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Rust can be hard to remove, and sometimes, elbow grease doesn't quite cut it. Rust remover solutions come in a variety of multi-purpose and scrub-free formulas. There are sprays, gels, liquids, polishes, and waxes, so it's important to think about which medium will be best for you.
To help you find the best product for your needs, here are the best rust removers in every category.
Best Overall: Evapo-Rust Super Safe Rust Remover
Our top pick is the Evapo-Rust Super Safe Rust Remover, a biodegradable product that gets rid of rust in just minutes—without the need for sanding or scrubbing. The water-based liquid requires no special equipment or supplies to use.
Evapo-Rust is a universal formula, so you can use it on anything from metal tools, pipes, kids' play structures, and antiques to cookware, wrought iron furniture, car grills, and other auto parts. It's an excellent value too—the 1-gallon jug is enough to remove rust from 300 pounds of steel.
Best Budget: Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover Spray Gel
On a budget? Check out Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover. The septic-safe spray gel dissolves rust and tough-to-remove hard water stains on contact—no scrubbing needed. It can be used on surfaces throughout your kitchen and bathroom, as well as on carpets, clothing, and other fabrics. Iron OUT is also suitable for use on concrete and other exterior surfaces.
Best for Clothing Stains: Whink Rust Stain Remover
Rust and hard water clothing stains can be a real bummer, but with Whink Rust Stain Remover, it's not a lost cause. The liquid formula quickly removes even the most stubborn stains from fabrics, including colorfast materials.
A dab is usually enough to make rust disappear from clothes, and you don't need to scrub vigorously to get stains out or combine it with other cleaning products. This product can also be used on carpets, toilets, sinks, and pipes.
Best for Cars: Rust-Oleum Automotive Rust Reformer Spray
Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer is ideal for cars. It bonds to rust buildup instantly and converts it into a paintable, matte black surface. This allows you to skip the sanding and makes refinishing much easier. And when you repaint your vehicle, you can rest assured it won't rust in the future.
The can's comfort tip allows you to spray your car from any angle. For best results, apply Rust-Oleum in steady back-and-forth motions, creating slightly overlapping stripes. Then let it dry thoroughly before painting over it.
Best for Chrome: Quick-Glo Chrome Cleaner & Rust Remover
If you're working with chrome, Quick-Glo is the way to go. This rust remover is easy to use and doubles as a metal polish, which is perfect for faucets, kitchen utensils, car parts, bikes, and chrome tools. In addition to rust, it gets rid of water spots.
Instead of sand or other hard substances, Quick-Glo is formulated with pumice. This allows for gentle cleaning and polishing on a multitude of surfaces. It also creates a protective coating to prevent future rusting and oxidation for up to an entire year.
Best for Pipes: CLR PRO Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover
CLR PRO is the best rust remover for pipes. The fast-acting formula is designed for use in bathrooms, including pipes, faucets, showerheads, drains, and other metal fixtures, but it can be used in piping throughout your home. CLR PRO effortlessly breaks down calcium, lime, rust, soap scum, dirt, and other buildups.
Not only that, but it also meets the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safer Choice Standard, which means that it's safe for humans and the environment. (You can read more about this product's certification by searching the Safer Choice Search tool.)
Best for Bathrooms: Lime-A-Way Lime Calcium Rust Cleaner
If hard water has done a number on your bathroom, reach for a bottle of Lime-A-Way. The powerful spray tackles calcium buildup, rust, and other water stains on a variety of surfaces. You can use it on your tile floors, porcelain tub, toilet, metal faucets, drain, showerhead, shower walls, and countertops. Best of all, you won't have to scrub to remove rust in your bathroom. Just spray it on, let it sit, and wipe it clean.
Best for Tools: Rust-Oleum Rust Dissolver Spray Gel
Rust-Oleum also makes the best rust remover for tools. The brand's Rust Dissolver spray clings to the surface of iron, steel, chrome, and other types of metal and then quickly dissolves rust. In most cases, it's gone within a half-hour, but heavier rust buildup may take a little longer to dissolve. And since the spray is formulated with an inhibitor, it prevents rust for an entire year after applying it.
Best for Outdoor Use: Goof Off Rust Stain Remover Outdoor
Goof Off Rust and Stain Remover Outdoor is formulated specifically for sprinklers, hoses, wells, siding, foundations, gutters, soffit screens, fencing, pools, garden tools, driveways, patios, and other outdoor surfaces. It dissolves rust almost instantly—no rubbing or scrubbing necessary. The biodegradable formula can be used indoors as well. Aside from rust, it works to remove calcium deposits and limescale.
Best Multi-Purpose: Zep Calcium, Lime and Rust Stain Remover
If you're looking for a multi-purpose product that works on a variety of surfaces, we suggest Zep. This tried-and-true liquid cleaning solution is suitable for use on tile, grout, porcelain, concrete, metal, stucco, fiberglass, copper, brick—you name it. The formula removes rust, lime, and calcium in as little as a minute. It's also super easy to use and one of the more affordable options on the market.