Non-conventional rust removers?


November 1, 2012, 09:36 PM
I'm looking to finish taking the rust off my sks. I've had some success with steel wool and rem-oil, but I don't think it's neutralizing all the rust. I'm going to soak the bolt carrier in mineral spirits over night.

I was considering buying a can of Kroil to soak the rust spots. They're not on the barrel, they're by the receiver in harder to reach places. But I don't want to spend $15 or so on a can if I don't have to.

Can I use a drop of mineral spirits or kerosene to do the same thing as Kroil? Are there any other things I could use to lift the rust?

Will any of this harm bluing? I don't want anything that would do that.

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November 1, 2012, 11:29 PM
Go ahead and spring for the can of Kroil, you will find many more uses for it. It does work better at getting under rust than mineral spirits or kerosene.

November 2, 2012, 12:14 PM
Ever see a kerosene can rust on your dads old farm?

I have!

BTW: Buy a little bottle of Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil at the hardware store for a $1.98.
It will work as well as Kroil.


November 2, 2012, 02:56 PM
I just went to look for some Kroil today. I didn't find any, but a guy there said that he uses Hoppes 9. He was quite confident about it.

November 2, 2012, 03:38 PM
Hoppes No 9 oil is too thick to use as a penetrating oil. Hoppes No 9 cleaner isn't particularly suitable for removing rust.

Liquid Wrench is a pretty good penetrating oil and will work well for removing rust. I used it for years, had a bottle, a spray can and a large can full for soaking parts. Then I tried Kroil. It's even better than Liquid Wrench for loosening stuck screws. It's too expensive for removing rust although it works quite well for that also.

November 2, 2012, 03:48 PM
Yeah, I use Hoppes in the bore, but I was skeptical of it's rust removing properties. This guy had claimed to have cleaned many thousands of guns.

One time I wiped down a gun that had been sitting in a garage for decades. Most of the rust wiped right off.

But I'll look into this Liquid Wrench.

Jim Watson
November 2, 2012, 04:33 PM
I have read of but not tried automatic transmission fluid as a rust remover, solvent, and lube on guns.

Lots of things will work. Time is on your side. Keep the rust wet with whatever you use and let it soak and soften the scale. Don't just spritz and scrub in a hurry.

November 2, 2012, 04:41 PM
I read on here how a combination of automatic transmission fluid and acetone works a better penetrate than Kroil even. Although it's highly flammable. I was thinking that either I could try that, or get some of that Liquid Wrench.

The thing is, how else would you dig out moderate rust? Mine isn't that bad, but on another note, you can't really scrub pitting rust out, can you?

November 2, 2012, 06:53 PM
I went to Wal-Mart to get some Liquid Wrench. All they had was a big 11 oz aresol can, but most of the price was covered because I have a few dollars left on a gift card. I go to the counter, turns out that I don't actually have that gift card. So I spend over $4.

I know aresol isn't ideal, but I figured I'd just spray a little bit. Except that it doesn't let you spray a little, it comes out big time. So I'm wasting a lot more than I need. :(

November 2, 2012, 07:46 PM
PB-Blaster works awesome on surface rust. I don't know if it will mess with your bluing though.

November 2, 2012, 07:59 PM
Some easy to get to spots and a number 2 pencil has worked for me. Try it before you think it total B.S. Then go back and use your lube to remove the pencil marks.

November 3, 2012, 09:44 AM
Soak the rusted parts in kerosene and use a some stiff nylon brushes to remove the loose rust. 24 -48 hours does the trick. You can also use a Toilet Bowl cleaner that removes rust stains. Toilet bowl cleaner will remove bluing where ever it touches :what:

Remember the parts will have to be re-blued or parkerized when you are all done.

November 3, 2012, 02:10 PM
Hot citric acid will remove rust too. I use 1 tbs/qt of water. I have never used this on gun parts but have on tools.

November 3, 2012, 04:19 PM
Let me see...what did I recently, some regular old Break-Free CLP oil and a brass bristle brush.
Worked fine and was a blued finish too.

November 3, 2012, 04:47 PM
Look, if you haven't actually used something on a blued firearm don't be telling the guy to try XYZ and cause him to ruin the finish.

November 3, 2012, 07:53 PM

Easily done at home. Likely you have all the materials at hand, too.

November 3, 2012, 11:02 PM
Look, if you haven't actually used something on a blued firearm don't be telling the guy to try XYZ and cause him to ruin the finish.

What are you referring to?

November 3, 2012, 11:21 PM
Probably suggestions like using hot citric acid. Now, I'm not slamming that idea, but if it would take off finish, then I don't want to use it.

Are there any criteria for things that would diminish bluing? I assume acidic things would, correct?

November 4, 2012, 12:11 AM
To clarify, I'm especially trying to get this stain off the bolt carrier that won't come off. I've tried steel wool, I even tried soaking it in mineral spirits for a day. I hasn't seemed to make a dent. I mean, I've lightened it over the years, but I can't get rid of it. I think it's rust, because it's causing some minor pitting, but why is it so stubborn?

