rust remover vs rust converter product test and advice, with video

Rust Remover vs Rust Converter: Which To Use?

Posted by Hurman Conor on

Rust remover and rust converter are two different products that can help solve your rust problem in different ways. Many people are confused about the differences and which product is the best and most suitable solution for you. This article will look into the two products, what they do and which one is right for you. 

What is rust converter and what does rust converter do?

Rust converter is a chemical formula which acts as a solution to rust buildup, working well on iron and steel components.

The solution works by turning the iron oxides which cause rust into a protective chemical barrier. The protective barrier acts as a primer, allowing the metal to be painted over again.

Rust converter is usually used on metal materials such as aluminium, iron or steel that can’t be stripped fully back to bare metal. This is because they might require some stronger methods like sandblasting to fully remove the rust if it is in a really bad condition. 

How to use rust converter 

Using Jenolite Rust Converter is simple. Depending on the choice of application method, you can use: 

You should not immerse components in rust converter - a common mistake is to apply converter too thickly, which slows the process and stops the area from drying.

Make sure you remove grease, oil and dirt from the surface you are applying so the rust converter can work into the rust effectively. This includes loose rust and old paint. You can use a wire brush for this.

Once you have applied the converter directly to the rust with your chosen application method wait 15 minutes. Make sure all of the surface is covered, even in the corners and edges. The rust should start to turn into a blue-black colour which shows it is working. If it doesn’t change colour then reapply after 30 minutes. If you are using the rust converter spray, apply 2 or 3 light coats with 15 minute intervals. Make sure to apply rust converter in thin coats, rather than thick layers.

After a minimum of 3 hours, apply a topcoat. There is no need to wipe clean or rinse, simply allow to dry. Then, wash all the equipment used after such as brushes or any Tupperware.

Can you paint over rust converter?

As all of the rust converter methods mentioned above convert rust to a stable compound, it ensures whatever surface you use is ready to paint to look new and revamped. It usually takes 3 hours for the solution to fully dry. Ready to be repainted with either water-based or oil-based paint. It’s a good idea to paint over the same day for best results. 

Pros of rust converter

  • Rust converter is easy to use, it provides a no wipe solution meaning you can apply and go about your day. There’s no continual working the solution into the rust, less elbow grease.
  • Rust converter also provides a strong barrier to water vapour and oxygen, meaning it's less likely for rust to build back up. It is also resistant to chemicals and salt spray which makes it perfect for protecting against the elements. 
  • The formula also protects against bacterial growth and provides long term protection, preventing the original problem from happening again.
  • The solution converts it into a once rusted stable surface quickly, it's fast-acting and efficient.

Cons of rust converter

  • Rust converter does not provide a permanent solution, it can help prevent rust through creating a chemical barrier however it does not fully solve the problem of stopping rust forming again. 
  • Rust converter does not remove all rust back to bare metal. It only creates a stable compound ready for repainting, therefore not fully removing all traces of rust.

What is rust remover?

Rust remover, unlike a converter, separates the rust from the surface. You can use: 

Rust remover chemically reacts with the rust in order to strip any metal bare, ready for painting.

Rust remover gets to the root of the problem. A common mistake is that people use rust converter as a quick fix, when they should be using rust remover. This is especially the case when working on cars. When working on cars, rust should be removed back to bare metal, as this allows inspection of structural integrity and gives a permanent rust solution that can be painted over.

How do I use rust remover?

Apply the rust remover directly to the affected area. Brush liberally using a wire brush and work the solution into the rust every 5 minutes or so in order to keep the solution active. 

A handy tip is to not let the rust dry out - you can apply more rust remover if needed. The rust will begin to turn a dark grey to black colour. If you are immersing smaller objects you can leave the components to soak and wipe away with a lint-free cloth once you can see the rust has come off.

You can then brush away any excess rust and you can repeat the process if there is still some stubborn rust lingering.

Pros of rust remover

  • Rust remover tackles the problem directly by separating the rust from the metal, therefore doing a better job of completely removing the rust back to bare metal for repainting. 
  • Because the remover is more likely to remove all traces of the rust, it, therefore, prevents rust buildup and when used in conjunction with rust prevention solutions such as a rust shield aerosol can last a lot longer without the return of rust.

Cons of rust remover

  • Carrying out rust removal is a much longer process which requires more time and patience. As the remover needs working continually you can’t just leave the product to work its magic, you have to make it a real project.
  • Rust removal also takes more effort. It is a manual process making it more difficult than a rust converter.

If you have any further questions visit our FAQs, or check our blog for step-by-step guides to deal with common rust problems.

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