Does Steel Rust In Rain?

Many people are seriously concerned about the effects of rain on steel. Because of its high iron content, steel is more likely to rust than other metals. However, with a zinc coating, weathering steel forms a firm, protective oxide layer that prevents further corrosion. However, does steel rust in rain?

Yes, Steel rusts quickly in rain because of oxygen, which combines with iron in the steel to create iron oxide. Although steel does not rust as fast as iron, it will rust over time.

Therefore, you must always do what is right to keep the steel in good condition and prevent rusting. There are many ways you can prevent and protect the steel, and you can learn the process from the information below.

Factors That Affects The Rate Of Rust In Steel

Most steel will eventually rust when left too exposed outside for long. However, there are some factors which can quicken the speed of corrosion in rust, they include:

Factors That Affects The Rate Of Rust In Steel

1. Acidic water

If the rain that falls on the steel is acidic rain, then expect the steel to rust quickly. Acidic water like saltwater has a dangerous effect on metals like steel.

This is because of the elements in acidic rain like chromium which is dangerous.

2. pH levels of the rain

When the pH levels of the rain is less than 7, it speeds up corrosion rate in steels. pH levels are caused by many factors which include environmental and natural causes.

Those who reside in areas where the air is contaminated should expect their metals to rust quickly.

3. Salt

There is nothing that speeds up rusting more than salt and oxygen. When your steel is exposed to sodium and 02, it will hasten its rusting process.

How To Remove Rust In Steels?

When your steel and metal eventually rust, there are natural and artificial ways to remove the rust. Let us discuss some :

How To Remove Rust In Steels


Using vinegar has been a good rust removal solution on rust. To use this method, you will need to either soak the steel in the vinegar for some hours or use a fabric soaked in vinegar to scrub the steel surface.


Another natural solution to remove rust from steel is using lemon juice. Lemon is a good choice especially when the rusting is in its early stages.

Slice the lemon into half and scrub the rusted surface with the sliced part. After some minutes, clean with fresh water.


Potatoes are also a good way to remove rust from steels. Potatoes contain elements which work against rusting. It takes some time though when using potatoes to remove rust, however it is efficient.


You can soak your rusted steel into a can of Coke for a few hours, get a metal sponge and scrub gently.

Rust removal chemicals

While the above methods are  natural, which might take time, if you want a faster way to remove rust, you can get products like lime-a-way, WD-40 and limescale removal.

How To Keep Your Steel From Getting Rust Quickly?

Here are some tips to keep your steel from corrosion easily :

How To Keep Your Steel From Getting Rust Quickly

  • Dryness: Ensure you protect your steel from having much exposure to rain or moisture. You can get a covering or shade if your steel is outside. Also, whenever you wash your steel appliances, dry immediately and store in a  place with low humidity.
  • Clean: Always ensure your steel remains clean. Too much stains, debris and water allows rust to happen. You can use steam to clean all the steam equipment in your house to reduce rust.
  • Use protective coating: There are some steels which are too big to be covered outside, for these types of steels, they get a protective coating which can fight against rusting. A good example is acrylic latex paints or other oil based paints which are affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can acid rain affect steels?

Yes, acid rain is dangerous to steels and other metal surfaces. Acid rain is toxic and can quickly dissolve calcium and other layers in steel. Asides from steel, zincs copper and bronze are vulnerable to acid.

Are there steels that can withstand prolonged exposure to rain?

Yes, there are some steels which can withstand corrosion from rain. Stainless steel is a prime example that can fight off prolonged exposure to rain.

However, while stainless steel and some metals like aluminum can resist rain causing rust, it is ideal to protect them from other harsh weather conditions like snow and fog.

 Are their metals that don’t react to rain?

Yes, there are metals like Gold which don’t react to rain or moisture. Asides gold, other metals that can resist rust caused by rain are palladium, silver and platinum.

However, while they can resist nitric acid from rain, they will easily be dissolved in hydrochloric acid.

Can rain damage steel?

Yes, rain, especially acidic rain, can adversely affect steel. Rain deposits dangerous acids which can cause rust quickly in steels and other metals like iron and copper.

What are the best ways to protect steel from rust ?

There are both natural and artificial ways to protect your steel from rust caused by rain. You could get a good cover if your steel is outside.

There are patios and excellent awnings which could be useful. Also, you could get oil-based paints to coat your steel against rain. If it is possible, the best way is to keep your steel dry in a place with low humidity.


Rain like other water sources can affect and cause damage to steel and other metals. So, does rain damage steel?

Yes, rain can affect steel negatively. Most steels react badly when they are exposed to rain, however stainless steel resists the acidic elements in rain.

You can prevent your steel from getting rust quickly by protecting it using paints and shades. Furthermore, if your steel is corroded, you can use some natural and chemicals to remove the rust easily.

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.

More Posts - Website

Leave a Comment