Learning how to remove rust is so simple you might just kick yourself for any old rusty tool or toy that you once threw away.
Learning what causes rust may be the first step, though. Rust is the actual metal itself reacting with oxygen from moisture (such as rain, humidity, etc).
It's important to know that rust is NOT simply a funky substance ON your metal; it is the metal itself oxidizing, breaking down. It's important to know this because when removing rust you are actually removing some of the metal itself (unless of course you're removing it from something that doesn't rust, like fabric). This means it's important to prevent rust, not just remove it, or else you'll be wearing down your item over time.
In order to safely remove rust you'll need an acidic substance, such as those listed below.
I have a bad habit of leaving my safety razor in the shower. Forgetting to dry it off causes it to rust, not exactly something you want to be shaving with. Thankful the handle itself it pretty rust-proof, but it can still collect rust from the blade.
I use this technique to remove rust from my razor, as well as all other metals, fabric, and most other surfaces.
For most household purposes, how to prevent rust boils down to controlling moisture. Drying things off properly, fixing any leaks, ventilating areas, and investing in a dehumidifier solve a lot of problems.
In some cases, extra steps may need to be taken. Cleaning and waxing your vehicle (especially if you leave near the ocean or drive over salt-treated snowy roads), covering vehicles or boats, slightly oiling tools (I'm thinking linseed oil would be the safest route over many of the commercial rust inhibitors), and so on all help to keep water and oxygen from reacting with the metal by creating a protective barrier.
And then, of course, simply keeping things clean, put away and keeping metals from fabrics, carpets, upholstery, etc will all help to prevent rust.
Learning how to prevent rust naturally is one simple step toward sustainability.
When you're ready for a few more steps check out the articles below.
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
#1-174 For references on this or other pages, please visit environmental articles.
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