Best way to remove rust?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Novelangel, May 6, 2016.

  1. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    My husband recently purchased a used bike from a neighbor, but he didn't look it over well enough at that time and when we got it home we discovered rust in various places on the bike. What is the best way to remove the rust without damaging any of the delicate equipment?

    I was thinking of using WD-40 to at least keep the gears limbered up but what do I do to actually remove the rust spots from the gears, frame and spokes?
     


  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    You can use Pink NAVAL JELLY ... it is available at your local hardware store or "Home" center (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.)... probably at WalMart and similar stores, too.

    As with many things, it's 10x more expensive than it used to be, so a relatively small bottle (~4 ozs ... which is all you will need) will probably cost about $10 +/- ...

    Application should be with a small "flux" brush OR any other small, stiff bristled brush you may have (e.g., an OLD toothbrush).

    It is relatively safe, but READ the precautions on the label, carefully ...

    Apply a thin layer

    Wait a day ...

    Rinse well ...

    Let dry ...

    Repeat, as necessary.

    Et cetera.
    As with almost everything, keep away from pets & children.

     
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  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    WD-40 or any light oil and BRONZE wool (not steel wool) will rub away a lot of rust if you have the elbow grease to keep rubbing away for hours.

    Naval Jelly :http://www.homedepot.com/p/Loctite-16-fl-oz-Naval-Jelly-Rust-Dissolver-Bottle-553472/203009241
    In either the gel or liquid form works well to remove rust. Test on a small area and neutralize the metal after using.

    Then, there's the usual assortment of powered bristle wheels. I prefer a polymer bristle wheel on a dual spindle with a laminated cotton buffing wheel on the other spindle. Hit the rusted surface lightly with the bristle wheel followed by buffing compound and the buffing wheel.

    With a painted steel frame, sanding or bead blasting and repainting is the only way I know how to deal with corrosion.
     
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  4. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    Thank you very much for the responses, I will try my best to put those ideas to good use. I hadn't thought of using a powered bristle wheel. I have a Brummel tool, I wonder if that would work? It's tiny and probably more time consuming, but it would fit into the tight crevasses easier than a larger tool. Of course, I would have to alternate bit heads to polish and then buff, and be very gentle about it. I can easily get the WD-40 but don't know if I have the elbow grease necessary. My husband works a lot of hours, so this job will probably fall mostly on me. I will try and find some of that Naval Jelly at Home Depot.
     
  5. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I think WD-40 is quite expensive as a rust remover. For an old rusty bike, we use a liquid to tame the rust and then wipe it off with smooth sandpaper. I'm sorry I forgot the name of that liquid rust remover. But you have to be careful with the sandpaper that it does not damage the original coating of the metal. And if the rust is too much as if the metal is greatly affected, have it repainted for better results.
     
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  6. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

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    Get the more expensive ones from the store, as they usually add a little extra coating to the affected areas to prevent the spread of rust and to eliminate the ones in there completely. And to be honest, you should have just bought a new bike instead of gambling with a used one, as like you said, you never know what the problems lie underneath the old one that the former owner "forgot" to mention when you made the purchase. Sure, a new bike may sound expensive now, but in the long run, you will save more because you won't have to make repairs and buy new parts for it.
     
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  7. madfuntool

    madfuntool New Member

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    Hey, I have an extremely cheap, but very useful idea for you. Do you know what is acid? lol :p I mean that lime juice or lemon which have citric acid in it is very useful to remove rust from the iron materials because it reacts with iron and other iron materials. Try it.;)
     
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  8. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    Yes, I know we should have just purchased a new bike, but you know how it is sometimes when funds run a little low. We are pretty much owned by our dentist for, oh, about $2,000. and some, more dollars and are trying to save as much cash as we can for a rainy day and we have upcoming car repairs as well. (grumble, gripe) And hey, these are all great ideas that we will have to try. I didn't even consider the cheap alternative of lemon juice. Thanks for popping that one in there too, madfuntool. :)
     
  9. whitepines

    whitepines New Member

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    Do you have any pictures? There is no real way to completely remove rust without going down to good metal, or just treat it from getting worse. On the frame, the only way to get rid of it is sand it down until you hit shiny metal and repaint, as for the spokes it's the same situation. One Saturday in the yard with a sander block, a can or primer and can of paint will make it look like new. As for the mechanics of the bike, just clean them best you can and keep them well lubricated. Other posters have gone over this well. I always like to see a bike stay out of the landfill!
     
