Best Rust Remover Products for Your Car

Have some ugly rust on your vehicle? With the right product, you can tackle that fix yourself.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Rusty Car
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DIY Car Rust Removal

In the world of auto body work, rust removal is the first small step in the much larger process of returning a rusty vehicle to good condition. No one who knows what they’re doing just sprays on rust remover and walks away. There’s a lot more work to do.

After removing rust, the clean but pitted metal must be filled, sanded, repainted and then clear coated. In more severe cases, new metal may need to be welded into the vehicle to replace pieces that have rusted away.

Knowing that, think of rust removal products as a helpful first step for vehicle restoration. If you’ve got a rusty vehicle you’d like to repair, here are some great rust removal products to consider.

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Best Biodegradable Rust Remover

If you’ve got rust but the environmental impact of rust removal products concerns you, look no further than this liquid rust remover from WD-40. It’s not only free of the acids and caustic chemicals in some rust removal products, it’s also completely biodegradable.

Designed to dissolve rust particles fast without sanding or scraping the surface ahead of time, this product will almost certainly make quick work of the ugly oxidization on your vehicle.

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Best Rust Remover for Chrome

Most vehicles have chromed surfaces on or near wheels, mirrors, hoods, grilles, etc. Although chrome itself doesn’t rust, the chrome portions of most vehicles are actually only chrome-plated. The steel underneath this plating can certainly rust, and after a while you may notice small, frequent specks of rust showing through your once pristine chrome.

That’s where this product from Turtle Wax can help. Designed specifically to clear tiny rust spots from failing chrome plating, it also acts as a polish, giving your rusting chrome a new lease on life.

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Best Neutralizing Rust Remover

Some rust removers work by dissolving the oxidized metal, and others by chemically neutralizing it so it no longer reacts with oxygen to form new rust. This product from Loctite is one of the best rust neutralizers I’ve used.

Unlike other products that make similar claims, this one penetrates deeply into the rust, turning it black as it neutralizes the oxidation process. Rust spots I’ve treated with this haven’t formed new rust for a long time. It also stays on well, even in the rain.

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Best Rust Remover/Primer Combo

Rust removers alone aren’t enough to stop new rust from forming if the treated area isn’t protected with primer, new paint and clear coat. All this is time-consuming, but that’s where this product from Xionlab can help. Combining rust removal with a sealing primer, it’s the perfect way to stop rust in its tracks while sealing it against further oxidization.

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Best Abrasion-Based Rust Remover

I do a fair bit of vehicle restoration work, and rust removal is almost always the first step. In practice, I don’t use liquid rust removers often. I find I can remove all the rust I want with my DeWalt random orbit sander and a few 120-grit sanding discs.

This is an aggressive approach to rust removal, and it’s certainly not appropriate for every auto body restoration job. If you’ve only got a few spots of surface rust, it probably doesn’t make sense to mess up your car’s paint job further with a sander. But for deeper, larger rust pockets, a good sander will help you make things worse so you can make them better.

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Best Spray-On Rust Remover

It’s hard the beat the convenience of a spray bottle, but only if the stuff inside it actually works. Many spray-on rust removers I’ve tried are too dilute to work well, or come in flimsy bottles that don’t spray with gusto. This product from VHT has neither problem.

A rust converter product (another name for rust neutralizer), this stuff sprays on quickly and easily. It turns the rusted metal black while changing it chemically to prevent new rust from forming. It does exactly what it claims in record time. It’s really potent, so be sure to wear gloves and safety goggles during use, as you should with any rust removal product.

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