How to Remove Rust from Metal. Cleaning rust off small metal objects is easy!
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Recently I decided to fix up the old plastic Little Tikes swing that my husband’s family passed down to us. It’s the OLD swing from the 80s with the scratchy rope… I DISTINCTLY remember this same rope on our swings. I made strap covers for the swing a while back, but finally decided to replace the rope and paint the swing. There will be another post about that. But today I want to show you how easy it is to remove rust from small items. I wanted to use the old “S” hooks rather than replace them with completely new ones. It just made more sense (and fewer store trips) to fix the old hooks.
This was such a simple fix too and very satisfying. Let me show you how.
Supplies to Remove Rust
- Rusted item
- Vinegar- I used special cleaning vinegar which is more acidic than normal vinegar. Be careful, it’s not for drinking, lol.
How to Remove Rust from Metal S Hooks
Rust, otherwise known as iron oxide, happens when iron is exposed to moisture. The best way to prevent rusting is to keep your metal dry- or wipe them dry after they get wet. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible for everything and many iron items are used outdoors- such as our S hooks for the swingset.
I started out with a red cup and a mix of cleaning vinegar and water.
I dropped my rusted S hooks in the cup. And I let them sit… and sit… and sit…
At one point I took them out to see if the rust would come off easily. It didn’t so I stuck them back in.
This is rust that’s built up since the 80s. I think I left it for 24 hours or so. At this point, I was able to take the metal out and scrub the rust off easily. Some people say to scrub with something soft like a lemon rind so the metal won’t scratch. These S hooks don’t need to be pretty so it was no big deal to scratch them up a little.
Super easy huh? I was pretty excited.
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