  10. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    WD-40 is not a rust remover. It loosens screws etc. that have been locked in place from rust by using very light lubricating properties. NOTE: It is NOT a lubricant of any worth - it evaporates rather quickly.

    Naval jelly is the way to go but you might carefully try CLR which is available in most supermarkets. I haven't any experience using it on painted surfaces so I cannot say whether it would remove paint or not.
     
  11. erook7878

    erook7878 Member

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    I've never used them myself, but there are plenty of commercial rust removers you can buy at any hardware store. I've also read white vinegar, lime and salt, and oxalic acid work well to remove rust. I think most of these are used in construction settings, so make sure they are okay to use on bike frames.
     
  12. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    No, I haven't taken any pictures of the bike yet. I've been so busy lately that I haven't even thought of it until you suggested it, whitepines. I will try to get around to doing that soon, but not today as my mother in-law is hospitalized and we are going to visit her. I will look around for commercial rust removers and try to see what is easy on paint jobs and stuff. Other than having a flat tire that we pumped up, (so far it's holding) the bike rides fairly well, so all is not lost on this one. :)
     
  13. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Rust on bikes is never "good", but it doesn't need to be particularly important either.
    Rust on sprockets is something I'd ignore. The parts actually touched by the chain will clean up fast enough through regular use. And for most lubes and lube methods, what unavoidably spreads from the chain tends to do a good job as rust prevention. Chains is a so-so thing. Some argue that if rusted on the outside, there's ALSO rust on the inside, which can't be treated, making replacement the only option available. I dunno. I've gotten plenty of use out of chains badly reddish-brown with a steel brush and a generous lube.
    I'd put a little effort into removing what rust is easily removed, then I'd apply something to prevent the rusted areas from getting worse. Linseed oil, car wax, WD-40 frequently applied...
     
  14. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    That sounds like good advice, dabac. I will give the chains a good looking over, but I think they are still pretty good. I can get all of the products you mentioned, including a steel brush. Maybe the situation isn't as bad as I thought it was and the bike will be fine just as it is, but it never hurts to keep the rust at bay as much as possible. Thank you, everyone, for the great advice. :)
     
  15. Djordje87

    Djordje87 Member

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    That Pink Naval thing is pretty awesome. I am not sure we have it here in Serbia but I will check it out. I have some antirost spray but I think this is better in both effect and application. It is good because it sticks on the surface, because it's jelly. The liquid ones just falloff the surface. I noticed it was Loctite and I browsed their Serbian version site and they do not have this product here.
     
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  16. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    Hopefully you will be able to find some version of this product where you are, just in case you ever need it. For me, availability as well as price are factors in what I use to do my projects. It's even better if I can find multiple products to choose from. Also, product reviews on the internet are helpful sometimes to give you some idea of which products work.
     
  17. jahroberts

    jahroberts New Member

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    Oh that sucks, I always feel bad when people buy things and then find out something is wrong with it.

    My old bike is rusty beyond rusty, no exaggeration, but my uncle wanted to buy it anyway, I'll show him this thread so he cna see if there's anything he can do :)
     
  18. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 New Member

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    I'm not sure there's a really good way to get rid of rust. Certainly not WD-40. I've never had any luck getting rid of rust with it. But fortunately rust isn't really terminal for a bike as long as it's stays away from the important parts. Really you need to make sure you store your bike in a good place and take care of it so rust doesn't become a problem. It's hard, almost impossible to avoid it altogether, but with some precautions it can be become pretty rare and manageable when it does pop up.
     
  19. Reaper1

    Reaper1 New Member

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    Use citric acid on the rust, it is one of the best methods for removing rust from things. You can find plenty of videos of people on Youtube using it to remove rust from their items, just look it up.
     
  20. cyclenthusias44

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    I just watched some videos on YouTube and they proved very helpful for me. Thanks for recommending the use of citric acid on the rust.
     
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