss any spots.
Repeat if necessary. This tactic is great for any light rust spots that aren’t overly corroded and can be used for other purposes like cleaning aluminum window blinds.
Remove Rust from Aluminum using Aluminum Foil
No, this isn’t a joke. It is possible to remove rust from aluminum with aluminum. Take your aluminum foil and create a large ball. Aluminum foil has a shiny side and a duller side.
Make sure the shiny side is facing out and scrub the foil ball on a small test area to ensure you don’t scratch the metal. Rub foil ball over remaining rust spots. Wash the metal as you usually would.
Using aluminum foil is an effortless way to get rid of any small rust stains, as well as any grease or grime that doesn’t come off when washed.
Removing Rust from Aluminum with Condiments and Vegetables
What can you do with cream of tartar, ketchup, cola, and potatoes? A whole lot more than you ever thought was possible. Check out these DIY recipes to make rust remover for aluminum.
Cream of Tartar Rust Remover for Aluminum
Although cream of tartar is usually only used a few times a year for baking, a lot of households already have a small jar in the cupboard.
This ingredient is an acidic byproduct of the wine-making process, and the acid in it acts as an ally when removing rust from aluminum.
Combine cream of tartar with baking soda. Slowly add hydrogen peroxide until a thick paste forms. Rub on aluminum and let sit for one hour. Wash away paste with hot water. This recipe is a unique yet effective way to remove rust from your aluminum tools.
How to Remove Rust from Aluminum with Ketchup
You may think ketchup is only suitable for putting on hamburgers and hotdogs, but this unique ingredient is packed with citric acid, making it robust against rust spots.
When combined with washing soda, a chemical compound often used in laundry stain removal, this ingredient leaves your aluminum looking fresh and clean.
In a spray bottle, combine equal parts washing soda and warm water. Spray on aluminum. Cover aluminum in ketchup and let sit for two hours.
With warm water, rinse away ketchup and wash with soap and water. Who knew that a great cast aluminum cleaner would come from this delicious condiment?
Using Potatoes to Remove Rust from Aluminum
Potatoes are another surprising ingredient that can help remove rust from aluminum. These root vegetables are high in oxalic acid and, when used on aluminum, create a chemical reaction that easily dissolves rust spots.
There are two approaches to using potatoes for rust removal. You can either stick a small object like silverware or garden tools into the potato and leave it overnight. Give it a quick rinse, and it is ready to be used again.
You can also peel and cut a potato in half and use it as a scrubbing tool. Cover your aluminum in baking soda and scrub all over with the potato half. The potato lifts any residue from the rusted area.
Using Cola to Remove Rust
If you haven’t learned it by now, acids are a crucial element in removing any rusting from aluminum. Using dark sodas like Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper provide surprising ways to clean rust from aluminum. These dark sodas contain phosphoric acid that eats away at rust.
Using this ingredient is easy. Soak your aluminum in cola overnight. Use a toothbrush or wire brush to scrub away any tougher areas. Wash the metal with dish soap and clean water to give your aluminum a rust-free finish.
Remove Rust with Vinegar or Lemon Juice
We all know the cleaning powers of vinegar and lemon juice. These are two household ingredients that have been used in DIY cleaning recipes for years, and they make no exception when removing rust from metal. If you’re looking for a reliable way to clean rust, this recipe won’t disappoint.
Cover aluminum with table salt. Squeeze lemon juice or vinegar over the salt and let sit for up to one hour. Use a scouring pad or clean cloth to buff away rusted areas. Wash and dry normally. Using vinegar as rust remover eats away at any corrosion, and the table salt assists in fighting the areas that need more scrubbing.
Although this article has taught you how to remove rust from aluminum, make sure not to use these on all metal surfaces found in the home. Metals like stainless steel can easily be scratched, so be sure to double-check that the item you’re cleaning is aluminum.
These tips and recipes also make a great weekend home improvement project. Ditch commercial rust removers and make your own homemade remedies to remove stubborn rust stains. They’re quick and make all of the aluminum in your home shine like new.
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