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!
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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.
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Original 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
Rust Remover Gel｜5092870
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
Rust Remover Thick Liquid
A Small but Mighty Bottle Excellent for Spot Cleaning
Deox Gel Rust Remover
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
Jenolite is Europe's oldest rust removal brand, having been in operation since 1939 and used on some of the world's most iconic buildings including Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower. This spray bottle is great for any hard-to-reach places like under the wheel arch of a car or outdoor cabinets.
You simply spray on, wait fifteen minutes, and spray again before waiting another fifteen mins and wiping the rust away. As well as being incredibly trustworthy, it's simple, easy, and effective, making it the best rust remover available in the UK today.
If you're looking for an all-purpose liquid concentrate for a wide variety of items, this rust remover from HG fits the bill nicely. You can apply the liquid concentrate directly to outside fencing or furniture with a paintbrush, or dilute it with water to submerge tools and other objects.
This powerful rust dissolved evaporates very slowly when directly applied, staying active for a long time. There's no need for sanding afterwards either, as the item is ready for repainting and varnishing immediately after treatment.
This non-drip gel from Hammerite is a little different to the liquid concentrates and spray solutions in that it is designed to not damage paintwork or other surfaces. It can also be applied to vertical surfaces without any danger of it falling off.
While it's not as strong as some liquid concentrate solutions, it's perfect for spot-cleaning objects. If you have items that just have a few noticeable areas of rust and don't require a full restoration job, this is a fantastic choice that will last a while.
While not technically a rust remover, there aren't many better options than the Reformer from Rust-Oleum when looking to mask and prevent a rust spot from growing. It's also perfect for those planning to spruce up a bike frame or car panel before repainting.
Where this rust primer spray really shines is in restoration, so if the items you have in mind are outside furniture, wood burners, or the like, you won't be disappointed. You won't even need to repaint afterwards if you're working with anything black.
If you have a pile of rusty old tools or similar-sized items, the best option is to submerge them into a liquid rust remover. This pre-made solution from EVAPO-RUST is ready to go straight out of the bottle, so there's no measuring or diluting required.
This product is also reusable, meaning that you actually get quite a lot of value out of the 5000 ml even if you decide to use it all at once rather than rationing it out. It's well worth the investment when working with entirely metal items, which it'll have looking as good as new in a matter of minutes.
Easy4Rust by Azpects is an incredibly powerful rust remover that's capable of removing rust stains from stone, granite, and wood. It's non-acidic too, meaning that it works by turning rust compounds into a water-soluble solution rather than being corrosive.
This is a premium, professional-grade option that won't leave any damage or marks to paintwork or surfaces, making it the best choice for a patio area and painted garden furniture. It's not a great option for tools and vehicles as it's designed to remove rust stains rather than de-rust metal objects.
This is a thicker liquid version of our number one pick, sitting somewhere in between a concentrate and gel in terms of consistency. It's designed to be directly applied to a surface with a brush. Just like the spray, this does the job in under an hour and is great for any bodywork, boats, or caravans.
While a fantastic product that boasts some of the best results on the market, this small bottle may not be the most economically viable if you have a large surface area to cover. If you're looking to spruce up a few rust spots, however, this is an excellent choice.
The Deox Gel Rust Remover from Bilt Hamber is something of a hidden gem with its non-descript packaging and sparse description. It's an extremely effective rust remover while being non-toxic and biodegradable.
If you're happy to leave the gel on the surface you're looking to clean for a day or two, you're going to be very pleasantly surprised with the fantastic results. For something a little more fast-acting, however, you'd best look elsewhere.
This gel rust remover from Valdern is non-drip and fast-acting: simply brush on and you'll see visible results almost immediately. This 250 ml bottle covers one square metre and leaves the surface re-paintable within half an hour.
As you only get 250 ml, this could be considered a more expensive option. But if you're using it sparingly for spot cleaning, it will last a surprisingly long time. This is one of the better options for boat and yacht keels, though bear in mind you may need the aid of a wire brush.
The Deruster from Nano Go is a bit of a mystery, working rather well as a rust treatment option for cars and motorcycles thanks to the handy spray nozzle getting in those hard-to-reach places. It doesn't contain any acid or chlorine and is completely free from corrosive substances.
Unfortunately, many customers have been disappointed in the stain removal side of this product, so it might not be great for a patio. As something that works well as a spray, this is still a brilliant option to consider.
Written and researched by David Sexton
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