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Remove and avoid any rust - with cutlery, car and bicycle

  • Combat corrosion - the best professional tips
    • Difference: rust and corrosion
    • Prevent the rust of the air
    • Corrosion control of small parts
    • Desolder components on vehicles
  • Tips for quick readers

Corrosions are annoying. They value an object heavily and make its use uncomfortable. Moreover, even a slight rust is always the harbinger of incipient destruction, which will sooner or later make the use of the whole product impossible. Rust and other corrosion can hardly be stopped. That it comes to a rust formation is inevitable. But you can keep it under control with simple measures. Find out everything you need to know to combat rust and other corrosion in this guide.

Combat corrosion - the best professional tips

What is a corrosion "> Difference: rust and corrosion

The corrosion is only generally speaking, the connection of metals with oxygen. This can be done by normal atmospheric oxygen. Likewise, many acids are highly corrosive. A strong catalyst for the formation of rust is water.

Rust is a form of corrosion. It refers to the species in which enrichment with oxygen results in gradual, complete destruction of the metal product. It is therefore called "rusting" or "rusting through". Such rust damage, for example to housings or bodies, can only be repaired consuming by welding repair sheets.


The destructive effect of rust on iron is that the oxide layer in turn becomes permeable to air and water. The flash rust transforms a surface of ferrous metal into a finer and finer dust, until finally the product is completely decomposed.

But there are also metals in which the oxide layer forms an airtight surface. This is for example aluminum or silver. The surfaces discolour slightly (aluminum) to strong (silver), but the destructive effect of rusting remains largely absent in these materials. However, this only applies to normal corrosion by air and water. There are indeed acids that are able to decompose aluminum, silver and even gold. These occur in the normal environment of a commodity but only rarely.


For this reason, the ferrous sheets of bodies or casings sooner or later completely rust, while the products of aluminum or silver only discolor slightly on contact with air. Copper rusty also destructive, which can lead to problems especially in electrical contacts.

Prevent the rust of the air

The best way to combat the rust is that its formation is prevented. Since rust is a consequence of exposure of bare metal to air and moisture, effective sealing is an appropriate measure. Therefore, any small scratches on a sheet metal housing or on a body should be immediately repaired and painted over. Once the rust has found a point of attack, he seeks his way through the whole metal. In a car, the non-visible areas are particularly problematic. Therefore, it is important not to neglect the underbody protection and to provide the spars with a cavity seal.

However, some products can not be painted because they are mechanically stressed. These include, for example, bicycle chains. Here, oil and grease can take on the task of sealing. However, these lubricants do not last forever. Therefore, metal products that can be oiled or lubricated must be regularly inspected for lubrication. For example, light lubrication of plug contacts on vehicles is also particularly important. The contacts are mostly made of copper or aluminum. The flowing current promotes corrosion, which is why a contact grease can significantly increase the reliability of the electrical connection.

But there are technical components that prohibit any rust prevention. These include, for example, brake discs and brake drums. These quickly form a layer of rust in the presence of moisture. If the car is left for a long time, this rust can also look very unaesthetic. Nevertheless, the only thing allowed here against the rust is to move the vehicle and apply the brake. The brake pads grind down the rust again until the disc is blank.

Oil or grease on the brake disc would prevent the braking effect and make moving the vehicle very dangerous.

Corrosion control of small parts

In the fight against rust and tarnished spots, it depends on how big there is to be cleaned part. Cutlery, tools or jewelry can be handled well in buckets. Large parts, however, require other measures. A normal household already has many possibilities for effective control of rust.

Salt and vinegar with silver cutlery

Taked silver cutlery or jewelery can be flashed with two simple tricks, without having to laboriously wiener. This requires:

  • A bowl of warm water
  • A piece of silver foil
  • salt

The silver foil is placed in the bowl and poured on the warm to hot water. The hotter the water, the better the effect. Then the salt is stirred in and placed the objects to be cleaned in the water. After 30-60 minutes, the silver is shiny again.

Instead of hot water you can also use vinegar or citric acid. This has the advantage that it penetrates a little better in the intermediate crevices. The reconversion of tarnished silver into bare metal is an electrolytic reaction.

Heavy guns: electricity and soda

The tool collection of grandfather certainly had a great value for him. But the heirs often do not recognize much more in the files, pliers and hammers than a large pile of scrap metal. But throwing that away now would be a big waste. A simple but very effective trick can help the tools to shine with the help of electricity and soda.

You need:

  • full car battery or a battery charger with 12 V output voltage
  • big, old bucket or plastic tub (Important: use plastic, no metal container!)

The size according to the amount of objects to be de-rusted.

