Rust Removal Using Soda

I posed the question recently about how to remove rust from this toolbox full of neglected tools. I got lots of suggestions in the comments recommending different methods. I’ve decided to try out as many of them as possible. First up: soda.

Owing to its phosphoric acid content, Coca Cola has a pretty good reputation as a remover of iron oxide. I chose a bottle of Mexican Pepsi, since it’s made with cane sugar and I’m pretty sure high fructose corn syrup is bad for tools (kidding).

I placed this lovely wrench in a small container, poured in the Pepsi, and let it sit for four days. When I pulled it out I was half-expecting a gleaming, new tool to emerge. Instead, it had removed some of the surface rust, but none of the more serious crud.

I’ve decided to put it back in with a fresh bottle of soda (this time a Mexican Coke) for another week, and then see if there’s much change. As usual, if anyone has advice on this technique, please let us know about it in the comments.


John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He builds project for Adafruit Industries. You can find him at and twitter/IG @johnedgarpark

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