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How to Clean Rusty Keys

07/31/2015 Back To Blog

It is not common for keys to rust. However, if they are kept in a humid environment or they have been exposed to a particular type of corrosive chemical, this can happen. In such cases, it is important not to use them as they can damage the locking device and pose the need for lock repair. Find out how to clean rusty keys effectively and safely.How to Clean Rusty Keys

Careful Preparation


Evaluate the condition of the keys - Check whether the items are rusty or have begun to corrode. While rust is formed at the topmost layer of the metal surface, corrosion works to damage the metal and make it weak and brittle. Watch out for thinning and signs of brittleness such as chipping. In case of corrosion, cleaning will not help. Immediate key replacement is required. If rust is present, you should continue with the following steps.

Prepare white vinegar, a small bowl, a small saucepan and a piece of soft lint-free cloth - The cloth should be sufficient for removing the loose rust particles. Still, it is also possible to use a brush with soft bristles.

Complete Cleaning

Fill the bowl with vinegar, pour it into the saucepan and bring to boil - When the vinegar is heated, it will produce not particularly pleasant smell. The solution, however, is highly effective for rust removal while being perfectly safe.

Once the vinegar has been brought to boil, pour it back into the bowl - You must not use the solution while it is boiling and heat is applied to it. This can damage to the keys. If you make this mistake, you might need to get a new key.

Let the keys soak into the bowl with the distilled vinegar for fifteen minutes - If they are very rusty, you can keep them inside for twenty minutes. Make sure that they are not stuck over each other. Use a wide bowl if needed. The important thing is for the solution to cover all items fully.

Take the keys out and remove any remaining traces of rust with the cloth - Rub them gently. Wrap the cloth around the top of the blade, squeeze sufficiently hard and pull down so that the rust is released from the tip.

Place the ready items under cold running water for a few seconds and dry them with cloth immediately - Then you can readily use them with the respective door locksets.

Finally, for retaining the results you should lubricate the keys along with the door lock cylinders.

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