Does WD-40 Remove Rust?

WD-40 has multiple uses, but one of the most popular is to clean electrical contacts. It is excellent for removing grease, grime, dirt, and debris from most surfaces. It also protects metal surfaces from corrosion, ideal for tools and machinery. But does wd-40 remove rust?

Yes, WD-40 not only removes rust but also penetrates stuck parts, liberates stuck locks and corroded mechanisms, displaces moisture, and lubricates just about anything. With its wide range of uses, you will find it resourceful in your home, garage, office, and workshop.

Rust is not friendly, either with its ugly appearance on iron or its corrosive feature on household items, which can be frustrating. So often, when our metallic items or tools start rusting, many assume they are doomed and trash them. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case with the cleansing action of WD-40.

The rust-removing ingredient in WD-40 is powerful and is not a detergent. However, if allowed to sit long enough, the rust will be dissolved, and it will penetrate the surface to protect it from future rust. It works excellent on tools, bicycles, outdoor grills, and even firearms. Ensure you wipe away the excess WD-40 before applying a protective coating, as WD-40 will not dry.

A Little Bit of History

In the 1950s, you can imagine how frustrating it must be for them back then to deal with rust all around them. A fledgling Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, California, decided to manufacture a product that would serve as solvents and degreasers for preventing rust in the aerospace industry. I mean, that was a crucial step for the aerospace industry.

A Little Bit of History

It would take them 40 trials to get their water displacing factor right and name their product WD-40, where WD stands for Water Displacement, and “40” for the number of times it took them to get it right. The Convair was the first aerospace contractor to make use of the WD-40 Multi-Use product to protect the outer coating of the Atlas Missile from corrosion.

Some years later, WD-40 was also manufactured in aerosol cans to make it available for regular folks in their homes and workshops.

How Does WD-40 Remove and Prevent Rust?

You can use WD-40 to remove rust from different metallic surfaces, ranging from stainless steel to chrome, iron, and other metals susceptible to rust. In some quarters, WD-40 is solely known for its lubricating qualities; it is with the same feature, it works to remove surface rust. How so?

How Does WD-40 Remove and Prevent Rust

The WD-40 uses its lubricating capability to loosen the bonds that exist between the metal surface and the attached rust. Furthermore, this product doesn’t only remove the rust; it also prevents the metal from future rust.

There’s an independent product, WD-40 Specialist Long Term Corrosion Inhibitor, which does this work of rust prevention even better by adding a protective layer on the surface of the metal. Having applied this product, you shouldn’t have to worry about rust for up to two years.

In the next heading, we will explore how you can use WD-40 (and its variations) to successfully remove rust from your metals.

How to Use WD-40 to Remove Rust?

WD-40 is not solely a rust-removing agent; however, it’s a cleaning product that can be used in the same capacity. To remove rust from your household metal, you want to make sure you completely cover the item with the de-rust spray from the aerosol can. As earlier opined, it works by dissolving the rust, thereby restoring the surface to bare metal.

How to Use WD-40 to Remove Rust

Now, once you have sprayed the metal with the solution, you should wait for 10 minutes to allow the solution to properly penetrate the rust and work its magic. Then, with the use of (preferably) a wire or steel brush, scrub the rust to break it away from the metal. While the preferred choice of brush is a wire or steel brush, your choice must also depend on the fragility of the metal you’re working on; for instance, you may need a softer bristled brush if the metal is easily susceptible to scratch.

That’s the general usage of WD-40 Multi-use Product, which should normally remove the rust affecting your metal. However, in some cases, you would still notice some remnants of rust after usage. Then, you would need to get more aggressive by using the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak.

How to Use WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak?

From its name, you could seemingly see that this particular product is specifically to remove rust. Hence, it’s more likely to do a better job; much more because it can soak rusted items. How do you go about using the solution?

First off, you should thoroughly clean the metallic item before submerging it in the solution and leave it submerged for 30 minutes. Although the time of submerging may also depend on the intensity of the rust; you may have to leave the item submerged in the solution for as long as 24 hours. Afterward, remove the metal and rinse off the solution.

This process should remove most, if not all, the rust attached to the metal, but in a situation where you still find rust rested on the surface of your item, you can simply reuse the solution and restart the process all over again. An advantage of the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak solution is that it is not a one-time usage.

Final Thoughts

While there are several products that you can use to remove rust from your metal; some of which depends on the surface you’re trying to treat and the environment in which you reside, WD-40 is an option that is compatible with removing rust from most surfaces of different metals, including iron, stainless steel, and the likes.

In addition, WD-40 does not only remove rust from metals but also prevents the item from future rust. It removes rust by soaking through the rust and breaking it off the metal. It prevents rust by water displacement.

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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