Rust Removal

Rust is car cancer and sadly a necessary evil when it comes to older cars, so I knew eventually I would find some if I dug deep enough. Once I started disassembling the front end I uncovered rusted bolts, brackets and the infamous battery tray area.

I think it’s good practice to be able to get something done regardless of your circumstances. So if you can’t just order “all new” everything, don’t have sandblaster or know how to use electrolysis to remove rust here’s a common and easy way to get it done. You’ll need the following items, some you may already have.

  • Wire brush or steel wool
  • Rubber/Latex gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A container to put your put your parts in, preferably plastic.
    (bucket, trash can, 2 liter soda bottle, kitty pool, ect.

All of the items listed are available at your nearest Dollar Tree for $1 per item.

The Bath

The process is pretty straight forward, drop all your parts in a container of your choosing and fill it with vinegar. Leave the parts soaking for 24 hours. This is not an acid bath so if you’re expecting the rust to just melt off a to reveal a shiny part, you’re going to be disappointed. You gotta do work, but easy work. After 24 hours you should be able to take a wire brush/hard brush/steel wool to your parts to remove any surface rust with little effort.


As you can see from the photos, the surface rust on some parts goes deeper and has already started eating away at the metal.


To finish the process, I neutralized the vinegar by rinsing all the parts except for one in a mixture of baking soda and water. The parts that were rinsed began to rust overnight, so it’s important to be ready to paint your parts soon after they are dry from the rinse.


I used Krylon Rust Tough because of past experience and it also doesn’t require a primer.

In the end, I’m satisfied with the results. The vinegar bath allowed me to assess the parts to clearly see what needed replacing. A step up from leaving the parts on the car and simply painting over the rust.

What Was Done

  • 24 hour vinegar bath
  • Baking soda rinse

What Was Used


  • None
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