How to Stop Rust on Metal: 13 Tips That Actually Work

We have all heard about “Rusting,” an orange-brown flaky residue that forms over iron or any metallic surface that consists of iron as a component. It happens when the metal comes in contact with water and air. Rusting is actually a form of corrosion that tends to be particularly destructive & unsightly. So, it’s especially important to know the right methods on how to stop rust on metal.

Essentially, if you were wondering, what is rust? It is iron oxide that develops from the oxidation of iron in metal.

First things first, you need to ensure that your metallic objects do not get infected with rust. There are several protocols in the market that help you add a protective career over the metal. However, in case you were unaware of the ways to protect your metal, they might have started rusting by now.

In this article, we will list out different ways to make sure that rust doesn’t destroy your metal objects.

First, let us address the ways on how to stop rust before it starts.

1.   Use Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has recently become quite popular among the metal construction community. The primary reason behind it is that it has been composited to prevent rusting. Essentially, it is rust-resistant. The alloy comprises iron, which is prone to rust. However, it houses a higher chromium percentage, which is highly reactive.

This chromium present in stainless steel oxidizes pretty quickly to create a protective chromium oxide layer over the surface of the metal. Ultimately, this prevents the oxygen in the air from reaching iron within the stainless steel & hence preventing the occurrence of rusted metal.

2.   Use Bluing Technique

In simple terms, bluing is the passivation of steel, where it is protected partially against rusting. The protective finish can be seen as a black-blue coating and hence the name. The bluing technique is primarily used by gunsmiths, gun manufacturers, or gun owners for improvement of its cosmetic appearance.

Not just that, it provides a certain degree of resistance to rusting or similar environmental corrosion. So, in case you are wondering how to prevent rust, bluing will help get it done in a great way.

3.   Cathodic Protection

If you are wondering how to prevent rust on metal, this particular process is among the top-ranked choices. The process of cathodic protection involved the control of corrosion that occurs over metallic surfaces.

Cathodic protection is done by making the metal a cathode in the electrochemical cell. This simple yet effective method helps protect fuel pipelines, steel water, storage tanks, water heaters, boat hulls, and so on.

4.   Avoiding Scratches or Cracks

Wondering how to stop rust on metal, you need to take care of the cracks and scratches first. The broken metal surface is exposed to water at deeper levels than normal. It leads to moisture logging deep within the metal.

To avoid abrupt cracks or scratches, you can make use of cold-rolled steel as compared to the hot-rolled ones because it allows for the creation of smoother surface minus the texture that traps or holds water.

5.   Control Humidity

The right way to prevent rusty metal is to keep it away from moisture. However, that might not be possible in all cases. If you have metallic objects that are small enough to be stored, make sure you have them kept within airtight containers.

On the other hand, bigger metal objects within the house can be kept free from rust with the use of proper air conditioners that help keep away the moisture.

6.   Keep the Metal Clean and Dry

Once the rust corrosion process starts, it is hard to control the same. So, the best move would be to ensure that it isn’t exposed to oxygen + moisture combination in the first place. Always look for a supplier that ensures proper packing and shipping of your asset to keep the moisture content away.

Additionally, always keep your metal object clean and dry with the use of dry wipes or conditioning substances that help enhance its longevity with rust prevention.

7.   Regular Maintenance

Before you go ahead and start your metal maintenance process, it is vital to know what causes rust on metal.

The elements that can lead to rust include:

  • Moisture (Water)
  • Oxygen
  • Salt

So, looking for methods to keep the metal away from these deteriorative ways can help initiate the maintenance process.

8.   Pre-Design Properly

Before you buy any metal, make sure you check whether it has been designed with rust-prevention methods in mind. Make sure you refrain from the use of carbon steel, which is known to rust easily.

So, in case you are looking for a rust-free metal for your car that is kept outside, make sure you consider its pre-design. Check for components that are coated for durability and moisture prevention from the start.

9.   Proper Storage to Stop Rust

Another factor that ensures that your metal doesn’t rust away is to ensure proper storage. While the metal objects meant for outside use cannot be stored for a long time, others can be put into airtight contains.

Apart from this, you can check for companies that opt for optimum storage facilities before shipping the products to its rightful consumers. There is no point in coating your metal surface with rust-preventers if moisture has already seeped deep into the metal, thereby causing rust.

Top 4 ways to prevent rust from getting worse

10.  Use Weathering Steel

If you cannot afford stainless steel, you can make use of weathering steel to prevent further rusting. Weathering steel comprises a chemical composition that exhibits high resistance to oxygen-induced atmospheric corrosion. When compared to mild steel, this steel variant will rust, but not to the deepest levels.

