I remember the first time my father let me open his huge toolbox in the basement. He lifted the top tray out and I was amazed by the array of hammers he had hidden in there. There were small petite hammers as well as extremely large hammers. All had wooden handles, and all were covered with rust. They also smelled like dirty sweat socks. I asked my father why they were so rusty. He told me that was just what happened to hammers as they aged. I had no idea that a little elbow grease and a couple of household products could have them looking as good as new.
Place all rusted hammers head-first into a glass jar.
Pour enough vinegar into the jar to submerge all the rusted hammer heads.
Let stand for 24 hours.
Remove hammers from the vinegar. Rinse the hammer heads with water. Dry heads with rag.
Scrub any remaining rust off with a wire brush or a crumpled ball of aluminum foil.
Re-rinse off the hammer heads. Dry heads with rag.