How to rescue the lost shine from metals and rusted steel

Metal Rescue, a 5-time SEMA-show Global award winner, dissolves rust from objects in hours

Published: March 30, 2012, 2:00 PM
Updated: August 23, 2020, 6:22 PM

Metal Rescue Rust Remover Bath

We are conditioned to be skeptical about miracle cures; things that defy logic or promise solutions thought to be impossible or at least unlikely. When I heard about Metal Rescue during a conversation with some restoration experts, the first little warning signals appeared. Really? A safe, eco-friendly liquid that removes rust? Sure.

But a little research showed the stuff has developed quite a following. I obtained some from the Canadian distributor to give it a try. The directions were too simple: pour the clear liquid into a container, immerse the rusted object and wait. I picked a rusted file from my workbench and stuck the end in about 3-cm of the Metal Rescue.

An hour later nothing had happened and my suspicions appeared warranted. I became busy and forgot about it for a couple of hours. When I checked after four hours, I was stunned to see the results. The rust had completely disappeared from the portion that had been in the liquid.

For another test I took a rusted circular saw blade, used a wire brush to clean off one side and did nothing to the other, left it in the liquid overnight and voila – the next morning the rust was gone, more so from the cleaned side. Next up, a 100-year-old implement of unknown origin. A light brush to get off the dirt and four hours later the rust was gone as well. Subsequent tests showed Metal Rescue works on painted surfaces that have some rust and that it works more quickly at room temperature or above, than in colder conditions.

A miracle? Yes, to those of us who live in areas where rust quickly lays claim to any unprotected steel. I’ve seen a film of rust appear overnight on new and/or clean brake drums and rotors. I’ve become pretty adept at coating objects to prevent rust and until now at trying to remove rust with everything from files, grinders and wire brushes to sand blasting. But Metal Rescue, a five-time SEMA Global award winner, is a whole new game.

A product of Armor Protective Packaging of Michigan, Metal Rescue is a "rust removal bath." The company says it works by utilizing a water-based, safe synthetic molecule that is attracted specifically to iron oxide (i.e. rust). Metal Rescue "removes the iron oxide and holds it in solution, leaving the base part and other materials safely unaffected." It says metal parts can be restored in five minutes to 24 hours, depending upon the amount of rust, type of steel and temperature of the solution.

If not being painted or otherwise covered, Armor suggest coating any freshly-treated metal to prevent the re-occurrence of rust. It sells a product for this purpose called Dry Coat.

Environmentally friendly, Metal Rescue is a water-based, non-toxic, clear liquid that contains no acids, alkalis or solvents. It can be used repeatedly, gradually losing its effectiveness until it no longer pulls iron oxide off the metal – at this point it is black in appearance. Since it is biodegradable and contains no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) it can be disposed of down the drain in most municipalities if hazardous wastes have not been introduced into the solution.

The retail price is $32.98 for a 3.78-litre (US gallon) container and $130.98 for 18.9 litres (5 US gallons). Metal Rescue is available at 15 Oil Gard Anti-Rust dealers in Ontario and some auto parts stores. The company ships across the country and is actively recruiting dealers.

Learn more at and direct inquiries or orders to or call 1-800-887-2304.

You can also purchase the product directly from