Homemade Solutions

Simple Rust-Proofing for Tools


It’s amazing how a product is made for a particular purpose and then someone figures out a new way to use it: baking soda to clean your teeth, tomato paste to clean silver, and even ice to get gum out of your hair. Who knows how some people figure out the additional uses of the ordinary products but, frequently, we’re thankful for it. Common things are often around our homes already, and when we can use them in less than ordinary ways, we don’t have to run out and purchase even more products.

If it’s not stainless steel, and it’s made of metal, it can rust. Rust is a real problem. Tools and implements we use around the house, in the garage, in the garden or on a fishing trip, are often made of metal and that means they’re subject to being attacked by rust. When rust is left untreated it can literally eat tools and implements until they’re completely useless. That’s serious business for those of us who can’t afford to purchase such things over and over again. Some people use sandpaper to clean spots of rust off of tools but you can do a simple trick to help prevent rust from showing up in the first place.

Charcoal works well to absorb moisture in the air – the reason we have rust. When you place charcoal briquettes near tools and implements which are made of metal you stomp out rust before it can begin. One way to do this is to keep five gallon barrels or other large containers where you can store various tools. Place tools inside a barrel so that their handles are pointing upwards and the metal parts are inside the container. Open a bag of charcoal and there you go. The briquettes absorb moisture in the air which enters the barrel.

You can do something similar with a much smaller container, like a tool box. The briquettes work to keep moisture out of the box and protect your tools from even tiny bits of rust. Since you can’t carry the whole bag of briquettes with you just place some in the bottom of the toolbox. Since anything that touches charcoal gets black dust all over it you’ll find it useful to just place a couple of briquettes in a small bag. Don’t close the bag all the way; leave it at least partially open so the briquettes can do their work.

Place charcoal in tackle boxes, on garage shelves, in buckets of tools, and elsewhere, so that none of your tools ever rust. You’ll purchase a tool only once and have it – rust free – for the rest of your life.

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