Things You'll Need
As a last resort, nuts and bolts may be soaked in brake cleaner overnight in a sealed container. Be very careful when handling the cleaning solution, and always protect your skin when handling the soaked parts.
Nuts and bolts may also be dried with a hair dryer instead of towels, if necessary or desired. This way ensures that every nook and cranny gets as dry as possible to prevent further rusting.
Nuts and bolts don't have to be discarded if they've become rusty, greasy or encrusted with mineral deposits. They can be cleaned quite easily using a variety of methods, from natural household remedies to commercial degreasers and auto parts cleaners. Extremely dirty nuts and bolts may need to be soaked excessively or given several applications of any given cleaner for the best results.
Fill a small plastic container with undiluted white vinegar. Add the nuts and bolts to the container and allow them to soak for 30 minutes to one hour. If the stains are still present after this time, allow the nuts and bolts to soak for an additional few hours. This will remove rust and/or mineral deposits.
Fill a small plastic container with a cola-flavored soft drink. Add the nuts and bolts to the container and allow them to soak overnight. The acidic nature of the soft drink will remove stains, rust and mineral deposits from the nuts and bolts.
Remove grease from nuts and bolts by placing them into a shallow dish and spraying them liberally with a commercial degreaser. Allow them to sit for up to an hour and then fill the dish with water. Let the nuts and bolts sit in the clean water for several minutes to rinse, and then dry thoroughly with clean towels.
For very tough grease stains, place the nuts and bolts in a shallow pan and spray with a commercial spray-on brake cleaner, found at your local hardware or automotive parts store. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and scrub the nuts and bolts with a brass brush. Submerge the cleaned parts in a pan of water to rinse, and then dry with clean towels.
Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.