Vinegar rust removal, 19 months later (vlog)

A lot of people on the internet talk about
using vinegar to remove rust from metal. People will leave it in there for a couple
of days or they’ll leave it in there for a couple of weeks. The idea being that the longer you leave it
in there, the better job it’ll do of removing the rust from the metal. I wanted to try this process out, so I gathered
up some rusty tools and put them in this trash can filled with vinegar. I planned on leaving the tools in the mix
for the summer. But then life got in the way, and here we
are, 19 months later, and I have no idea what’s left. If they’ve been destroyed, it’s not that big
of a deal, because they were all kind of unusable anyway. What you’re looking at now are pictures of
tools that didn’t make the cut because they weren’t rusty enough. You can see these are pretty rusty. The ones that did end up being part of the
experiment were covered in this rusty powder. They were really unpleasant to use, if not
unusable, so if these come out destroyed, that’s not the end of the world. It’s a part of science. So if there is anything left in this can,
im going to take it out. I’m going to scrub it up, in this container. And then I’m going to neutralize the vinegar
in this container with baking soda and water. And then I’m going to use Prep and Etch to
prepare it for painting and protect it until I can coat it in just some spray clear coat. Let’s see what we’ve got. We’ve got some files here. These files are just crazy thin. And some of the parts of the wrenches have
disintegrated. It’s pretty much just chunks of stuff left
now. New plan, this is now going to be the baking
soda and water comntainer. There’s still some tools left as you can see,
but this is really, really gross looking. So I’m going to netralize in here. And then the next one is going to be a rinse
bucket. And then it’ll go to the Prep and Etch. This is kind of crazy. This must be chroming, and it is coming off. So I scrubbed all of them and they’re still
pretty dirty. So I changed out this water, and now I’m going
to just transfer them back over. Now we’ll do some Prep and Etch. OK. It’s been 30 minutes, so now I can take all
the tools out of here and rinse them off. Got it. This spring! It’s been 24 hours, so all these parts should
be dry. So now I’m going to spray them with Rustoleum
Ultra Cover Satin Clear Spray. The clear coat is dry, so now we can take
a closer look at the tools. Most of these look pretty good. There’s some obvious damage that happened. This wrench used to have the box end on both
ends, and now this is more of a pry bar. There’s major pitting that happened on certain
pieces like the ends of the Allen wrenches. You can see that it looks like a sponge. I talked to my friend Henry who’s a metals
guy. He talked about doing a similar process. But instead of using vinegar, he used much
stronger acids, and he saw similar results, quicker. Evidently this sponginess is because these
holes were rust pockets that just weren’t visible before. The acid goes after rust, so it just ate all
the way into the metal. A lot of these sockets are the impact type,
so they weren’t chrome plated. Meaning that they wrere more vulnerable to
rust. I am most surprised by this little spring. It’s nuts that it made it through with as
thin as it is. It was previously inside of this ratcheting
wrench. And so that must have protected it from rust
in the first place. The grey color is from the etching. Evidently at microscopic levels, this etching
affected the different crystals of the metal in different ways. From up here at a human eye level, that looks
grey. You can see inside some of the sockets, too,
that I didn’t clean well enough in there. And it already kind of rusted again. That’s not a big deal because the wrenches
and sockets, specifically… They might have lost enough metal to not be
worth using anymore. For example, this 3/4 wrench here. Take my Craftsman wrench. That’s .75. Compared to the 3/4 on this Indestro wrench. That’s .8, .79. That’s not a small amount. And you certainly wouldn’t want to be turning
real hard on a bolt head and strip it out. But it was still a worthy experiment. And some of this stuff just looks really cool. It’s almost like artwork. Like the end of this file that dissolved. That’s all I got. Thanks for watching! Special thanks: Abby and Henry Learn more at

100 Replies to “Vinegar rust removal, 19 months later (vlog)”

  1. Hey everybody! I made a follow up video ( to answer some frequently answered questions. Links below…

    Why didn't you use a wire brush/Coke/molasses/etc.?

    Are you related to Quentin Tarantino/Jimmie from "Pulp Fiction"?
    Separated at birth? You decide.

    You spray painted with your thumb. Are you some kind of monster?

    Where's your neck?

    Why did you clear coat the tools?

    Do the files still work?

    How did the bucket smell?

    Why didn't you share a photo of the original tools?
    I didn't think I had one. But I found one!

    Why do you heart all the comments?
    I appreciate that you took the time to write out some feedback, so I try to heart all the positive, entertaining or useful comments that don't have offensive stuff that could get me in trouble for assocating with in the future. If I don't respond right away, please take no offense! The YT comment system can be tough to use sometimes.

  2. First off it didnt take you almost 2 years to take 10 mins out your day to get the tools out the trash can, or even 30 mins, sorry but i dont see how you are that busy or believe it, so busy you cant spare 30 mins in a 19 month time frame? Yea nah sorry

  3. Intresting. How would you handle pliers? My tools are my babies but my dad has alot of old rusted tools id like to fix up a bit

  4. If you've got the tools, just removing the rust with a wire brush head is the easiest. If you dont, vinegar and a wire hand brush will get rust off pretty quick.

