While oxidation of metals may be a health hazard in many cases, for homeowners it is just plain ugly and detracts from the look of a property as well. It is a common problem, and one that many people simply accept as a fact of life. For those that choose to fight back, finding workable rust removal methods is the best option.
The success of a rust remover often depends on the extent of the problem. Different methods will produce varying degrees of success. The size and location of the items also impacts effectiveness.
What Causes Rust?
It comes as no surprise that this is a commonly encountered problem. In fact, it is difficult to imagine any home that has not dealt with this at one time or other.
It is basically a reaction of iron or steel to the presence of moisture. When the metal becomes wet, oxygen acts on the surface of the metal.
This produces what is known as iron oxide. This eats away at the metal, causing significant damage if allowed to go unchecked.
Despite the best efforts of homeowners oxidation is difficult to prevent. Leaking pipes, rain and any number of water sources can cause metal to become wet.
Realistically, it is impossible to protect metal at home from contact with water. This makes rust removal an important consideration for homeowners. It should be part of any home maintenance schedule.
How To Perform Rust Removal
In some cases, simply tossing out rusted items is the best solution. This is not an option for everyone. When valuable or irreplaceable items are involved, the decision to dump them is difficult. The cost of replacing these items makes it difficult to do. For others, the sentimental value of the piece is important.
Whatever the reason, many corroded items can be saved. If the problem is not extensive, some simple remedies might help, including:
* Soaking the items in vinegar: This may take some time and it is not feasible for large objects. After the rust is satisfactorily removed, oil should be applied to minimize the chance of the problem recurring. This method works best with light corrosion.
* Scrubbing with a cola-type soft drink: This popular drink contains an acid that can be used in dealing with corroded metal. For best results it is suggested that the area be scrubbed with aluminum foil after the soda is applied.
This solution is not recommended for complex or large jobs. Plus, working on hard to move items in small spaces isn't easy either.
* Commercial rust removers: these are products that can generally get rid of oxidation quickly and easily. While toxicity and skin reactions can occur, many newer products have eliminated these problems. Finding environmentally friendly commercial products is easy.
Rust removal is necessary to protect treasured items. It also helps maintain the desired look of the home. Using industrial strength removers is generally the method of choice for cleaning large pieces. There are products available that will deal with this common problem safely.