How to Polish a Rusty Tool the Natural Way

Martin likes to collect things, squirrelling them away for many a year before finally finding a use for them. It used to drive me mad when we were renting houses and moving around a lot, especially the array of water sport,s and climbing gear that we never quite had enough room for.

Over the years this ‘collecting’ has extended to tools as well. We have never had much spare money so when it came to buying tools Martin would either buy them second hand or end up purchasing something cheap from the shop which inevitably wasn’t quite up to the job. Amongst these purchases were some very rusty tools, probably a rummaged prize from someone’s garage that I am sure I was very vocal about at the time. I guess after years of my complaining it was probably time for him to prove me wrong and to do it in style by using a natural cleaning recipe to give those rusty tools a new lease of life; don’t worry the irony hasn’t been lost on me!

Treating Rust Without Using Harsh Chemicals

Martin has been really supportive of the blog including my natural ‘creations’, proclamations of which products we can no longer buy and my growing obsession with plastics, but trialling his own DIY natural solutions is another step entirely. Admittedly his motivation centred around the shed, otherwise known as his real wife, but it was surprising all the same.

One mystery that hasn’t been unveiled during this revelation was just where Martin has been stowing these rusty tools for the last 5-10 years but there is no disputing that they have been transformed.

So, how did he do it?

With white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, water and coconut oil of course!


1. Get an old dish or container, large enough to fit your tools in, or at least large enough to submerge the rusty bits.

2. Fill it with white vinegar so that the tools are covered.

3. Leave them submerged to remove the rust, leaving anything really rusty for at least 24 hours.

4. Take the tools out and give them a quick wire brush.

5. Place the tools in another container submerged in a mix of bicarbonate of soda and water (1 cup of bicarbonate of soda to 2 cups of water).

6. Leave this for approximately 12 hours.

7. Take out the tools, give them another wire brush and wipe them down with a cloth.


8. Get some coconut oil and a cloth and give the tools a good polish. This will not only make them look spangly (yes, that is a technical term) but it will also protect them from rusting in the future.


This method will work for other rusty items as well so think twice before chucking them out and try a natural solution to give them a new lease of life.


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2 thoughts on “How to Polish a Rusty Tool the Natural Way”

  1. I have “nominated” you for a blogging award – the post will be published on my blog tomorrow (26.03.18) at
    Please don’t feel you have to take part, or do anything, unless you want to, but I nominated you,and provided a link to your blog, because I am interested and inspired by your journey towards fewer chemicals & a more organic way-of-life, and I think your blog deserves to be more widely publicised.

    1. Thank you. I am glad you are enjoying it and I just had a look at yours – well done for finding the energy to write with everything you have going on. Looking forward to reading your post tomorrow 😊

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