I'm also trying to get some moderate specks off the part of the receiver that is right by the bolt, so there's not much space. There's also some on the receiver in front of the sights, and on the bayonet lug. There's a bit more, but that's what I'm working on right now.

To clarify what I'm talking about, a few months ago I posted some pictures. It's a bit cleaned up now, and I no longer use that junk mag, but to see what I'm talking about, check out post #3, 2nd picture down.

November 4, 2012, 12:48 AM
I am aware that you don't want to mess up your bluing, but have you thought about using a product that will remove the bluing and then touching it up with some cold blue afterward? If you are I would recommend Naval Jelly rust remover. You can buy it at the hardware store, and like the name says, it's a jelly so you can use a q-tip or toothpick to apply a very small amount. It WILL remove the rust and it WILL remove the bluing wherever it contacts the metal. Anyway good luck with whatever you try.

November 4, 2012, 10:03 AM
It sounds as if you've worked the rust down and what you are left with is pits. The pits will always hold dirt and fouling that will attract moisture--> causing rust.

Sadly, steel doesn't regenerate, you can hand polish the pit's out if they're not too deep, have the pits micro welded and the parts polished, or you can replace the parts.

November 4, 2012, 12:12 PM
You asked for a non-conventional rust remover and I gave you an option. The conventional methods were being offered. Though a 50/50 mix of ATF and K1 had not been mentioned. The use of a ultrasonic cleaner will help loosen the particles in pits. If the parts are small enough to fit, use Kroil as the medium.

Citric acid is now used in most all the environmentally safe cleaners now. M-Pro7 is one that has it among others. It is great for removing carbon fowling. The acid from your sweetie hands can be more corrosive than citric acid.

Sounds like you have all but the deepest pits out.

November 4, 2012, 05:57 PM
So that's what that stain is? Dust and fouling? Because it's still there, but you can see some pits. I'm trying to keep as much of the original finish as I can. To be honest, I don't know why. It is one of the older, better made Norincos, although it's clearly seen better days. I suspect that the person who owned it before me beat it up, probably as a field gun or something. I suppose I could touch it up, but it just feels like the point of no return, you know? Though reading this has put me on the fence.

What's micro welding? Is that TIG?

November 5, 2012, 08:39 AM
Micro welding is extremely fine and localized welding, I don't know what the welding rig looks like, but it often used in things like repairing molds and fine gun restoration.

I don't know anything about collectable SKS rifles, so take the following with a grain of salt...

I would either: Polish the parts that can't be replaced, remove the finish from the rest, and have the rifle Ceracoated. Ceracoat can make minor pitting disappear. Or, I would sell this rifle as is, and find another in better condition.

In my experience, it's easy to get way upside down in a gun project :uhoh: Collectors want original condition- 90% + original finish.


elder flatulence
November 5, 2012, 12:34 PM
Anyone ever try a stainless steel scouring pad?? I've had good luck with them- they don't remove blueing just the rust. Get them in the housewares dept. at the grocery. Just be sure they are Stainless- Brownells sells the same thing as the "Big 45" rust remover pad.

November 6, 2012, 01:44 PM
Here's another idea for you:
Just replace the bolt group if you can't get it removed.

November 6, 2012, 07:03 PM
Last week at Harbor Freight I saw a new rust remover called EVAPORUST. Comes in quarts and gallons at $5 and $17 tried the quart on old rusty tools. It is amazing. soaked overnight surface rust was removed completely. some parts came out gray and some appear well blued. I have not tried it yet on a blued gun but when the need arises I will. I will pick up a gallon tomorrow when I am in town, plan to keep a plastic bucket in My shop and use it regularly. Also might mention that you can just reach right in no acid, feels like soap, washes right off.

Jim Watson
November 6, 2012, 07:27 PM
Evaporust will take off the rust and leave bare steel a blotchy gray and black.
Blue will go along with the rust.
I have run a number of rusty magazines through it and it gets them serviceable but not pretty.

I think we are going way too far for an SKS unless there is a collector's market in commie surplus I haven't heard of. Oil it up, scrub it down, keep oiled, plink.

November 6, 2012, 07:36 PM
Anyone ever try a stainless steel scouring pad?? I've had good luck with them- they don't remove blueing just the rust. Get them in the housewares dept. at the grocery. Just be sure they are Stainless- Brownells sells the same thing as the "Big 45" rust remover pad.
Yes this works very well.I have used it on rusty barrels (blued) Use the pad along with any of the rust penetrate oils like Liquid Wrench, Blaster, Kroil My Dad used liquid wrench many years ago. It's as good as any. Kroil is no magic formula.

November 7, 2012, 04:55 PM
Well, it's not collectable, though it is slightly more than a run of the mill Norinco because of it's age. I see this as good practice for when I get a more expensive firearm to maintain.

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