Does Alcohol Remove Rust?

If your tools are covered in rust, you are not alone. Thankfully, there are several effective ways to remove that rust without damaging your tools. I’ll show you a few of the best methods while our focus is on alcohol, but of the truth, does alcohol remove rust?

Yes, rubbing alcohol known as isopropyl alcohol (IPA) will remove rust. Many metal cleaners such as metal rescue rust remover baths are made with IPA. Alcohol-based cleaners work especially well on small ferrous metal items as long as they are not painted, lacquered, plated, or anodized.

There are several kinds of alcohol you can use as cleaning agents. Rubbing alcohol refers to various alcohols, including isopropyl and ethyl alcohol, and methyl salicylates. There are various rubbing alcohol products with different alcohol types as the major component.

Also, there are many qualities of alcohol that make it not the best way to remove rust. Since it evaporates so quickly, it can’t soak into and dissolve the rust, and some forms of alcohol may not even be effective at breaking down rust.

In addition, there are some limitations on which metals react well with alcohol and how long it will take for the rust to disappear. Therefore, I advise you to read further to know how to remove rust with alcohol and other ways you can explore to remove rust from materials.

How To Remove Rust With Alcohol?

To remove rust with rubbing alcohol, you can use rubbing alcohol on its own or dilute it with water before using it. To use it, add a drop of the solution to a soft cloth and wipe the rusted area of the item. Ensure that the rag you use is smooth and soft to avoid scratches on the item.

How To Remove Rust With Alcohol

Other Ways To Remove Rust From Material

Aside from using alcohol, there are other ways to remove rust from the material. The different method depends on the item being cleaned. Using simple cleaning methods, you can remove rust from carpets and other soft surfaces. You can also remove rust from knives, spoons, pots, and other hard items. Here are some of the simple and homemade ways of removing rust from items:

Remove Rust From Material

1. Scrub the material

Scrubbing the rusted area is a good way to remove the rust from it. Use sandpaper, steel wool, wire brush, or other tools to scrub the rusted spot of the metal. This method is not sufficient on its own. It simply helps to eliminate the rusted brown flakes on the metal. This will help to prepare the surface for further cleaning. If you want to use other rust remover or materials, preparing the area with scrubbing will make other methods effective.

Scrub the material

2. Clean with vinegar

Vinegar is effective for removing rust from metal. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps remove rust. Pour vinegar on the rusted area and clean the spot with a clean cloth. After a while, the rust on the area will be dissolved and will come off easily. If the item you want to clean is small, you can suck it in the vinegar.

Clean with vinegar

When the rust in the item is dissolved, ensure to rinse off the vinegar from the item. While white vinegar effectively removes stubborn rust stains from items, leftover vinegar on metal is detrimental to it.

3. Clean with potatoes slices

Potato contain oxalic acid that is effective for removing rust stains. So, using potato slices to remove rust is an effective homemade system that is accessible and cheap. To practice this method, cut out potato slices and add baking soda or a pinch of salt to the sliced surface. Then clean the item with it. This effectively cleans items like knife blades, spoons, pots, and other items. The potato slices alone can remove rust without baking soda or salt. Cut the potato and insert the item you want to clean inside, and let it stay for a while. Remove the item and clean it or wash it.

Clean with potatoes slices

4. Clean with cola

Cola is effective in cleaning rust from materials. With a glass of Coke, you can remove rust from your pennies, spoon, knife blade, and other items. Coke contains phosphorus oxide, which is effective in removing rust. The downside of using Coke for dust removal is that the item comes out of the Coke sticky. This can make items difficult to work with at the moment. So if you want to go with this method, ensure to have something to clean up the stickiness from the item before using it.

Clean with cola

5. Clean with baking soda

Baking soda has been known to be effective for several cleaning purposes. But, not many people know that baking soda is also effective for removing rust from items. Baking soda can take off the rust in metals like knives, spoons, and other metal surfaces. To use baking soda for this purpose, make a paste of it with water. Apply on the rusted surface and leave it for a while. Then, scrub off the baking soda with a wire brush, sandpaper, or an alternative. Repeat this process a few times to get an impressive result.

Clean with baking soda

6. Cleaning with lemon juice

lemon juice has been known to be effective in removing stains. Some persons use it for facial care. It is also effective in removing rust from metal surfaces. To use lemon juice, apply salt to the rust spots and add lemon juice to it. Then wipe off with a clean rag. Lemon juice is very effective in this regard. Therefore, it is advisable not to leave it on for too long before wiping it off the surface. Leaving lemon juice on the surface for too long may damage the spot. If the roast is more serious than a mere surface one, you can add vinegar to the lemon juice to get a stronger solution.

Cleaning with lemon juice


Alcohol is very useful for removing rust from items. It is useful for several cleaning services, whether soft or hard. Aside from using alcohol to remove rust, there are other simple methods. You can clean rust from items using Coke, lemon juice, or baking soda. In applying these different methods to removing rust from items, ensure to follow the instructions to get maximum results.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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