Simply put, normal steel tends to develop rust comprised of tiny pores atop the surface. These tiny pores allow rust to get deeper into the metal, making it a non-stop process. However, with the weathering steel, only the outer layer is infected as it is minimally porous and doesn’t penetrate deeper into the metal.

11.  Use Galvanized Metal

If you just saw the initiation of rusting on your metal, you can get them a coating of zinc. This coating is termed as galvanized metal. This zinc coating helps prevent corrosion and rusting far longer as compared to paint.

Galvanized steel will last as long as 50 years. However, the brown rot shall eventually set in. To say the least, no metal is 100% free from rust for a long term. Eventually, rust catches up with time. However, galvanized metal gives you a 50 year-long or more of rust-free metal.

12.  Apply Rust Preventive Coatings

When trying to prevent rust from happening, you can try several preventative coatings such as oil coating, dry coating, painting, powder coating, fozz, and more.

  • Oil coating works on the basis that oil & water don’t mix up, and hence it forms a protective layer over the metal. This coating penetrates deep within the metal’s oxide water & helps stabilize the same.
  • There are several products available in the market that can be used for the dry coating to prevent rusting. The dry coating process helps create a barrier over the metal parts without leaving any residue. It is used for effective storage, shipping, and more without breaking down from rust.
  • Painting the metal also slows down the rusting process by preventing the moisture from getting within the metal.
  • Powder coating is the process of applying a layer of vinyl, acrylic, epoxy, or similar substances. These substances help prevent the moisture from seeping into the metal and hence prevent rusting.
  • Fozz is the procedure of applying a balanced phosphoric acid blend with other chemicals, extenders, as well as wetting agents. This process helps dissolve the existing rust while preventing further deterioration. Fozz essentially is a primer that conditions the metal for paint to be applied upon.

13.  Apply Rust Inhibitors

In case your metal object has been infected with rust, the use of rust inhibitors can help prevent further deterioration. These inhibitors help slow down the metal oxidization process after they are exposed to water and oxygen.

However, keep in mind to scrub out the existing rust with sandpaper before applying the rust inhibitors to ensure the metal doesn’t deteriorate further.

Frequently Asked Questions for Preventing Rust

1. Is there any coating agent available for rust prevention?

Yes, Rusting can be prevented with the use of zinc for metal galvanizing. It is accomplished via hot-tip galvanization or the method of electroplating.

2. Does WD-40 help prevent rusting?

Yes, WD-40 can help with rust prevention.
You can spray WD-40 atop the metal parts to help get rid of unwanted grime or gunk. It also helps reduce friction or any wear & tear that can lead to corrosion or rusting.

3. Does painting help prevent rusting of metals?

Painting or plating helps prevent water molecules from affecting the metal surface.
This process helps counteract the oxygen interaction with metal and ensures that no rusting occurs over time.

4. What oil variant can prevent rusting?

Linseed oil is perfect for cleaning and applying a rust-free coat over the metallic surface. Applying a thin coating of this oil over the rusted spots for a minimum of 10 minutes ensures that the metal doesn’t deteriorate further.

5. Should I paint over the already rusted metals?

Before you paint over rusted metal, make sure you clean off the loose rust & the flaking paint.
Scrub the rusted areas of the metal with a soft wire brush or sandpaper.
Lastly, before you apply the paint, apply a coat of primer to the same to ensure that the effects last for a year.

Yubi Steel Industry

Yubi Steel Industry is one of the small-quantity metal high-quality suppliers from China. We are Your Expert for Hard-To-Find Specialty Steel and have been providing quality customer service and products since 2010.

We supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: stainless steel, alloy steel, galvanized steel, tool steel, aluminum, brass, bronze, and copper.

Our hot rolled and cold rolled steel is available in a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets, and plates. We can design and produce metal to your exact specifications.

Final Thoughts

Rust, when ignored, can quickly become a major issue.

It ultimately ruins the stability and functionality of critical machinery.

Plus, it can also cost you 1000s of dollars to get the rust-ridden metal repairs or replaced.

The right way is to act when you see even a hint of that red-oxide color on your metal and prevent further deterioration with the use of the methods mentioned above.

Did I miss anything or any questions about how to stop rust on metal?

Let me know in the comments or on LinkedIn.


Liang Eric

Marketing @ Yubisteel. He is one of the Experts for Hard-To-Find Metals.

Leave a Comment

Ready to get started?

Contact us today to learn how our customized plans can help grow your business.

Or call now and get your metal quote fast. WhatsApp: +0025192948130

Your Metal.

Your Grade.

Your Size.

Right Here.