Does Degreaser Remove Rust?

Removing rust can be a difficult and frustrating task. Degreaser is advertised as an effective rust remover, but it isn’t strong enough to remove deep stains. Degreaser is an over-the-counter product that removes grease, wax, and caked-on food, does degreaser remove rust?

Yes, rust can be removed with a degreaser. A degreaser is a cleaner designed to remove grease and other contaminants from mechanical parts. Degreasers usually consist of a surfactant and a solvent. However, it might take a while to see the result.

Technically, a degreaser is mainly used to remove grease from mechanical parts. Still, it can also remove rust by breaking down layers of rust when a rusted material is soaked in it, after which a scrub brush is used to brush the remaining rust particles away.

As you read further, you will see how to use a degreaser to remove rust and the precautions to take when removing rust with a degreaser

Is Degreaser a Solvent?

Degreaser as the name implies is an industrial solvent that often contains polyhalogenated hydrocarbons that can be used to get rid of grease from mechanical parts.

Is Degreaser a Solvent

Here are two types of degreaser:

  • Oil-based degreaser: Oil-based degreasers are categories of degreasers that are in the form of oil. They are so flammable and toxic that when a small quantity of it touches ground or surface water, pollution and contamination occur. Caution should be applied when using them.
  • Water-based degreaser: Water-based degreasers are categories of degreasers that are in the form of water. This type of degreaser is safe for the environment, and also for personal use.

How to Use Degreaser to Remove Rust from a Material?

Throwing away metallic materials that have become rusty is not always the best way. There are several ways through which you can remove and clean rust from metallic materials, and one of these ways is by soaking the material in a solvent like a degreaser.

How to Use Degreaser to Remove Rust from a Material

To remove rust from metallic materials using a degreaser, follow these steps:

  • Clean the material to remove the flakes or particles of rust that have broken away from the metal.
  • Use a degreaser and scouring pad to remove some layers of rust that have built up on the metal.

To do this, soak a clean fabric or scouring pad in a degreaser, remove it and then use force to wipe off the rust from the metal. This process is also known as “the sanding method.”

What Is the Sanding Method?

The sanding method serves as a good first step for rust removal from metallic tools or objects. It involves using a degreaser, if necessary, to clean metallic tools by soaking a piece of fabric in a degreaser and using it to wipe off rust or debris.

What Is the Sanding Method

The process is tasking but it helps to get rid of a reasonable quantity of rust from metal.

If you still notice some particles of rust on the metal which wasn’t removed after doing what’s on step 2, do the following:

  • Get a toothbrush that has hard bristles.
  • Soak the material in a degreaser again for about twenty minutes.
  • Use the toothbrush you got in step 1 to scrub the metal vigorously to remove the remaining stubborn rust.
  • Rinse the metallic material with hot water.

This hot water will help to clean off the degreaser or its remnants from the metal.

Note: You can shake or wiggle the metallic material while soaking it in the degreaser, to shake off some broken and free rust particles.

Precautions To Take When Using Degreaser to Soak Metallic Materials

To prevent accidents and injuries from occurring when using a degreaser to soak metals, do the following:

Precautions To Take When Using Degreaser to Soak Metallic Materials

  • Wear protective hand gloves to prevent the degreaser from touching your hand while you are wiggling the material to shake off the rust.
  • Do not come too close to the soaked material, you can shake it from a small distance to avoid the degreaser splashing on your body, especially if it’s the oil-based type.
  • Wear an eye shield to ensure that the degreaser doesn’t touch your eyes in case it splashes off while shaking the material.

Is WD-40 a Degreaser?

Yes, WD-40 which is widely known as a lubricant can also serve as a degreaser. It was originally used by the aerospace industry as an anti-corrosive product for preventing rusting in aircraft. But WD-40 which is a multipurpose product has other uses including rust removal from metals like stainless steel and iron without scratching the paint or affecting the metal’s surface.

Is WD-40 a Degreaser

WD-40 is a great surface rust loosening and removal agent, with an easy application; just spray it on the surface of the metal, then wait for about ten minutes before scrubbing it off with an abrasive tool like a clean wire brush.

After spraying, the lubricating qualities of the product will loosen the bond holding the rust particles on the metal surface before acting on the rust, making it easier for removal. You can also apply this product to any metallic object or tool to serve as protection against rust after the first use.

Note: Before using this degreaser product on your tool or metal, test a small portion of the material with the product first to make sure that it won’t cause damages to the material.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Can Grease Remove Rust?

No, grease cannot remove rust, but it can soften the layers so that the rust can easily be removed. If you want to remove rust, use WD-40 or household products like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda, or any chemical specifically made for rust removal.

What is Solvent Degreasing?

Solvent degreasing is used to prepare the metallic parts of a machine for operations like painting or electroplating. It’s a process that uses alcohol, chlorine, or petroleum-based solvents to melt and get rid of fluids or contaminants on machine parts where it’s applied.


A degreaser can remove rust after breaking down the rust layers on the surface of a metallic object.

You can use a rag soaked in degreaser or scouring pad to forcefully wipe off the rust from the metal’s surface, or you soak the object in a degreaser for some time, then use a toothbrush with hard bristles to scrub off the rust.

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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