The 9 Best Rust Removers to Buy in 2018

Get rid of unsightly stains with these solutions

Woman cleaning bathroom sink with sponge
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Rust can creep in and replace shiny, smooth surfaces with a dull, corroded appearance or leave hard-to-erase orange stains on everything from toilets and tubs to siding and driveways. This can be frustrating, but also shorten the useful life of cars, tools, bathroom fixtures and more.

Rust removers are formulated to attack iron oxide (which is responsible for rust) on a molecular level and can produce dramatic improvements in the appearance or functionality of affected objects. Some products are acid-based, so these require extra safety precautions and disposal methods. Others are water-based and biodegradable, making them safer for skin and easier on the environment. Pay attention to the safety warnings on any rust remover you buy and follow the directions for proper disposal when you’re done with the product.

If you need a rust remover for cars, you’ll likely be looking at products that aim to convert rust and seal it against future corrosion. Elsewhere in your workshop, restore tools and rusty parts to shiny glory with a short dip in a rust remover bath. Inside the house, use rust stain remover products to brighten the appearance of porcelain fixtures or remove iron stains from laundry. Whether you’re in search of a rust-free solution to finish a workshop project or improve your home’s appearance, these are the top rust removers on the market now.

  • 01 of 09

    Best Overall: Evapo-Rust

    Courtesy of Amazon

    If you’re searching for a versatile rust remover that is useful for removing rust from a variety of surfaces and is also non-toxic, then Evapo-Rust is a great product to start with. This acid-free formula has been used with success to remove rust on everything from bicycle parts to rusty tools and automotive parts. People are amazed by how Evapo-Rust seems to “melt” the rust off corroded parts and pieces in 24 hours or less.

    Save yourself a lot of elbow grease and tough scrubbing and get a gallon of Evapo-Rust. The solution can even be reused until its potency is lost (typically once the liquid turns dark). A big plus to this formula is the fact that it’s biodegradable and easier to dispose of than rust removers that carry environmental hazard warnings and special disposal instructions. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about contact with skin when using this product since it’s acid-free.

    Whether you have antiques, cookware, car parts, or some other metal object you need to remove rust from, Evapo-Rust will make rust disappear without many of the worries that come from harsher formulas of rust remover.

  • 02 of 09

    Best Budget: Zep 32 oz. Calcium, Lime and Rust Stain Remover

    Zep 32 oz. Calcium, Lime and Rust Stain Remover
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    While this product isn’t intended to remove heavy rust from corroded metal, it shines in other areas. If your water has a high percentage of iron, you probably are frustrated with trying to keep your sidewalk, driveway, and brick surfaces free of rust stains from sprinkler water. Just dilute the concentrated formula, apply to stained surfaces and rinse after 5to 10 minutes. Be aware that tough stains may require a second application!

    Another common use of ZEP Calcium, Lime and Rust Stain Remover is to clean up the appearance of porcelain toilet bowls stained by rust. Many people are happy with the performance of this budget rust stain remover, and it often draws comparisons to other more expensive formulas. 

  • 03 of 09

    Best for Cars: Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter

    Classic cars in need of restoration or cars that have faced a few too many slushy winters or saltwater beach trips may need a good dose of rust remover. Corroseal is our top pick for an automotive rust converter.

    Corroseal has been the product of choice for many people looking to remove unsightly surface rust from a car chassis, wheel wells, floorboards, and more. This water-based product uses a chemical conversion to turn iron oxide (rust) into stable magnetite. At the same time, Corroseal primes the surface with latex, making it a one-step solution for corroded areas. Once dry, the black surface can be painted and finished to your specifications. One important note is that this is a rust converter for surface rust—serious invasive corrosion may reappear after applying this product.

    This rust converter for cars stands out thanks to its easy application—you can brush, roll, or spray it onto rusty spots. It also is easy to dispose of and clean up, since it’s water-based and non-flammable. A few people pointed out that this is a pricier rust remover, but it’s worth noting that you don’t need much of the formula to get the job done! 

  • 04 of 09

    Best for Chrome: Quick Glo Chrome Cleaner

    Restore shine to chrome surfaces with a rust remover like Quick Glo Chrome Cleaner. This top choice for a rust remover on chrome has earned praise from casual car guys, motorcycle enthusiasts, and even automotive aficionado Jay Leno.

    Around since 1957, Quick Glo has stood the test of time and has restored shine to countless chrome parts and pieces, as well as surfaces like porcelain, silver, brass, windshields, tires and more. The product is non-toxic and uses pumice to clean and polish surfaces. It works great on surface rust and leaves a wax coating that helps to protect from further oxidation for up to a year.

