Whatever I’m working on, I try hard to make it as painless as possible. If I can find a way for a task to complete itself, then so much the better. As I remove odd bits and pieces when I’m working on a car I like to put them back onto the car in better shape than they were when I removed them. When working on older vehicles, those improvements often involve rust removal.
My ’81 Parisienne is very much a survivor. Overall it’s in excellent shape for a 30 year veteran of Canadian roads. That being said, it’s not without it’s issues and rust is present in many odd little places. While I was replacing the window motor in the driver’s door I found that many of the screws and fasteners were rusty as well as some assorted plates and panels inside the door. The plates and panels are easily cleaned up with a wire wheel and a bit of rust resistant primer and paint. A few minutes of work and they’re ready to be reinstalled. Screws and fasteners can be a different story altogether. Screw heads, for example, can retain rust in the most persistent of ways. In most cases, it’s simple enough to just replace a screw during the reassembly phase but that’s not always an option and the best recourse is to clean up and protect the part as best as possible. While keeping my eye out for a rust remover in the aisle of the local parts store, I happened to stumble upon Evapo-Rust. Based upon the product’s description of itself, it looked like it would do what I was looking for. To make things even better, the product claimed to be environmentally safe and easy to dispose of. I picked up a bottle and I was not disappointed. As a rust remover for small parts this has got to be the greatest product that I’ve ever seen. Evapo-Rust is capable of devouring more than it’s weight in rust. One gallon can remove rust from up to 300 pounds of light to moderately rusted steel. The beauty of that is being able to keep this product around for quite a while and really get your money’s worth. For a home mechanic that’s good value and really convenient. I keep a small container full of Evapo-Rust on my work bench with a basket inside for lowering small parts in and out. As I dismantle assorted parts I throw the rusted ones in the container for cleaning. In as little as 30 minutes trim screws and small fasteners will be scoured clean and look as though they are brand new. I often leave particularly stubborn parts in the solution for as much as a week. Evapo-Rust bonds specifically to iron, but not strongly enough to damage steel no matter how long it’s exposed. I’m loving that I can now clean small rusted parts without having to spent large amounts of time with a grinder or wire wheel, and it can be done while I get on with the task at hand.
Do yourself a favour, if you’re working on anything that needs to have rust removed from it, pick some of this stuff up for your workbench. I’m betting that you won’t be without a bottle of it again if you do.