Find Your Fix

See a selection of our most recent and relevant questions from other Jenolite users.

What is the difference between rust remover and rust converter?

A very common question and lots of confusion, especially for 1st time buyers of rust treatment products.

Essentially the best way to treat rust is to get rid of it completely back to bare metal otherwise any remaining rust will grow back at some point. The only way to do this is to use a rust remover. The rust remover will attack the rust via a chemical reaction making it easier for the end-user to remove it. Once back to bare metal another layer can be applied, and when dry it will act as a protective layer that can be primed and painted over.

It isn’t always possible to get into some areas to work the rust off metal surfaces and therefore the best thing to do would be to use a rust converter. A rust converter, ‘converts’ the top layer of rust into an inert surface plus it contains a rust inhibitor to stop the rust getting worse.  Because there is still rust beneath it will re-appear at some point in the future, maybe 12-24 months later. Using a rust converter requires far less effort than a rust remover so it is convenient for short term fixes and can be painted straight over when dried.

Rust remover is a reasonably aggressive acid based product that is for use on Iron or Steel, but not softer metals like Chrome or Aluminium, a Converter is better suited to these metals or alloys. In conclusion, a rust remover should be anyone’s first choice for the best possible finish, but there are a number of reasons why a converter may be suitable based upon circumstances.

Which product do I need?

For the best results we would always recommend our original rust remover. Getting rid of rust back to bare metal is the best conclusion, leaving any on the surface however treated, will eventually mean that it will grow back and multiply across any metal surface. Depending upon the type of application might mean that you choose our original liquid which is water thin and great for immersing, spraying or quick brushing across flat surfaces. Alternatively vertical or hanging surfaces, or areas that require spot repair may be better suited to either our thick liquid or our jelly rust removers. These are also more highly concentrated versions of the liquid and are better suited to more highly rusted parts.

The alternative to a rust remover would be our rust converter. Rust converter is good for a quick fix, where the minimum of work is required or for use in areas that our rust remover is not easily applied and stripping surfaces back to bare metal is not possible. Rust converter contains an inhibitor which will try to prevent the layer of converted rust from getting any worse, and once applied and dried can be simply left or primed and painted over. However, as the rust is not completely removed, it is likely that this process will need to be repeated every 12-36 months depending on surrounding climate, as the rust will at some point grow back through.

How do I use it?

Before working on any surface, remove it from loose rust and dirt by brushing it off, sand blasting or grinding.  Apply the rust remover to the remaining rusted surfaces or immerse if they are small parts. Where there are small spots of rust or it is a vertical or hanging surface, users might consider our thick liquid or jelly instead for ease of use. The thicker products are also more concentrated.

Work the rust remover into the surface with a brush ensuring it gets into any ‘pits’. Leave to dry for approx. 25 minutes at room temperature. Colder or warmer temperatures will slow down or speed up the drying process. Once dried the rust will have reacted and turned black or purple. If it is a rust sheen it can be wiped off with a damp cloth, more ingrained rust should be taken off with a wire brush or wire wool, for best results try a wire brush attachment as a drill bit. Ensure all areas are back to bare metal. A thin layer of liquid can be applied afterwards to dry on and act as a protective layer, before adding a base coat (of primer) and top coat of paint where required.

Work the rust converter into the surface with a brush. Leave it to dry for between 3-4 hours. Colder or warmer temperatures will slow down or speed up the drying process. Once dried the rust will have reacted and turned black or purple. At this point it can be left or painted over adding a base coat (of primer) and top coat of paint where required.

Do you offer a guarantee?

We do not offer a guarantee, to do so would be folly as we have no control over end use and the state of surfaces that our product is being applied to. Our products are reactive not pro-active, so the state of the metal to be treated is conceivably in all kinds of states.