There is nothing magic about rust removers. Most of us deal with Iron Oxide (Fe02) which is rusted iron(steel). The rust remover is a chemical designed to neutralize the FeO2 through chemical reaction. Those that took basic high school chemistry years ago learned that X amount of chemical A mixed with Y amount of chemical B would create a neutral solution. The rust removers could be Chemical B and your rust problem is Chemical A. You apply the rust remover to your rusted part as per instructions and when time is up, you still have some rust remaining and say it did not work well. It really did: there was just too much rest present for the amount of remover applied so you must repeat the process until all the rust is gone. To save on the over priced rust remover, you need to remove as much rust as possible through wire brushing or some other abrasive before applying the rust remover. Applying more remover to heavy rust is a waste because it will run off vice penetrating deeper.
A couple of other things are important when using rust removers. Always rinse liberally to kill all the chemical reactions. Dry as quickly as you can and add some sort of protectant as soon as dry. This fresh new metal starts the rusting process (combining oxygen in the air with the iron in the metal) immediately. A good rust inhibiting primer will kill it and seal out the air so it will not come back to haunt you. Always wear goggles or at least safety glasses when using the chemicals. Also, have a glass full of clean water available to rinse your eyes if you happen to splatter the least droplet in an eye(s).
As a side note, the reason for the wide range of costs for rust removers is usually in the concentration of the real chemical that attacks the Iron Oxide so read the labels that tell you the % of the contents. I can't remember the specific chemical you look for and would have to look on my Rust Mort to remember. Getting old is not for the weak.
Last edited by trees; 02-26-2006 at 08:04 AM.