Removing Rust with Baking Soda: A Guide

rusty door lock

Rust is a common problem that affects metal objects and can significantly reduce their lifespan. It is caused by the reaction of metal with oxygen and moisture, which leads to the formation of iron oxide. 

While rust may seem like an irreversible problem, there are several ways to remove it, and one of the most effective and eco-friendly methods is using baking soda.

Why Baking Soda Works to Remove Rust

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white powder that is commonly used in baking and cleaning. 

It is a mild alkali that reacts with the rust and forms a compound that can be easily removed. When baking soda is mixed with water, it creates an alkaline solution that breaks down the rust, making it easier to clean. 

Baking soda also has the advantage of being non-toxic, mildly abrasive, and affordable.

How to Remove Rust with Baking Soda

To remove rust with baking soda, you will need the following materials:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • A bowl or container
  • A cloth or towel

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Preparation: Mix a small amount of baking soda and water in a bowl or container until it forms a thick paste.
  2. Application: Apply the paste onto the rusted area, making sure to cover it completely.
  3. Waiting: Leave the paste on the rusted area for at least 30 minutes. For more stubborn rust, you can leave it on for up to several hours or overnight.
  4. Cleaning: After the waiting period, scrub the rusted area with a brush or sponge. Use warm water to rinse off the paste and dry the surface with a cloth or towel.

Tips for Best Results

  • Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to avoid scratching the surface.
  • For more stubborn rust, you can add a few drops of vinegar to the baking soda paste.
  • For larger areas, you can mix a larger amount of baking soda and water to create a solution and soak the object in it.

Other Ways to Remove Rust

While baking soda is an effective and eco-friendly method for removing rust, there are other methods that you can try:

  1. Chemical rust removers: These are strong acids that dissolve the rust, making it easier to clean. However, they can be dangerous to handle and can damage the surface if not used properly. Make sure you know how to handle these chemicals before your use them.
  2. Abrasive methods: These involve using sandpaper or a wire brush to physically scrape off the rust. While effective, they can be time-consuming and can damage the surface if not done carefully.
  3. Vinegar: Vinegar is an acid that can dissolve rust, making it easier to clean. To use vinegar for rust removal, soak the rusted object in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water for several hours or overnight. After soaking, scrub the rusted area with a soft-bristled brush or sponge and rinse with warm water.
  4. Toothpaste: Toothpaste contains mild abrasives that can help remove surface rust. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the rusted area and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Rinse with warm water and dry with a cloth or towel.

Precautions and Safety Tips

When using any method to remove rust, it is essential to take proper precautions to avoid injury or damage. Here are some safety tips:

  • Wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, to avoid contact with the chemical rust removers.
  • Use chemical rust removers in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Dispose of any chemicals properly and according to local regulations.


Removing rust with baking soda is a simple, effective, and eco-friendly method that can save you time and money. It is a great alternative to harsh chemicals and abrasive methods that can damage the surface. 

By following the step-by-step instructions and safety tips outlined in this article, you can easily remove rust and restore your metal objects to their former glory.

Do you have a rusty faucet that could use some cleaning? Try toothpaste. Read How to Use Toothpaste to Clean Rusty Faucets.

Thanks for reading my blog.

-Baking Soda Guy

Image by Omar González from Pixabay