Does Malt Vinegar Remove Rust?

Do you know that you can use malt vinegar to remove rust from metal tools? The acidic nature of the liquid cuts through the corrosion covering the metal surface and breaks down the rust. While some are skeptical of the effectiveness, some claim it works like magic but does malt vinegar remove rust?

Yes, Malt vinegar does remove rust effectively. The rust on surfaces forms a chemical reaction with malt vinegar and dissolves completely.

It works efficiently because Malt vinegar is a famous rust removal agent with a unique chemical that easily dissolves rusted surfaces. Asides from using it to remove rust, many use malt vinegar to clean dents, stains, and dirt on surfaces.

Also, Malt vinegar makes a good ingredient in a rust-removal solution. Although you can use it in its pure form to remove rust stains, you will make the job quicker and easier if you combine it with an abrasive material such as salt, baking soda, or lemon juice.

Most people at home prefer it because it is safe and easy to use. Also, if you need more information on how to get the correct result, you should read the other part of this article.

What Is Malt Vinegar?

Malt vinegar is a type of vinegar which is made from malting barley of other grains. When making malt vinegar, distilled infusion is allowed from malt grains which ferment into malt vinegar.

What Is Malt Vinegar

The major drawback of using malt vinegar to clean some materials is that it is prone to stains which makes many people prefer white vinegar to it.

However, if you are dealing with iron surfaces and colored metals, malt vinegar remains your best choice to remove rust and corrosion.

Benefits of Using Malt Vinegar to Remove Rust

Using Malt vinegar to remove rust comes with many advantages, which include :

Benefits of Using Malt Vinegar to Remove Rust

  • Good Cleaner and Disinfectant: Because malt vinegar contains acedic acid, it acts as a reactive compound which helps remove rust. Acedic is a strong compound which helps malt acid remove dents and rust easily.
  • Best Vinegar to Use: When considering using other types of vinegar to remove rust, Malt vinegar remains the best. Unlike white distilled vinegar that has a coloring agent, malt vinegar doesn’t have. Not having a coloring agent won’t make it stain surfaces after removing rust. Also, unlike other apple cider and white distilled vinegar with 7% acidity, malt vinegar has a small acid level.
  • Nice Smell: Malt vinegar doesn’t have a strong smell, unlike apple cider vinegar. It is fermented with apple juice which makes its smell nice.

Disadvantages of Using Malt Vinegar to Remove Rust

Here are some disadvantages of using Malt vinegar to remove rust :

Disadvantages of Using Malt Vinegar to Remove Rust

  • Concentration Concerns: Because of the acedic acid it contains, you have to be careful when handling malt vinegar. Acedic acid can burn through your flesh and cause eye rashes. Wear gloves and goggles when using it.
  • Causes Damage on Some Surfaces: Malt vinegar can sometimes harm surfaces at home. Therefore, when surfaces like marble or granite corrode, don’t use them.
  • Dangerous to Plants: Since plants also experience fungi rust at one time or the other, removing rust is inevitable. Using Malt vinegar to get rid of plant rust is a bad idea because it has a low pH level.

How to Prevent Rust from Metal Surfaces?

There are some methods you can use to protect your surfaces from rust and corrosion. Here are some suggestions :

How to Prevent Rust from Metal Surfaces

  • Washing and Waxing: This works well especially for car and bike owners. When you take your vehicle to the car washers, ensure they steam the engines and clean every part of the undercarriage. This helps remove dents which may try to wear off the protective surface of the metal.
  • Galvanizing: Using galvanizing coats of steel or iron to wrap your metal will protect it. Zinc is a good option because it has some rust-resistant properties, which makes it highly effective against corrosion.
  • Blueing: Blueing is a solution which allows you to make some layers of magnetite over the surface. By using these layers, you prevent rust by continuously oiling the iron till it turns black or blue.
  • Powder Coating: To prevent rust, you can apply some powders like epoxy, vinyl and acrylic to protect your steel surfaces. These powders harden the surfaces which slow the rust agents from eating into the steel.

5 Alternative Methods to Remove Rust Apart from Malt Vinegar

Sometimes, even with preventive measures, rust still sets in. When this happens, here are some ideal ways to remove rust:

Using Scrub

You can start removing rust, especially in its early stage using steel wood, brush and sandpaper. Since the surface hasn’t rusted deeply, you could use a little grease, then scrub gently.

Baking Soda

This is a good household item which helps clean stains and dents, but have you tried using it to remove rust? Baking soda when made into a paste could work wonders in rusted pieces.

Baking Soda

Apply the paste to the rust surface and give it some minutes to stick, then use a brush to scrub it off. To remove the rust entirely, you have to repeat it three to four times.


Do you have an unused raw potato lying around? Don’t waste it, it can be useful when trying to rid your surfaces of rust. Slice a piece of potato and scrub roughly along the surface.

It is ideal for small steel like knives, pots and pans. To get a quick result, you can put some salt on the potato, then rub a little on the rusted surface.


Lemon juice also works effectively to remove rust. You just need to add small salt to the rust surface, then squeeze some lemon on top. Leave for 30 minutes, scrub off and clean with water.



There are some good lubricants which can remove rust faster than home made items. These chemicals have tough ingredients like phosphoric acid and oxalic, which can help dissolve rust.

Ensure you take safety precautions before using these chemicals because it could affect your skin and eyes. Wear toggle glasses and rubber gloves before using it.

Be warned, though, that these chemicals are a bit more costly than natural solutions.


Malt Vinegar is a good homemade solution to remove all types of stains and dents in your homes. Does malt vinegar remove rust? Yes, it removes rust from all steel and iron surfaces.

However, preventing your steel surfaces from rust is better using methods like galvanizing, blueing, painting and washing. If all preventive options fail, you can use several rust-removal options like lemon, baking soda potato and chemicals to get rid

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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