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Remove rust from ‘almost anything’ with this homemade hack: ‘Say goodbye to rusty relics’

“That’s an incredible tip.”

“That’s an incredible tip."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Rust weakens metal products over time, causing discoloration and reducing the item’s lifespan.

Instead of spending money to replace your rusted household tools, use a simple yet effective homemade remedy to make rust disappear. The secret behind this rust-removing hack is a common vegetable in your kitchen: potatoes.

The scoop

In a popular video, the TikTok account Museum of Science (@museumofscience) explains the chemistry behind how potatoes remove stubborn rust buildup.

By cutting a potato in half and mixing it with a combination of baking soda and salt, you can make a homemade, non-toxic compound to remove rust from “almost anything.” 

@museumofscience Did you know a simple potato can make rust disappear? 🥔    Say goodbye to rusty relics with this science hack that transforms a kitchen staple into a powerful rust remover!    #LifeHackTok #ScienceHack #GetCultured #CleanTok ♬ original sound – Museum of Science

As the narrator explains, potatoes contain a chemical compound known as oxalic acid, which is found in common household cleaning agents. When applied to rusty surfaces, the oxalic acid in the potatoes triggers a chemical reaction that makes the rust water-soluble. 

While the oxalic acid breaks down the rust, the mixture of baking soda and salt scrubs the remaining residue away, resulting in a clean, rust-free product. 

“Say goodbye to rusty relics,” wrote the Museum of Science. 

How it’s helping

Anti-rust products contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic when inhaled in poorly ventilated, small spaces. Homemade cleaning remedies, such as this one, can help you avoid dangerous ingredients and are just as effective as popular cleaning products.

Using potatoes as a rust remover is also a great way to save money and reduce your overall plastic usage and waste. Traditional cleaning agents come in plastic containers that often end up in the ocean or landfills instead of getting recycled.

With this hack, you can protect yourself and the planet by removing rust without the use of toxic ingredients and unnecessary plastics.

What’s everyone saying?

TikTok users were excited to try this simple hack at home and interested in understanding the science behind this video. 

“That’s an incredible tip,” commented one user. 

“Thanks for explaining the chemical reaction bit,” wrote another. 

“Going to open a car wash with potatoes, and at the end, you get free fries!” one commenter joked.

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