Whether you're looking at sprucing up a set of old metal garden furniture, doing some maintenance on a car or bike, or getting rid of stains on a work surface or patio, you'll want to pick the best rust remover for your needs. It can be difficult to choose as you'll want to confidently be able to remove rust stains without damaging the original surface underneath.
We've ranked the top 10 best rust removers in the UK, from spray options designed to be painted over to liquid solutions you submerge items into alongside liquid gels for spot cleaning. Included on our list are top brands like Rust-Oleum, Jenolite, and Hammerite which are all available to order online on Amazon and Halfords!
If you're looking for the easiest rust remover to apply, you'll want to pick up a spray bottle. You simply squirt some of the pre-mixed solution onto whatever surface you're looking to de-rust, leave for the set amount of time, and then wipe clean.
They're perfect for those hard-to-reach places like the wheel arch of a car, metal cabinets, or piping that you can't quite reach. If you're working with items that are too big to take apart or those in tight spaces, a spray bottle is well worth any extra investment. It'll make sure the solution gets in all of those nooks and crannies where rust can develop.
Picking up a liquid concentrate or liquid solution is one of the best all-around options for small items like car parts and tools, as you're able to fully submerge the pieces in a bucket. This is the most reliable way to ensure that all the rust is removed and the items look brand new again.
The submerging process works best for entirely metal items as you run the risk of damaging any paint or finish if you're immersing an object for some time. This isn't an option for larger items, but some thicker concentrates do work both as a dilutable remover and one you can apply directly.
Gels and some of the thicker liquid concentrates are a great option for spot cleaning items like garden furniture, painted metal fences, and even bicycles and cars where the paintwork has chipped. If you're working with any vertical surface, these are the type to go with as you won't have to worry about your rust remover dripping off before it's had a chance to take effect.
While some gels are quick-acting, the majority of these options are most effective when left on the surface for at least a day, making them good for more permanent fixtures. This is also a great way to fix up a boat or caravan for use after a season in storage.
Also consider picking some protective outdoor furniture covers.
With the many different types of remover on the market, it can be difficult to tell how much you're going to need to de-rust your items. The truth is that it's entirely dependent on the amount of rust and type of remover you choose to go for, so we're here to give you a rough idea of what you can expect.
If you're dealing with a thin layer of rust in a few places, you can probably get away with a few squirts from a spray bottle. Your mileage is going to vary, but a 500 ml bottle will last you a long time with occasional use, so it's great to have handy when needed. For concentrates and gels, around 250 ml will cover one square metre of fairly thick rust, so keep that in mind when working with a larger surface area.
When mixing a solution from concentrate, it is important to read the individual instructions as the strengths do vary from brand to brand. Roughly, you'll need at least five parts of water for every one part of the concentrate when submerging items.
Once the rust is removed, pick up a tin of metal paint to finish the job!
Rust removers can be put into two categories: corrosive and non-corrosive. This usually depends on whether the product uses acid to remove the rust or whether it turns the rust compounds into something that is water soluble.
Corrosive rust removers tend to be much more effective in returning the metal to its original state, but they can also cause damage to anything that isn't metal; this can include paint, plastics, stone, wood, and more. Non-corrosive options are much safer to use with those materials but may not have the same results, and definitely not as quickly.
Stay safe when working by wearing a respirator.
For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:
This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.
Original Rust Remover
Rust Remover Gel
Rust Remover Thick Liquid
Deox Gel Rust Remover
Europe’s Oldest Rust Removal Brand That’s Been Used on Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower
A Cheap and Effective Option for a Variety of Items
Non-Drip Gel That Removes Rust Without Damaging Paintwork
A Rust-Reforming Primer Paint That Works Miracles on Restoration Projects
The Perfect Reusable Liquid Solution for Tools and Car Parts
A Powerful Industrial-Grade Concentrate That’s Also Non-Acidic
A Small but Mighty Bottle Excellent for Spot Cleaning
An Effective Gel Remover Best Left on for a Long Time
Great for Boats and Yacht Keels, With Near-Instant Results
An Alkali Stain Remover and Anti-Rust Spray
|Type||Spray||Liquid concentrate||Gel||Spray||Liquid solution||Liquid concentrate||Liquid gel||Gel||Gel||Spray|
|Volume||500 ml||500 ml||750 ml||400 ml||5000 ml||1000 ml||150 ml||1000 ml||250 ml||500 ml|
|Best For||Hard-to-reach places||Fencing, outdoor, all-rounder||Hard-to-reach places, spot cleaning||Painting, restoration||Car parts, tools||Outdoor, garden furniture, patio||Spot cleaning||Spot cleaning, fencing, outdoor furniture||Spot cleaning, boats||Hard-to-reach places|
This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
|Best For||Hard-to-reach places|
|Best For||Fencing, outdoor, all-rounder|
|Best For||Hard-to-reach places, spot cleaning|
|Best For||Painting, restoration|
|Best For||Car parts, tools|
|Best For||Outdoor, garden furniture, patio|
|Best For||Spot cleaning|
|Best For||Spot cleaning, fencing, outdoor furniture|
|Best For||Spot cleaning, boats|
|Best For||Hard-to-reach places|
Written and researched by David Sexton
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