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.