How to Clean Rusty Tools to Make Them Look Brand New

If your old tools are rusted or beginning to rust, don’t throw them out! Some of the best tools are your old tools so don’t give up on them — just restore them!

Rust forms when your tool is exposed to both water and oxygen for an extensive amount of time. While rust forming on your tools is bound to happen, it’s still annoying.

Here’s how to clean rusty tools and have them look brand new!

Joe Truini removing rust from tools
Rust leaves your tools looking worse for wear. There’s a Simple Solution to fix this problem!

How to Clean Rusty Tools

The first thing you want to do when removing rust from your tools is to get a plastic bin big enough to fit your rusted tools. Next, pour white vinegar over the tools so they are submerged in the liquid and let them sit for forty-eight hours.

While they’re soaking, you should be able to see some of the sediment coming off of the tools. After they are done soaking, take a small wire brush and scrub the rust off of the tool.

It should come off rather easily! Once the rust is off, make sure to dry your tools very well. Then spray them with some lubricant of your choice and you’re done!

Watch the video above for more information!

Further Reading


  1. Cleaning vinegar is still better than white vinegar. In fact almost 20 times stronger.
    With cleaning vinegar 24 hs is generally more than enough to clean the most rusted tool or object.
    Another way is to clean with electrolysis, but this is more complex and messy and reserved for complex objects.
    I have used both methods and also citric acid. All of them work fine.

  2. I have some old leather sheaf knives that were spoiled by water. I understand the cleaning of the blade. Any ideas on cleaning the leather?

    • Hi, Roger!
      We’re always looking for homeowners to call into our radio show and ask questions directly to Danny and Joe. We’ve reviewed your question and shared it with our radio producer.
      Take care.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here