Easy Rust Removal with just water and Citrus powder

******NOTE... I refer to the citrus powder and water mix as acid, but its not actually acid. Citrus Powder is used in foods and drinks. totally edible however the taste might be very sour )


This is a basic guide, to show how I use Just citrus powder and water to remove rust from metal. As Any restorer knows, cleaning rust is a chore, and taking parts to sandblaster ends up expensive,.  I used to use Mollasis for rust removal, but the cleanup was a headach, and smells, and takes around 7-14 days to work.


Citrus Powder is aviable in all supermarkets in the baking section, (ushally placed with the Baking soda, cake mixes etc) and is around $2.80 a can. I tend to use around 3 cans in 10 litres of water, but even just 1 can will work, but slower.


There are a few tips that will help..   Use hot water, and if possable, keep the water hot. I ushally use a old fish tank heater, brought in shops for around $15., keeping the water hot will make the process work a little bit quicker.  Any grease or oil will ""Kill"" the acid., so make sure parts are clean,. other tips are give the parts a quick wirebrush to remove the flakey rust, it also will help to speed up process.  After letting the parts soak for about 12 hours, pull them out, and give them a brush over with wire brush, wash them clean, them reput back in the tub again to soak. Make sure you have your primer paint b4 you pull them out for the final time, as they will get surface rust very quick when left. make sure the parts are washed properly, or paint wont stick

as long as the mix hasnt had any grease, you can keep reusing it, but you may want to put another can in

Note, the Guide below was done with 2 cans, and only hot water at start...



Brackets I started with, These are Bumper Brackets of old a Landcruiser

Put the power into your container, then Add water, about halfway full.

After a quick wire brush

Place the parts in the tub, Then  top up the hot water so it just covers the parts. if excess water is used, it will partly dilute the citric, slowing down the process


These are after cleaning from the 12 hour first soak. they are then put back in to further remove rust


Just common  Citric Acid, from baking section of Supermarket.

Give each part a quick wire brush, to remove the flakey Rust. this will help speed up process

Give the parts a Quick degrease, to make sure there is no oil or grease on them

After 12 hours, parts were removed, a quick rub over with wire brush to remove the flakey rust, Allready looking shiny


After a quick wirebrush and a wash to remove the acid, there ready for primer

The first coat of etch primer. This metheod is gentle and wont warp panels like sanblasting can. Just remember not to put in alloy parts as it will eventually eat it.