How Does WD-40 Remove Rust?

When it comes to household chores, there’s not much that beats a can of trusty WD-40. It can be used to fix everything from creakiest doors to rustiest bike chains, and it’s just as useful in the garden. But what many people don’t know is that WD-40 can be used to remove rust from metal surfaces and even concrete!

The WD-40 company’s flagship product is their multi-use spray, which features the same trade secret formula that was developed for use on Atlas rockets in 1953. The spray is easy to use and has a wide range of uses, including protecting and lubricating mechanical parts, penetrating blocked stubs and draining pools of water. It can also be used to protect surfaces against corrosion and rust, eliminating and preventing moisture build up on non-porous metals.

Regular WD-40 is quite greasy, so it’s not ideal for cleaning surfaces that may be covered with grease or oil. However, the company sells a specialist rust removal soak that can be used on items like steel wheels and tools, enabling you to clean them thoroughly while keeping their finish intact. To use this product, simply remove any dirt and grime from the item that you want to clean and then submerge it into the rust remover solution. Allow the item to soak for 30 minutes, 8 hours or 24 hours, depending on the intensity of the rust and its location. After the soaking period, rinse off the item to remove any remaining rust-removal solution. A nylon brush or scrubbing pad is usually used to get the job done, but in more serious cases a wire scratch brush might be necessary.

While WD-40 can be effective for removing rust from steel surfaces, it’s not recommended for use on painted surfaces. The rust-removal process can leave behind a residue that can cause staining, and the WD-40 is not designed to be sprayed directly onto paint. However, in the case of a rusty bicycle chain, it’s a good idea to use the multi-use WD-40 and not the specialized de-rust spray as this will not damage the bike’s finish or components.

It’s best to test any rust removal methods on an isolated piece of the object you are working with. Be sure to follow all safety precautions, especially when using a flammable product like WD-40. For example, always use the product in a well-ventilated area and wear rubber gloves when handling. Moreover, never apply WD-40 to bare skin, as it can cause burning or irritation. It’s also a good idea to read the manufacturer’s guidelines for any products that you are using, as they may offer alternative methods that could be more suitable for your situation.