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How to clean magnet fishing finds and rusty metal.       

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

Now that you have salvaged some metal treasures while Magnet Fishing, assuming your magnet fishing finds have been sitting around for a long time underwater, they are probably not in pristine shape and need some TLC. So let us show you the best ways to clean your rusty magnet fishing finds.


Cleaning your Magnet Fishing Finds

So you have just been magnet fishing and have pulled out a rare find. Water and salt cause oxidisation and corrosion to form metal objects. This is a chemical process that eats away the metal and cannot be reversed on the already rusted metal, however you can remove the rust and save what is left. This blog post will show you exactly how to clean rusty metals at home without any expensive materials.


Rusty Love

Why do metals rust?

Generally speaking, only iron and it’s alloys such as steel will rust. Other metals such as Aluminium are rust proof. Rust is formed due to the oxidisation process of iron. Iron is sensitive to rust as it reacts with oxygen and moisture in the air, but in the case of magnet fishing finds the water in a river or lake expedites this process significantly.

If iron objects are left untreated by a rust proof coating it will completely disintegrate as time passes. The best way rust and oxidisation can be stopped by is by coating the iron by galvanising or special painting.


How to clean rusty metal?

As we are discussion rusty magnet fishing finds or other low value rusty metal, we won’t cover advanced ways that should be followed for treating antiques or high value objects. If you do own a priceless rusty objects that needs cleaning you should seek some professional care, to keep the value of your items without causing damage.


First Step: Initial rust removal with a wire brush

Use a stiff wire brush and scrub the effected metal once dry. It will remove the majority of rust and will also stop the rust from penetrating deeper into your magnet fishing find. You may want to use a dust mask for protection (Rust particles are not at all healthy!), work gloves will also protect your hands during the process. Done? Let’s move to the next step of removing the remaining rust.


A wire brush for rust removal from magnet fishing finds


Second step: Removal of remaining rust.

Assuming you did well on the first step, you should be left with a smoother in brown colour.

Now you should use a dry old cloth and rub on the iron, by doing so you will remove the rust-dust remaining from the first step.


Use a dry cloth to clean the rust dust

Now your magnet fishing find is ready for the real rust-buster!

A magical solution that is made of white vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar is just perfect for getting rid of the remaining rust.

Apply the vinegar to the affected area and leave for around an hour. If the majority of the rust is gone move to step three. You can repeat this step if some rust is still there.


More than salad dressing! The real rust buster


Third step: Clean & Seal.

You should be left with a pretty clean metal now. Some parts may not be in perfect “store like” condition but look at the before and after pics! should be “wow”.


You may want to use a metal scouring pad to remove any remaining rust to get a little shine. Now, leave the iron to completely dry before you give it another rub with a dry rag or towel.


After so much work, you want to keep your magnet fishing find from collecting rust all over again, right? The best item for this job is WD-40.

A short spray on your magnet fishing find is all you need. WD-40 sucks out any remaining moisture from the metal surface and stops new moisture from coming in.


The King of any tool box- WD40


If you want to get your magnet fishing finds even better looking and better protected, use Hammerite for the best protection out there.


For ultimate rust protection

The steps in this short guide are a technique that never fails!