Rust is capable of forming on lots of different objects. If met with the right conditions, rust build-up can be hard to remove and can potentially damage surfaces it comes into contact with. Many household items can be used to remove rust, such as vinegar and baking soda.

You can easily use items like vinegar and baking soda to remove stubborn rust. You can use these items alone, together, or add other elements to eliminate harmful rust. While this process may take longer, it’s a great way to save money and avoid the harmful chemicals that are in other rust removers.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how you can remove rust with tools like vinegar and baking soda, as well as how to get the best results when using these items on your rusted materials. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, keep on reading.

Option #1: Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Water

The first rust removing option we’ll be discussing involves just a few small ingredients. For this option, all you’ll need is salt, vinegar, baking soda, and water.

Below, we’ll go step by step into how you can successfully use these at home materials to remove unwanted rust and residue.

  1. First, fill up a plastic container with ½ cup salt and ½ gallon vinegar.
  2. If you’re trying to tackle more stubborn rust, try white vinegar when creating your solution. It’s also important to use a container that’s large enough to completely submerge all your items.
  3. After you’ve successfully created your solution and placed your items in the container, allow them to soak for 10 to 12 hours. After that amount of time has passed, pour out the solution in the container while keeping your materials inside.
  4. Rinse off your materials, so any leftover residue comes off. Now fill up that same container with ½ freshwater and ½ baking soda so any remaining vinegar on your materials will neutralize.
  5. After about 10 minutes of your materials soaking in this new solution, rinse your items with warm water and dry them thoroughly. You should be able to see results instantly, and this is a great option for treating multiple items at once.

This option is popular for treating lots of utilities all at once, and it’s an environmentally friendly way to remove rust without getting harsh chemicals and cleaners involved.

Below, we’ll keep exploring multiple options in which baking soda and vinegar are used.

Option #2: White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Aluminum Foil

Unlike the first option, this choice isn’t for submerging items but tackling specific locations where rust has formed, usually in smaller spaces.

All you’ll need for this option is white vinegar, baking soda, and a piece of aluminum foil. As is stated above, white vinegar will be more effective than other forms of vinegar, so it’s best to go with that.

  1. First, you’ll want to spray white vinegar onto the area you’re trying to treat.
  2. After you’ve sprayed an appropriate amount of vinegar onto the rust, follow that by sprinkling baking soda on top of the vinegar you’ve just applied to your item.
  3. Once you’ve applied both of these ingredients, you can now go in with your aluminum foil. Use your foil by taking it and rolling it up into a ball, and cleaning the surface you wish to treat.
    You’ll want to be gentle when going in with your foil, as you don’t want to damage your materials and leave scratches. It’s important to clean with the grain when you use this method to avoid any kind of scratching.

This is a popular option to consider when cleaning surfaces like stainless steel sinks. No matter what method you use, using solutions made up of vinegar and baking soda really comes in handy.

Depending on the size, shape, and the amount of rust you’re trying to clear, you’ll want to consider and explore all of these options the next time you’re looking to eliminate rust quickly.

Option #3: Baking Soda and Water

Using just baking soda and water is another option you have in terms of removing rust.

Mixing baking soda and water is another quick way to watch rust fall away without having to use toxic materials.

Mix these two elements into a thick paste and then allow them to sit on your rusted item. After a good amount of time, scrub it off and wash it off with water.

You can use a small bristle brush like a toothbrush to get off all the access paste. There is no specific amount of baking soda or water that needs to be used here, just as long as you are able to create a thick consistency with your materials.

This is a quick way to remove rust when you may not have any white vinegar on hand.

In the video below, you can see a step by step into how exactly you can remove rust with baking soda and water.

Option #4: White Vinegar

Here’s an option that only requires one ingredient, and that’s white vinegar.

Simply submerge your items in a container with nothing but white vinegar and allow it to sit for about 24 hours. Alternatively, if you don’t wish to submerge and soak your items, you can always apply the vinegar to a cloth and swipe away at the rust.

This option might take longer than the others, but it’s an easy way to loosen up built-up rust on your items. Once your item is done soaking in the white vinegar, it’ll be a lot easier to clean off.

Option #5: Tartar, Baking Soda, and Hydrogen Peroxide

If you have a sweet tooth, you just might have tartar in your kitchen. For this option, all you’ll need is tartar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.

A baking essential like tartar can actually aid your materials in eliminating rust. Below we’ll go step by step into how you can use these three items to remove rust successfully.

First, you’ll want to get a bowl and get your three ingredients ready.

While there’s no required measurement or exact amount, as long as you add the same amount of tartar and baking soda to your solution, you’ll successfully be able to achieve a paste-like consistency.

Once both of these have been mixed, slowly pour your hydrogen peroxide until you have created a thick consistency with all three ingredients. Once your solution has been made, you can let it sit in the bowl, or you can just rub the solution onto your materials.

Whichever way you prefer doing it, let your materials sit in your solution for at least an hour.

Option #6: Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

For a different option that also involves baking soda, adding an acidic element like lemon will definitely get the job done.

Similar to some of the other options that we’ve explored, this solution does not require a specific measurement. As long as you use the same amount of both in your mixture, you’ll be able to successfully make a paste that will remove all forms of rust.

For smaller objects, you could easily soak your items into a container, or for tackling larger objects, you can dip a soft cloth into your solutions and apply it that way.

In the video above, we see how this solution can be used in and around larger pieces of machinery. This another great way to use household products to avoid coming into contact with potent and harsh rust removers

Option #7: Lemon Juice and Vinegar

Somewhat similar to the option listed above, this is a very strong solution that’s great if you don’t have baking soda on hand.

You can wipe down your rusted materials with a cloth that has your solution on it, or you can allow your materials to soak. Soaking your materials is a good choice if you have more residue you need to remove.

Not only will your materials be rust free using lemon juice and vinegar, but your materials will be rust free and even smell like citrus!

Related: Will Vinegar Remove Paint From Metal?


Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of different ways you can remove rust with vinegar and baking soda.

We explored eight different options you can use to successfully remove stubborn rust and residue. Whether you’re using both ingredients, just one, or choose to implement others such as salt and lemon, you can definitely make a big difference.

No matter what option you choose to implement, you will be successful in making a difference in terms of removing rust and improving the appearance of your items.

Depending on the size and amount of build-up, you may want to either soak or wipe your materials down, which is something to consider when making these solutions.

So the next time you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to remove rust with household products, you have plenty of options if you have baking soda and vinegar lying around.

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