How to clean rust off metal with baking soda – two best methods to banish stubborn rust

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Cleaning hack: Simple method to clean pans with baking soda

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Finding rust on metal surfaces or items doesn’t mean they can no longer be used. In fact, baking soda is the perfect way to revive rusty knives, pans and even precious power tools without damaging them – but what’s the best way to use it? These are the two best methods to banish rust from metals using nothing but water and baking soda.

How to clean rust off metal using baking soda

Baking soda is often avoided as a household cleaning agent when it comes to metals, but rust is the one exception.

While the abrasive consistency of this pantry staple can leave scratches or scuffs on some delicate surfaces, it is perfectly fine for use on rust-covered patches.

To successfully banish rust with baking soda, you need to make sure that the consistency and application of the solution are up to scratch.

Make a rust-dissolving paste

In a small container, mix one cup of baking soda with a few drops of water until it forms a thick paste.

The mixture should be spreadable but not runny in order for it to be effective on the rusty residue.

Using a clean paintbrush or small spatula, apply the paste all over the metal.

Layer this on until the rusty spots are completely covered by the white soda solution.

Coat the item in baking soda

Small items such as cutlery and hand tools will be easier to clean using a coat of baking soda, rather than a paste.

For this method, you will need to wet the affected item and roll it in a generous amount of baking soda until the small white granules stick to the surface.

This should be more solid and resemble more of a wet sand than liquid-paste.

Ensure the entire item is coated in the baking soda before scrubbing the rust away.

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Scrub off the excess

Both of these methods will only be effective if the baking soda is left to sit before scrubbing off the excess.

Simply leave the coated items or surface undisturbed for at least one hour to allow the concentrated alkaline to dissolve the oxidised clumps of metal.

Once the solution has been left to seep into the metals, you can start scrubbing the excess off using an abrasive brush or sponge.

Steel wool and wire tools work particularly well for the scrubbing stage of the rust removal.

Gently scrub the affected area using small, quick motions to lift the surface residue.

Rinse the area to reveal the results

As you scrub the metal, you should feel the rust peel away from the surface.

At this point, the metal surface should be smooth and rust free, with only the remnants of the baking soda paste visible.

Rinse the excess paste away using warm water and polish with a clean cloth to reveal the shiny, rust-free metal.

If this hasn’t completely removed the orangey-brown residue, apply more paste and spot treat the remaining spots.

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