Medicine cabinets can rust over time due to the humidity of the bathroom. When you move into a new home, you may inherit the medicine cabinet mounted on the wall, and it may not be in the best shape. You want to be able to use the storage of the medicine cabinet, but you don't want your toothbrush or cosmetics in a rusty environment. There are several options to remove rust on a medicine cabinet.
Start Scrubbing the Rust
The first line of defense in removing rust spots is to see what you can take off with some serious scrubbing. If the rust is shallow and the surface level, it will flake right off. Try using sandpaper, fine steel wool or a wire brush. If you do not have any of these supplies, a crinkled tin foil ball can also work. Be sure to wear protective eye wear, a respirator mask and cut-resistant gloves. You do not want to inhale rust particles or get it in your eyes. If there are deeper, stubborn rust spots, you can try a cleaning solution to finish the job.
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Try Ketchup and Washing Soda
Make a homemade rust-removing solution with ketchup and washing soda. Washing soda is sodium carbonate and works especially well on metals. While similar to baking soda, the two are not the same.
Mix washing soda and water in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly. Spray the mixture directly onto the rust patches and dab a small amount of ketchup on top as well. Allow the mixture to set in for two hours to do its magic, then wipe it off and rinse the area with a damp cloth.
Wear gloves when using washing soda, as it can irritate your skin. When using any sort of liquid rust remover, make sure you blot dry the surface because water and moisture can cause more rust.
Potatoes for the Win
Cut an uncooked potato in half. Peeled raw potatoes have oxalic acid, which is an organic compound found in many plants that is good at removing rust. Sprinkle some baking soda or salt onto the half potato and use it to scrub any rusty spots. Once you have successfully removed the rust, rinse off the area with water.
Try White Vinegar
White vinegar is excellent for cleaning many surfaces around the home, and it is great for removing rust. It contains acetic acid, which works well to remove rust. It can be applied directly to rusty spots, or it can be applied with a paper towel or rag. The rust should soften and lift. Once the rust has been removed, be sure to clean off the surface to prevent damage.
Harness the Power of Lemons and Limes
The acidic properties of both lemon juice and lime juice are great at eliminating rust. First, apply a pinch of coarse salt to the rust spots and then spritz some lemon or lime juice on top. Allow the salt and juice mixture to set for two to three hours.
Use the rind to scrub away the rust. You can also use a sponge or paper towel if needed. If you need a more potent cleaning solution, mix lemon juice with a small amount of vinegar. Wash away the mixture, as leaving it on could damage the surface.