how to remove rust from a car

How to Remove Rust from a Car Without Sanding

Rust is a major enemy of any car.

Whether you plan to use your car for a few months or you want to keep it for several years, rust can do a lot of harm to it if not controlled.

Now, if your car has been taken over by rust, and you’re wondering how to remove rust from a car without sanding, then this post was created with you in mind.

Yes, you can actually eliminate rusts from your vehicle without sanding it, and by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll learn how to effortlessly do that.

But before we go further, we need to understand what rust is all about:

What is Rust?

how to remove rust from a car

To put succinctly;

[su_quote]Rust can be defined as the chemical reaction resulting from the interaction between oxygen and the molecules of ferrous metal. Rust can happen on different types of automotive metals when they are exposed to oxygen.[/su_quote]

Since rust comes as a result of a chemical process, it makes sense also to use a chemical process to salvage the situation.

Getting Started on the Rust Removal Process

[su_note note_color=”#ebeec6″ radius=”5″]Before you start, there are a few things you need to keep in perspective. Firstly, ensure you pick a day with decent weather.

It would, therefore, be wise to do your job on a day that it is not raining and that you can finish the whole process should you decide to do the job in an open place.

But to be on the safe side, preferably, you can use a garage so that you would be able to coordinate things. Secondly, ensure that your vehicle is dry and clean before you start the removal process.

If the car you want to remove rust from is your primary car, then have it at the back of your mind that the entire process will take up to a day or two for the paint to dry, in case you want to paint after removing the rust.[/su_note]

How to Remove Rust from a Car Without Sanding

how to remove rust from a car without sanding

There are four methods of removing rust from your vehicle without sanding. Whether the rust is minor or major, the four methods have been proven to be effective.

Without further ado, let’s get started;

Method One: Use a Chemical Removal

Wondering how to remove rust from a car without sanding? Then give the thought of using a chemical removal a serious consideration. There are different chemical products on the market that you can leverage to remove the rust on your car.

These products are made from oxalic or phosphoric acid. Care must be taken when applying them because they are harmful to the skin. You can wear appropriate protective gear to avoid direct contact with your bare skin.

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  • For the chemical products to be effective on your vehicle, follow the directions on the product as application varies between products
  • Once you apply the product on the affected areas of your car, allow it to sit for a few hours and then scrub
  • Most of these chemical removal products are typically expensive, so ensure you use them judiciously


Method Two: Convert the rust

If you don’t want to invest in a chemical removal product, you can convert the rust. How do you achieve that? Purchase a [easyazon_link identifier=”B003HG48AC” locale=”US” tag=”spraygadgets-20″]rust converter[/easyazon_link] and apply to the affected areas of your car.

A rust converter is similar to spray paint and can be applied like a primer over the affected areas.

It is not as effective as using a chemical removal product, but it is still useful in mitigating the situation. This method is more appropriate if you plan to repaint the affected part.

Method Three: The Use of Abrasive Tools

One of the most affordable ways to remove rust on a car is to scrape the rust off using simple tools.

Leveraging this method means you’d be putting in more elbow grease. You will spend more time scraping off the rust. Regardless of how long the rust has been there, this method works like magic.

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  • Use simple tools such as rent tools from a local store or a screwdriver from your garage
  • You can also use steel wool since it is a common item in most homes


Method Four: Use Citric Acid

The use of citric acid is a force to reckon with if you’re still wondering how to remove rust from a car without sanding. Here is how to go about it;

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  • Buy the powder form of Citric Acid from your local store
  • Put the citric acid in a container and add hot water
  • Wear appropriate protective gears while applying the mixture on the affected area
  • Wait a few hours before you rinse and dry
  • The rust should be gone


How do you remove rust from a car yourself?

  1. Remove the Rust
  2. Crack off any blistered pint with a scraper.
  3. Sand through the rust spots down to the bare metal, using 40-grit sandpaper.
  4. Enlarge the sanded area so you’ll have space to feather the edges.
  5. Switch to 120-grit sandpaper to feather the edges of the repair area.
  6. Complete the feathering with 220 grit.

Does WD-40 Remove rust from car?

WD-40 won’t damage the paint on your car, unlike other rust removers that contain harsh chemicals. To remove rust from the infected area, just spray your WD-40 onto the rust and wait about 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes, the WD-40 is quickly breaking down the rust that’s built up on the surface area.

What removes surface rust from cars?

WD-40 is designed to loosen the bonds between rust and the metal surface it has adhered to by penetrating the porous layer of rust and using its lubricating properties to loosen it. To remove surface rust, simply spray it on the rusted surface, leave it for around ten minutes and let it get to work on the surface rust.

How do you remove rust without damaging paint?

Scrub the rusted area with a stiff brush and a strong detergent solution. This can help to remove any rust on the surface of the paint without damaging the painted surface. You can use a plastic brush or steel wool. Mix washing detergent with water and scrub the area until the rust is gone.

What is the best homemade rust remover?

You can use white vinegar for effective rust removal. The rust reacts with the vinegar and later dissolves. Simply soak the rusty metal object in white vinegar for a couple of hours and then just wipe to remove the rust.

What is the best car rust remover?

  • Best Overall: Evapo-Rust Super Safe Rust Remover.
  • Best Budget: Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover Spray Gel.
  • Best for Clothing Stains: Whink Rust Stain Remover.
  • Best for Cars: Rust-Oleum Automotive Rust Reformer Spray.
  • Best for Chrome: Quick-Glo Chrome Cleaner & Rust Remover.
  • Best for Pipes: CLR PRO Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover.

Is WD-40 safe on car paint?

WD-40 is filled with a lot of products when applied to car paint alone – can be harmful to paint. However, due to the brilliant mixture and blend of ingredients – Yes – it’s SAFE to use on paint.

How do you remove rust without scrubbing?


  1. Soak your tool in a vinegar bath.
  2. Place your tool in a jar or other container, then pour in just enough vinegar to submerge all the rusted parts.
  3. Scour the rust off.
  4. Dry and lubricate the tool.

Does WD-40 damage car paint?

In addition to preventing bugs from hitting your vehicle, WD-40 is also a great option for removing already stuck-on bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, and grime. It won’t damage your paint; just remember to rinse it off with soap and water afterwards.

Can you stop rust on a car?

Can rust be stopped? Yes, car rust can be stopped from spreading. However, the ideal fix will depend on the type of rust. Surface and scale rust can be stopped by sanding the rusty paint and spraying primer, color coat, and clear.

How do I stop rust from spreading on my car?

Below are some tips that will help you stop rust from attacking your car:
1) Wash and Wax After Every Two Weeks. Two words – Humid weather.
2) Protect the Car from Scratches.
3) Find the Weak Spots.
4) Coat the Rust Probe Areas with WD-40.
5) Take Precaution According to Changing Weathers.


Removing Rust from a Car | Conclusion

[su_note note_color=”#ebeec6″ radius=”5″]As you can see, the rust removal process is quite easy, depending on your budget. However, the best way to deal with rust is to prevent it from accumulating on your vehicle.

During the winter months, to help you avoid rust on your car, ensure your vehicle has several coats of wax that will quickly shed water and road grime.

Also, if your usual routes are salty or snowy roads, ensure that you prevent road chemicals and snow from accumulating on your car. Always wash them off as soon as you get to your destination.

Whenever you think about the process of removing rust from a car without sanding, remember the points we have listed in this post and apply them appropriately.

Now, we also want to hear your own tactics. What is the best rust removal method that you used recently? Kindly share your thoughts with us using the comment box below.[/su_note]