Simple and Dirty Tricks - How Does Baking Soda Remove Rust?
You might ask How Does Baking Soda Remove Rust? We understand how distressing it is for you to see rust stains beginning to form on your favorite metal tools or objects. It's worse if the rusty objects are kitchen tools because it means you can't use them to prepare food.
Well, fear not! You have the tools to deal with rust in your kitchen cabinet. Search inside it until you come to the box labeled ‘baking soda' and you have the solution. Would you believe that baking soda removes rust? Let's find out!
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, is a salt derived from a natural mineral that is found in mineral springs. It has a slightly salty taste. It is slightly basic (opposite of acidic), so it will react with acid and produce carbon dioxide bubbles. These are what makes it suitable for baking, as it causes the dough to rise.
Baking Soda Vs Baking Powder
Have you ever gone shopping for cooking stuff and wondered whether you were supposed to get baking powder or baking soda? And what the difference is anyway? Well, so have many people.
Baking soda is just an alkaline salt that can be used on its own in recipes when the heat is applied. As long as the recipe contains other acidic ingredients, the two will react and raise the dough. However, if there isn't enough acid to neutralize all the baking soda, the resulting pastry will have a metallic taste.
Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, a dry acid, and some other ingredients to keep the two dry, like cornstarch.
Baking powder can be used in recipes that don't have acidic ingredients as it already contains its own acid. All you need to do is add water so the acid can react with the base. It also doesn't leave a metallic taste.
Baking powder is only used for cooking, while baking soda can be used for cooking and other tasks like the removal of stains, which is what we're interested in.
What Makes Baking Soda Great for Cleaning?
It Forms Air Bubbles
We've already seen that baking soda reacts with an acid to form air bubbles. These bubbles are powerful enough to lift stains, which is why baking soda is mixed with vinegar, an acid, to make a powerful cleaning team.
It has Grit
While soap is basic like baking soda, it is less harsh because it has fat molecules. Baking soda is grittier and can dislodge stubborn stains and particles that soap can't remove.
It Absorbs Bad Odors
Have you ever wondered why people leave a box of baking powder in their stores, or refrigerators? It's all about the odors. Most odors are mostly acidic.
The baking soda reacts with the acids in the air and neutralizes them leaving the air smelling fresh. Baking soda is better than air fresheners because while these only mask the bad odor, baking soda actually removes it. With time, baking soda loses its reactivity, so you have to keep mixing it up and change all of it eventually.
Removing Rust Using Baking soda
So, how does baking soda remove rust? We've seen that baking soda is abrasive enough to remove stubborn stains. In addition to this, when a mixture of baking soda and water comes into contact with rust, the rust dissolves in the resulting concentrated alkaline solution.
What You Need
- The rusty object
- Baking soda
- Metallic scouring pad
- Sprinkle some water onto the rusty area.
- Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda onto the wet part of the object and tap it to allow the excess powder to fall off.
- Alternatively, you can just mix the baking soda and water into a thick paste and apply the paste to the rusted area.
- Cold water should be used, as hot-water solutions can corrode steel.
- Wet the scouring pad.
- Gently scrub the area covered with baking soda.
- To avoid scratching the metal surface, keep the scouring pad wet.
- When the baking soda has dissolved, check to see if the rust is still there.
- If it is, add some more baking soda and keep scrubbing till all the rust is removed.
Pros of Baking Soda
- The materials needed are readily available in most homes.
- This method is cheaper than other more complicated methods.
- Baking soda is not harsh on metallic objects.
Cons of Baking Soda
- Since the method requires constant abrasive action, it can be time and energy-consuming if you have a lot of rusted objects or a large rusted area to deal with.
How to Prevent Rust
You've gotten rid of all the rust. Now you need to take steps to make sure rust doesn't form again. Here's what you can do.
- Apply an oil coating- Rust forms when the metal comes into contact with moisture. You can apply a layer of oil on metallic instruments such as kitchen knives to prevent this.
- Proper storage- Store metallic tools in a dry place to prevent any contact with moisture.
- Avoid soaking metallic tools such as kitchen knives in water as this will hasten the rusting process. Wash them immediately after use to prevent dirt from sticking onto them so you don't have to scrub them excessively.
- Dry metallic tools immediately they get wet.
- Use a Dry Coating- The problem with an oil coating is that it leaves oil residues that make tools slippery and attract dirt. An alternative is a dry coating. Dry coatings protect the metal from moisture, like oil, but without the unpleasant after-effects. The tool remains clean and firm to the grip.
- Apply paint- Good quality paint will prevent moisture from getting at the metal and corroding it. It will also give it a new, exciting look.
- Go for alloys- When shopping for metallic tools, buy those made with alloys like stainless steel, which are more rust-resistant than plain iron.
If you're wondering how baking soda removes rust; the answer is really simple; just dissolve it in water and scrape off the rust. It's one of the readily available rust removers around and it won't disappoint.
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