  • old power cable (0.5-1 meter)
  • Piece of old metal that you do not need anymore
  • Soda (about 1 bag per 10 liters of water)


1. Disassemble the old power cable into its individual strands. Remove at the tips the insulation in length of approx. 10-15 cm.

2. Take the black cable and wrap it around the object that you want to derust.

3. Take the blue (or red) cable and connect it to the "sacrificial sheet"

4. Place the wired sacrificial sheet and the object to be cleaned in the tub. Ideal is when both are hung up. These are, for example, wire hangers. The sacrificial sheet and the object to be cleaned should be as close as possible to each other. But you must not touch! As soon as they touch, the de-rusting process becomes ineffective!

5. Now pour enough water into the tub until the object to be cleaned is covered with water at least 1 cm.

6. Add the soda. 1 sachet of soda per 10 liters of water is sufficient. But you can not overdose.

7. Now connect the red or blue cable with the sacrificial sheet to the PLUS pole of the charger.

8. Connect the black cable to the object to be cleaned with the MINUS pole of the charger

9. Turn on the charger.

The process of rust removal starts very quickly. The rust rust virtually wanders away from the object to the sacrificial sheet. The water bubbles strongly. The gas that is produced is hydrogen. This is actually safe, but it is still advisable to ensure good ventilation. It is very exciting to watch the rust falling from the object.

This method is particularly suitable for heavily rusted objects. A good result can be expected after 12-36 hours. Before removing the object, please switch off the charger. The object is rubbed off with a dry cloth and the condition of the rust removal is checked. If the rust is completely removed, it can be sealed. For this purpose, as mentioned, paint, preservative or oil is suitable. The remaining water is now strongly colored red. However, this is just the normal iron oxide and is completely non-toxic. It can be disposed of through the spout.

Desolder components on vehicles

Treat chrome parts with cola and aluminum foil

Chromed rims of bicycles, lamp holders of motorcycles or chrome trim on cars are actually well protected against rust. Nevertheless, even a small crack in the surface of the hard chrome can penetrate the flash rust. The result is the ugly rust stains, which greatly diminish the aesthetic appearance of a component. Here a simple measure helps. You need:

  • A plastic bowl
  • A bottle of Coca-Cola
  • aluminum foil

The coke is put in the bowl and crumpled with a handful of aluminum foil. The lump of aluminum foil is now dipped into the coke and thus scrubbed over the areas to be cleaned. The effect is visible very quickly and is equally suitable for bicycles and motorcycles. Then the component should be sealed with a little spray oil. But do not take too much, oil easily absorbs dirt. This then leads to unsightly results after the next trip.

Removal of small rust spots in the car

Cars are heavily exposed to the weather. Small scratches in the paint can therefore quickly lead to rusting of the sheets. The sooner you get active, the lower the consequential damage that can be caused by a rust stain. A particularly effective method is working with rust converter. You need:

  • Bottle rust converter (brand quality, for example "NIGRIN", costs approx. 7 Euro / 100 ml bottle)
  • wire brush
  • sandpaper
  • cloth
  • Primer (tin about 5 euros)
  • For outer panels: paint pen

The method is particularly suitable in the interior. Rust damage to the outer panel should only be repaired by laymen if it is a matter of very small specks of flash rust. As a rule of thumb, you can say that anything that can be repaired with a paint pen can be tried by a layman. But once sprayed, a professional should take care of it.

The rust converter is generously distributed in the rusted area and allowed to act according to the instructions on the packaging. What remains is a black coating that can easily be wiped away. Then sand off and seal with the spray primer - done. When there are rusty spots on the subfloor, it should be additionally sealed with underbody protection.

Bring aluminum back to a shine

Aluminum forms an oxide layer as soon as it is exposed to the air. However, in contrast to iron oxide, aluminum oxide forms an airtight, closed surface. In addition, aluminum only discolors slightly when it oxidizes. While iron turns red and flaky, aluminum only darkens slightly when it starts. But that changes when the alloy is exposed to an aggressive environment. Salt water, soapy water and many other chemicals cause aluminum to bloom, corrode and scarify. In the best case - for example, if you have inadvertently put an espresso maker in the dishwasher - the aluminum only darkens a little and turns bluish. In the worst case, deep scars occur, for example on aluminum wheels used in winter. These must be ground with difficulty. Overall, the cleaning of aluminum can be implemented only with suitable means and tools. Although aluminum is a fairly light metal, but the oxide layer can be very persistent, which can be removed only with great effort and effort.

Tips for quick readers

  • Cola and aluminum foil for cleaning chrome wheels
  • Citric acid and aluminum foil for cleaning silver jewelry
  • Alternatively: salt, vinegar and aluminum foil
  • Electrolytic rust removal with soda, water and electricity
  • Never put aluminum products in the dishwasher
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