I have been hanging onto my late father’s tools and decided to try to revive them. I soaked in rust converter, scrubbed with a wire brush, then polished with autosol. - 212422
I had a rusty old tool that my Dad gave to me so I thought I would give this a shot. I mixed one part molasses with nine parts water in a container, then soaked the rusty items in it for about 3 months. Then a wash and a little steelwool. Super. Almost as good as new.
White vinegar was a popular choice for cleaning up rusty tools in a discussion from a while back. - Kermit
Try citric acid powder. Cheap and takes just hours. Non-toxic. - reproturn
I have found that Organic Virgin Coconut Oil works a treat! - klmm75
Rust Converter is a favourite, but keep in mind that it is an acid (as is vinegar), so use gloves (at least have water & bicarb nearby to dip fingers into) and most definitely some glasses. No good getting your tools clean if you are never going to see them. Spray with CRC or WD40 to stop them re-rusting in a hurry. I don't usually wipe it off with a rag, I just let any excess run off onto a rag, but it may depend on how & with what you will be storing the tools. For really gummed up tools (eg, gardening tools) I have used sandpaper on a multi-tool to get past the gunk, followed by WD40. - TedBear
Rust converter being an acid opens up an interesting discussion point, the difference between removing rust from older steel tools versus newer chrome-plated tools.
I'm not sure if it is a subconscious decision, but I find myself much more likely to restore steel tools than anything coated. It might be because I know with enough effort, a steel tool can be returned to the original condition.
In contrast, a chrome-vanadium coated tool that has rusted indicates that the coating has been penetrated, and even when you clean it up, the coating is still compromised. This is where I believe it is a subconscious decision as a partially coated chrome-plated tool still has more protection than an un-coated steel tool. - MitchellMc