    While people find that it requires a little elbow grease to cut through rust and restore shine, it works great for chrome finishes on motorcycles, cars, boats, and more. Quick Glo has been a staple on garage shelves and workshop benches for decades, and it makes a reliable choice if you need to remove rust from chrome without a lot of fuss.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Best for Tools: Metal Rescue Rust Remover 

    Metal Rescue Rust Remover by Workshop Hero is known for saving tools and other rusty parts and pieces from being tossed due to corrosion. This rust remover bath is a top choice if you’re looking for an easy way to restore shine and functionality to rusty tools.

    The acid-free formula is non-toxic and doesn’t pose any risks to your skin—or to the metal of the tools you’re trying to clean. Simply soak the rusty tools or parts in a bath of Metal Rescue and in anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours you’ll have shiny, rust-free surfaces. It even is safe for rubber handles and people report no difference in the texture or feel of the rubber coating on items like pliers or hammers. Just note that the temperature must be above 68 degrees for Metal Rescue to work effectively.

    The biggest proof for this product is the results of people that used Metal Rescue on tools that were rusted after being flood-damaged or were decades old and covered in rust. After a bath in Metal Rescue, these tools were functional and ready for use. Metal Rescue’s slogan is “safe on everything but rust” so go ahead and give your rusty tools a dip in this rust remover to restore their functionality.

  • 06 of 09

    Best for Porcelain: Whink Rust Stain Remover

    Whink Rust Stain Remover has been whitening toilets and tubs since 1947. It has stood the test of time and is our top pick for a rust stain remover for porcelain.

    If you can’t stand to see tubs, sinks, and toilets tinged reddish-brown from rust, then Whink offers a promising solution. Happy homeowners find that a few squirts of this product onto rust-stained porcelain removes the unsightly tint in no time.

    People almost speak about Whink like it has super powers—over and over, they say things like, “Apply it and watch rust stains disappear before your eyes! Voila!” It has even found use on aluminum surfaces, laundry stains, and more. However, you should note that this is an acid-based rust remover, so follow the suggested directions for use and any safety precautions. If you want to restore your white porcelain surfaces in a whink of time, this easy-to-use rust stain remover is the way to go.

  • 07 of 09

    Best for Nuts and Bolts: PB B'laster Penetrating Catalyst

    Rusted nuts and bolts are the enemy of repair and restoration projects. You may have set aside your wrench and pliers in frustration, but PB B’laster is here to get your project back on track. This rust remover for nuts and bolts will break loose surface rust and corrosion, even in hard to reach places.

    PB B’laster works by penetrating surface rust and breaking it loose to allow the piece to move freely. If you have nuts and bolts frozen in place by rust, this product will free them—usually in a matter of minutes. Instead of having to drill out corroded nuts and bolts, use PB B’laster, give the product time to loosen rust (overnight for severe corrosion), then use a wrench or pliers to pry the part loose.

    People have used it on cars, campers, gate hinges, and more. The most common complaint about PB B’laster is its strong, kerosene-like smell. Most people agree, though, that the smell is a minor inconvenience compared to the hassle of trying to pry loose a rusted bolt. So blast away and make quick(er) work of rusted nuts and bolts.

  • 08 of 09

    Best for Laundry: Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover Powder

    If you struggle with white or light-colored laundry that has rust stains from well water or carries an orange hue, then a rust remover like Iron OUT can help! Instead of throwing away dingy, rust-stained clothing or towels, use this rust stain remover.

    This powder formula is easy to add to your laundry loads and will remove even old rust stains from whites. It works on bleach-safe colored items, too. Some people say that it has a strong smell that is especially noticeable when dispensing the powder or during the wash cycle. Despite the odor, if you have water with a high concentration of iron, you’ll appreciate the fact that this addition to your laundry cycle will remove orange or dark hues from your whites, towels, and more and keep them from returning.

    Iron OUT removes rust stains from other surfaces also—like toilets, tubs, and water softeners. So add this rust stain remover to your cleaning arsenal and don’t let well water take a toll on your laundry anymore!

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Best for Home Exteriors: Goof Off Rust Stain Remover

    Goof Off Rust Stain Remover
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    Your vinyl siding, brick exterior, or driveway may be slowly changing colors, due to rust stains from your sprinkler system. If that is the case, you need a product like Goof Off Rust Stain Remover to save your siding and restore your home’s curb appeal.

    Goof Off Rust Stain Remover is a ready-to-use solution that can be applied full-strength. Simply apply the product with a roller, brush, or cloth to your home’s exterior or driveway, wait for the rust stains to disappear, then rinse it off. No need to scrub or sweat!

    People have also used it with great success on stucco, painted trim and exteriors, and painted concrete. Since it’s biodegradable, it’s considered safe for pets and plants so you don’t need to worry about your landscaping or if your four-legged friend checks out the area soon after application.