Rust stains are common around drains, on tools, and even of flatware. Store bought rust removers use toxic chemicals to remove rust, but our eco-friendly rust remover recipes will help you get rid of rust stains while protecting your health and the environment. Check out our other homemade green cleaning recipes for more eco cleaning inspiration.
Quick Facts: Health Hazards of Common Rust Removers
- 1-1-1 Trichloroethane solvents (Tetrachloroethylene, ethene, ethylene): Liver and kidney damage if ingested; a known carcinogen.
- Xylene: This is a potential carcinogen, as well as a known neurotoxin and will cause developmental. It also irritates nose, throat, and eyes and can lead to vomiting.
DIY Green Cleaning Recipes for Rust Remover
- White vinegar rust remover: Put some white vinegar on a soft cloth and rub the rust spot until it is removed. If you have several rusted items, such as jar lids, pour some white vinegar in a container large enough to accommodate several lids at a time and soak them.
- Vinegar and baking soda rust remover: Make a paste by combining 1 cup of white vinegar with 1/3 cup baking soda. Scrub the rust stain with the paste, let sit a few minutes, and then rinse with water.
- Borax and lemon juice rust remover: Combine equal parts lemon juice and borax to form a wet paste. Rub the paste on the rust stain, and then let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse with water to remove the paste.
- Lemon and salt rust remover: Coat a lemon half with salt. Scrub the rust stain with the lemon until the stain is removed; add more salt if necessary.
- Potato or onion rust remover: Cut a raw potato or a raw onion in half. Simply rub the potato or onion half on the rust stain until it is removed. If you need to scrub a large portion of rust, slice off a thin portion of the potato or onion to expose a fresh layer as needed.
Dig Deeper: Chemicals in Typical Rust Removers
Image via richard_north