How To Remove Rust Without Harmful Chemicals

Question From: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, I have a U-Bar digger, which I haven't used for a couple of years. When I went to get it out today, I found that it has rust - I've been reading about getting rust off with natural solutions like vinegar/water or lime/salt; it's obviously too big to soak in vinegar, so I was thinking of using limes and salt and rubbing it on and letting it sit, then using scuff pads or steel wool (wearing gloves and a mask), and trying to clean it off. Do you think this will work without huge amounts of time/energy spent? Or do you have a more effective way? Also, is it okay for that rust to wash off into the driveway? I don't want to use chemicals because I garden organically. Thanks for any help you can give! -Karin

A: There's lots of information available online about removing rust without using toxic chemicals. I would start with a wire brush on a drill if the rust is bad. If well diluted that liquid should not stain the driveway or harm surrounding plants. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy