You may have seen aluminum rust without even realizing it. Aluminum is known as a rust-resistant material, but if it does rust, how do you remove it? Here’s how to get rid of rust and how to prevent it.
Since aluminum is commonly used for window sashes, shutters, gates, etc., which are exposed to the outside air all year round, people tend to think that aluminum does not rust. However, on the other hand, there are also voices saying that the sashes of the windows of the house where they have lived for a long time are corroding. In other words, aluminum is “rust resistant” but not “rust free”.
What is aluminum rust?
Have you ever found a very aged 1 yen coin among the change you received from the shop or the coins you found on the side of the road? It is dull and rough with a white spotted discoloration. What looks like mold on the surface of an old one-yen coin made of aluminum…it’s not mold, it’s rust.
When you hear the word “rust,” the first thing that comes to mind is red rust on nails and hatchets. However, there is also a type of rust called “white rust,” which is exactly what aluminum sticks to. For those who are used to reddish-brown rust, white rust looks just dirty at first glance, and it also looks like it is blowing powder, so they may mistakenly think that it is not rust. Typical examples of items that are prone to corrosion include aluminum window sashes, automobile tire wheels, warehouse shutters and gates, and kitchen utensils.
Causes of aluminum rust
Why does aluminum rust? It happens when dirt such as dust, sand, exhaust gas and sea breeze sticks to it and is left unattended. Dirt on aluminum turns into a corrosive aqueous solution when combined with atmospheric humidity and water such as rain. This corrosive aqueous solution dissolves the oxide film that covers the surface of aluminum, and as a result, there is nothing to protect the aluminum itself, and it rusts.
Exhaust gases from water heaters can also cause aluminum to rust, so be careful if there is a window nearby. Also, if the aluminum is scratched, the film on the surface will be peeled off as well, which is one of the causes of advancing corrosion. In other words, the three main causes are dirt, moisture, and scratches.
How to remove aluminum rust
There are various ways to remove the white rust that has adhered, from familiar things to commercially available products. Before using a special rust remover, we will first introduce some common ways to remove rust.
How to remove ① Vinegar
First of all, let’s remove rust with the most familiar thing. It’s a vinegar that is sure to be in the kitchen of any house. Acetic acid has the power to decompose oxidation. Cover the rusted area with a cloth soaked in vinegar and let it sit for several hours. Then carefully scrub it off with a toothbrush. This item is easy to implement when you notice it, so please try it when you notice that the aluminum has turned white. It is also effective to soak relatively small items such as kitchen utensils and tools directly in vinegar.
How to remove ② Citric acid
Click here for small aluminum products such as kitchen utensils and tools. Add an appropriate amount of citric acid to a plastic bowl or case, dissolve it in hot water, and soak the rusted object in it. Avoid metal balls as they may dissolve in the acid. It is also NG to mix with other chlorine detergents to avoid the generation of toxic gas. After soaking overnight, rinse with water and dry thoroughly. You can also squeeze lime or lemon juice containing citric acid and let it sit for a few hours, then rub it off with the peel.
How to remove ③ Toothpaste
This is the earliest and most effective method. Toothpaste, which is a familiar daily item, contains abrasives, so it is used in various situations other than the original purpose of brushing teeth. White rust on aluminum is no exception. Use a toothbrush to scrub the rusty areas. However, as mentioned earlier, toothpaste is a relatively early stage of white rust. To gauge how serious the rust is, you might want to try using toothpaste first, and if it doesn’t come off, try other methods.
How to remove ④ Cleanser
Cleanser that has been active in the kitchen for a long time. It is also an item that is often used to remove rust attached to the sink. This is also a method of scraping off using an abrasive, similar to toothpaste. Apply an appropriate amount to the rusted area and scrub with a toothbrush. It is inexpensive and has just the right texture, so it is recommended for a wide range of rust. It is known that this is also effective for general red rust.
How to remove ⑤ sandpaper
It is easy to get sandpaper at home centers. The smaller the number after #, the coarser the mesh, and the larger the number, the finer the mesh. #0 to #1000 are suitable for removing rust, so use them according to the condition of the rust. Using sandpaper will scrape away the aluminum itself, so it is undeniable that there will be some deformation in areas where corrosion is progressing. It is recommended to use water-resistant paper together with the rust removal finish, as it will smooth the scraped area.
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How to prevent white rust on aluminum
Rusted aluminum is not beautiful to look at, and the motivation to take good care of it goes down. Window sashes and gates are visible to visitors, and it would be a great shock to find rust on your car. Also, after the white rust has formed, removing the rust is a bit of a pain. What should we do to keep our precious kitchen utensils, our beloved cars, the window sashes of our homes, etc. in a well-maintained and beautiful condition? Next, I will talk about how to prevent white rust from occurring.
For aluminum sash
Since the sash has many grooves, dust and sand accumulate quickly. Simply removing it every day will help prevent corrosion. It is recommended to prepare a plastic bottle filled with water and wash away the groove. However, moisture will mix with remaining dirt and turn into a corrosive aqueous solution that will cause the aluminum to rust, so wipe off the moisture that causes corrosion with a soft cloth. Especially in winter when dew condensation is likely to occur, do it once a month to prevent corrosion.
For car and motorcycle wheels
It is best to stop the wheels of the tires in a place where it is difficult to touch the sea breeze and exhaust gas that cause white rust, but that is not possible. The wheels of the riders’ favorite cars lined up on the beach are all shiny without any discoloration. Well maintained. It is important to wash the car daily to remove dirt. Don’t forget to wipe the wheel at this time. Then, apply a coating agent or anti-rust agent once every one to two months.
for kitchen utensils
Kitchen utensils that you use every day are easy to care for. When it comes to maintenance, if you don’t store it half-dried, but store it after it is completely dry, it will prevent rust. You might end up scrubbing things like aluminum pots, but avoid doing that. To prevent scorching, wash the used aluminum pan with a neutral detergent while it is still hot, and do not bake it in the air. This will prevent white rust.
In addition to cars and windows, aluminum is used in various places such as shutters and gates. The reason aluminum is often used for things that are used outside is because it is a material that does not easily rust. However, if you do not prevent rust and leave it too long, it may be too late when you notice it.
In the case of large aluminum products such as shutters, you may have to ask a specialist to do it for tens of thousands of yen. This is not limited to aluminum products, but you can extend the life of your items by regularly cleaning them yourself. Don’t ignore the cause of white rust, take care of it to prevent it, and if you find white rust on your precious car or window, please try these methods.