Chemical Free Rust Removal

Written by Cricket

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I can’t tell you how many times I have left tools out in the rain only to find them a few weeks later completely rusted. When building our chicken coop I accidentally left a complete ratchet set out in the rain and forgot about it for quite a while. Every piece was completely rusted, and I was about to toss it in the trash when I forced myself to to look for a way to salvage them. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I discovered this completely wonderful solution! It’s simple, non-toxic, and inexpensive to boot. Let me show you how to EASILY remove rust with just water, molasses, and a bucket. The only hard part for me was making sure I didn’t eat all the molasses!

This is all you need


Use 1 part molasses to 8-10 parts water.


Submerge the tools in the solution, making sure the water level stays above the rusted area. Leave it for 1-2 weeks. It will bubble up and stink after a few days so don’t leave it in the house.



Once all the rusted areas turn black, simply spray the tool with water.



Use a brush to clean it all up and rinse again.



Finally, wipe it all dry with a rag. Use WD-40 or some other protectant to make sure it doesn’t rust again.


Pour the leftover solution into the compost or other area of the garden.

Now was that easy, or what?

Just in case you have any molasses left over and you don’t want to eat it, here are some things you can do with it in the garden:

According to Mother Earth News:

“Molasses is a very valuable addition to the compost pile, as well as to the garden itself. Unsulfured blackstrap is the preferred variety, due to the mineral content, but any of the unsulfured ones will do fine. The benefits beyond the minerals are the natural sugar content that will feed the microorganisms in the compost or soil of the garden.

Use 1/4 to 1 cup to a gallon of water and spray onto the pile or garden, or add to the drip system for the garden. For soils that are poor, stressed or need help use 1 cup, while those that just need a little “snack” use 1/4 cup. The readily available sugar content will skyrocket the microbial activity.”

You can also use it to deter caterpillars

  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 quart lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap




About the author


Welcome to my blog! I’m Cricket (yes, my parents named me that!) and I’m a natural homesteader. Growing up in rural Idaho with a garden, a horse, and lots of canned food, I like to bring those sensibilities to my suburban home in Phoenix, Arizona. Add a little dose of cottage garden flavor and permaculture tendencies, and you’ll see why GardenVariety.Life is a reflection of everything I do.

I truly enjoy sharing the skills that promote a meaningful and practical connection to our gardens and environment. Because so many residents of the metro phoenix area are transplants, I find that the area’s unique desert climate is often misunderstood and underestimated in terms of what is possible. That’s where the fun begins. Arizona is a burgeoning permaculture haven with homesteading written all over it, and there is nothing I enjoy more than encouraging others to jump in and give it a try.