  5. I have used steel wool (brand new) and vinegar to make leather dye; the vinegar dissolves the metal to form what I believe is called ferric acid. This turns leather jet black (but sadly also breaks the fibers down over time). My point is that the vinegar doesn't just eat rust. It happily dissolves shinny new ferrous metal as well if you leave it long enough!

  6. That was worse looking than bong water. Well wait a minute, someone needs to do a 19 month bong water experiment, but that would require 570 days worth of weed! Ok who's going to do it?

  7. Instead of getting vinegar to do its work over a couple of days, you did an overkill by soaking those tools for 19 months. Is that called a test ?

  8. Men who use there thumbs to spray paint are usually the type of men who leave tools in vinegar for 19 months

  9. Who would've thought leaving metal in acid, would result in disintegrated material. Sarcasm inserted.

  10. I've used vinegar and the trick is don't leave items in for nineteen months….only supposed to leave in for like 24 hours….for extremely rusted tools don't be cheap and go buy new ones……gardening trick… Put some rusted tools in the ground around trees and plants,they will love you for it.

  11. This guy it basically a serial killer in training. Seriously? Anyone who thinks ‘I’ll just dump this into acid for 19 months’ must have a longer term plan. Is he building a patio? Any relatives not seen for a while?
    Seriously though, 7.22 minutes of curiosity satisfied. That’s what internet is all about.

  12. ahh left aluminum flashlight in it batteries had left debrie a week..ate off coating and most of aluminum…scary now women use this to clean themselves out down there

  13. Lame. All ya had to do was rinse the vinegar off and dry what the rust didn't eat away, and put a thin coat of petroleum jelly on them. How did they get so rusty in the first place? Leave them out in the rain? Dang. None of my tools ever got THAT messed up!

  14. Okay look, some of what you said isn’t accurate. Acid can act on metals, not only rust, so where you pointed to the allen heads and said rust inside was eaten by the acid, you neglected to mention that the metals themselves were being converted to other things, namely salts, and gave the false impression, by accident, that rust does acid remove alone.

  15. I use swimming pool acid cut with 50% water or more. This will not cut oil and grease, if you sharpen a file 50%muratic/50% sulfuric acids. Clean them first with costic soda then submerge in the acid 24 hrs.
    I don't have to tell you to be careful, especially when you heat the soda water this really works

  16. Are most of you people Democrats? I'm talking about the off topic people. Oh, And by the way Vinegar is good for many things. Even put a shot of ACV in ur "Cool Aid" ya know that stuff Obama cool aid!

  17. A bit of basic chemistry and metallurgy. Steel is an iron-carbon alloy. The iron matrix has carbide and ferrite microcrystals giving it strength. Heat treating arranges the crystalline structure so various levels of hardness and toughness can be generated. Acid of any type will strip the iron out of the matrix. Poorly drained neutral soils with low oxygen preserve many objects including people and metal items. Acidic soils will fairly quickly destroy anything made of iron, steel, copper, or bronze. Silver is somewhat affected and gold is virtually immune.

  18. Wonder if I’ll get a like from him on my comment?

    P.S. Don’t ask why I am here.. maybe something is rusty somewhere…

  19. I used to use vinegar and it took two to three days to get the rusty tools clean enough that the wire wheel would clean them up beautifully.

  20. You sure didn't need to prep n etch since the vinegar etches by itself. Next time a day or two will take care of the rust. You probably wrecked what's left of the wrenches and files as they probably have carbon embridlement. Btw the vinegar also adds a anti rust coat.

  21. Yup…don’t watch this after eating potato salad. ? “this looks gross” doesn’t cover it lol.

  22. The best method I've found to remove rust is a 50/50 mix of Muriatic Acid and water. The rust will be removed in an hour or two. After the rust is gone, rinse the part of in a baking soda and water solution and then rinse of in water and dry with a rag. For the remainder of the acid/water mix, very slowly add baking soda in small amounts until the foaming stops. The acid in neutralized and you can either flush it down the toilet or dump it outside as it won't be a problem after the acid is neutralized.

  23. I have a question, I had a very rusty bike cassette which has been soaking in vinegar for 24hrs, I managed to brush all the rust off, but the metal is now a dark colour. Is there any way I can get it shiny silver?

  24. gave me an idea. if i find a wrench thats too small for my nuts ill dip it in vinegar for 19 months to eat some of the metal away.

  25. Interesting. I bought a couple of small victorian seeding machines on ebay a few years ago. They were both the same design so I thought I would be able to make one good one from parts of both. When they arrived, they were solid with rust and stuck together. None of the parts could move, it was like a model of two machines. I made up a vinegar bath and soaked them for a whole week, then cleaned and oiled them and they were both able to be moved about and seperated. Eventually I made one good one from both then fabricated the missing bits on the second and ended up with two useable machines..Im amazed your tools were still alive after all that time.

  26. It does not take 19 months for vinegar to react with rust, seriously. Couple days/weeks , yes. I don't know where you got the info stating 1.5 yrs.

  27. Try adding a 12v pos and neg wire attach black to the item being un rusted can also play with adding nickel to the vinegar via 100 % nickel strips on pos and just put neg in vinegar b4 derusting?

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