Hammerite Rust Removal Gel: Does it Really Work?

Few things are more difficult to clean than rust. It can ruin just about any metal object. Not only does it make the tell-tale red discolouring, but it can also mar the surface with little pits and gouges. It makes hinges, latches, and other moving parts stiff to the point of being unusable.

Trying to clean it takes a lot of elbow grease, and even then it has limited success. In the past, all that I’ve accomplished is a sore arm and stained clothes. Yes, you can try sanding it off, but if that works, you have probably sanded far enough down to scratch the surface.

Enter Hammerite Rust Remover Gel. It’s available for only a few pounds at shops like B&Q. (If you check on www.hammerite.com, you can find a full list of countries where Hammerite products are available. They are not available everywhere, but they are a world-wide company.) The package claims that it can “bring rusty items back to bare metal.”

It boasts some impressive qualities: easy to use, safe, non-damaging to surrounding materials. Most importantly, it claims to remove rust if you simply rub on the gel with the integral brush.

Sceptical, but willing to try it, I bought a tube. I had a vintage suitcase of beautiful white leather. Unfortunately, the latches and other metal pieces were quite rusty. I used a toothbrush to rub off as much loose rust as I could. Then, using the integral brush, I liberally rubbed the gel into the remaining rust. Surprisingly, the gel is neon green and made me think of toxic waste.

The package, however, clearly states that the “wash off is harmless to plants.” The gel is left for twenty minutes (longer if necessary). Then you simply rinse it off. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary. The latches by the case handle did require several applications, but improvement was clearly visible after each application.

Amazingly, the gel works! Admittedly it did not quite bring the case back to the “bare metal”, but it made a huge difference on something that was extremely rusty. It is unbelievably easy to use, and it actually removes rust!

I would highly recommend using this product, especially to remove initial layers of deep rust or for small areas of rust. I do, however, have a few warnings.

1) Wear old clothing when using the rust removal gel. The wash-off may be harmless to plants, but it is damaging to clothes. It does splatter some during application, and will leave green splotches on your clothes. I tried stain-remover spray, but it just turned the spots red instead of green.

2) Promptly wipe the gel off of non-metallic surfaces. It may not harm many surfaces, but it did discolour the leather on my suitcase slightly. The effects may not be immediately visible. The case looked clean after wiping the gel off, but when I later sprayed the leather with a protective spray, a brown discolouration appeared where the gel had been. It won’t clean off.

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