Good tools are an investment but if they’re not stored, cleaned and cared for correctly, they can easily become defective from rust. At Bearing Centre, we stock a world-class supply of hand tools and power tools from trusted manufacturers but we understand that even the most reliable tools are susceptible to rust, causing costly interference with your workflow. Here, we outline some trusted methods for preventing and removing rust.
Wherever you keep your tools, whether it’s a climate-controlled workshop or simply your garden shed, make sure they are hung up and not resting on the floor. Humidity can creep into any enclosed space, even up from concrete floors, so make sure your tools are always stored away from the ground where moisture is likely to settle. Even better, try and store them in their original cases. The hard-plastic cases that your tools arrive in are specifically designed to protect them so it makes sense to store them that way.
Use a Dehumidifier
Using a dehumidifier is an effective method for controlling the amount of moisture in the air. Very simply, it works by sucking in the air from your room at one end, condensing and removing the moisture out of it, and then blowing the ‘dry’ air out again. The constant circulation of air also helps to prevent condensation from occurring in the room. Some humidifiers even feature a humidistat, which allows you to set the level of humidity you require, minimising the humidifier’s run-time.
Silica Gel Packs
For smaller areas such as storage containers, cargo holds, safes or tool boxes, silica gel packs are an ideal and inexpensive way to prevent moisture build-up and rust. Silica Gel is the highest capacity drying agent available. It’s made up of tiny interconnecting pores that attract and hold moisture. The packs work best in a tightly closed environment and can be found at most local hardware store.
Vapour Corrosion Inhibitors
Another option for smaller, enclosed environments would be Vapour Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs), also known as Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors (VpCIs). The strips work by releasing molecules into the air that form a very thin layer on the metal surface that needs protecting. The microscopic film protects the metal surface from air and moisture, preventing rust.
When you’ve invested money into your tools, it makes sense to invest some time and effort into taking care of them. Of course, there are times when you just can’t prevent your tools from rusting but don’t panic, there are ways and means to remove the rust before it causes any permanent damage.
There are many home remedies for removing rust, using baking soda, vinegar, and even potatoes! The tried and tested method is to simply spray the rust with a lubricant like WD40 and scrub it away using a heavy-duty sponge pad. Clean the metal with soapy water and continue to scrub until all the rust has been removed. For heavily rusted tools you’d be better off using a chemical remover. Rust removing chemicals use either phosphoric or hydrochloric acid to dissolve the rust. They’re effective but highly toxic so only go this route if you really must. For all other maintenance chemicals, Bearing Centre stocks a wide range of “helpers in a can”, so give us call!