How to Remove Rust With Acetone

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Prevent rust by keeping metal items dry.

Forming when moisture begins to oxidize on metal, rust can cause a slew of problems, including staining and deteriorating the metal item beyond repair. Fortunately, you can remove rust from various surfaces using acetone. Acetone is a common ingredient in many nail polish removers, and you can purchase pure acetone at home improvement centers. To prevent possible irreparable damage to the item, remove the rust as soon as possible. After you have removed the rust, take the necessary precautions to keep the rust from forming again.


Step 1

Take the rusted item outside or open doors and windows in the room you are working in. Acetone produces fumes that can cause headaches and nausea. By working in a well-ventilated area, you prevent the chance of the fumes building up in the room.

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Step 2

Wear a pair of rubber gloves and pour 1/4 cup of acetone in a small, plastic container. Dampen a scouring pad -- for removing rust from metal -- or a sponge -- if removing rust on other surfaces -- in the acetone.


Step 3

Scrub the rust off the item with the dampened scouring pad or sponge. Continue scrubbing the item until you have removed all traces of the rust from the item.

Step 4

Dampen a lint-free cloth with cool water and wipe the rust residue and acetone off the surface with the cloth. Immediately dry the item with a clean towel.

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