Best Rust Converter: Useful Tips & Top 5 Reviews
- Best Rust Converter: Useful Tips & Top 5 Reviews
Rust can be a real pain for anyone who has ever owned something that contains metallic parts. From cars to cookware and from cranes used on construction sites to equipment used at seas, the oxidation process we know as rust happens right under our eyes.
Now, you may already know of a few methods to get rid of it. However, the most popular ones require a lot of elbow grease (such as sandblasting) and they are only a temporary solution because the oxidation is not stopped.
Since we use a wide array of metallic structures, both at home and at work, specialists managed to create a better method to keep the reddish residue at bay: the rust converter. This is a special solution that, once applied on a rusty surface, it bonds with it and turns the oxidation inert, stopping it from spreading any further.
Instead, the rust is turned into a black polymer that coats the metallic surface and can be used as a primer for various top coatings (or left as is).
Now, since rust converters have been on the market for a while, there are lots of products that promise to make your car or other metallic structures as new. Still, not all manage to deliver according to promises, so we created a list with the top formulas to try.
1. Permatex 81849-12PK Rust Treatment
Since the product is delivered in a 10.25 oz. spray can container, it’s easy to keep it handy in the garage or even the trunk. If you don’t like this packaging, there are other options, but for car owners and people who work around vehicles, the aerosol can seems to be the best option.
Moreover, the Permatex rust treatment formula was specially designed to work well with fiberglass and body filler. The solution is easy to apply either by spraying over the affected area or using a brush. It’s also less toxic than other rust converters (due to the formic acid) and requires less maintenance.
Quick tip: if you’re trying to get rid of small rust spots, put some solution into a small cup and use a q-tip to apply it.
The effect is almost immediate, and the rust is turned into an inert state. At the surface, you’ll see the surface turn black (which is a polymer that acts as a coating and protects against any new rust settling in). Once the rust treatment completes its action, you can leave the surface as is (since it also acts as a protective primer) or paint over it.
For ideal results, you should apply the treatment in temperatures between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius (50 and 86 Fahrenheit). Overall, the Permatex 81849-12PK rust treatment is a fantastic solution for vehicles, but it also works on other metallic surfaces such as fences, tanks, bulkheads, and more.
2. Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter
Recommended by professionals in the marine industry, the Corroseal water-based rust converter is a great product for all sorts of metallic surfaces.
First of all, it’s important to mention that it is made by one of the top brands in the industry. Also, the formula is designed based on over 25 years of experience in keeping metal safe in the harshest environments (water and salt usually equal rust regardless of maintenance quality).
Since it’s a rust converter, it will not remove the iron oxide eating away at your metallic surfaces; it will put it to good use turning it into magnetite. The visual result is a blackened surface (the magnetite acts as a primer and protects against new rust settling in).
To apply it, simply clean the surface from dirt, debris or any rust that’s easily removed with a brush and coat it with the Corroseal solution (you can use a brush, a roller, or any other method you like). Next, wait for 24h before applying any coatings.
The cured surface bonds nicely with a wide range of top coats such as oil and water-based paints, urethane, or epoxy.
Since this is a non-flammable, non-corrosive, and eco-friendly formula, it can be used on anything from cars to fences, even to jib cranes, shipping containers, and boats!
3. Evapo-Rust ER012 The Original Super Safe Rust Remover
This is yet another formula developed by the best and brightest in the field of rust and rust prevention or conversion. Even more interesting, it’s biodegradable and doesn’t use toxic compounds. To prove this, the producer says it can be safely used on cookware such as cleavers, grill grates, and other metallic tools.
One of the best versions of this product is the Evapo-Rust 1-gallon container (which can easily cover about 300lbs of steel). However, if you have a larger surface to cure or you want to make sure you’ll have enough in the house, it also comes in containers of 3.5, 5 or 55 gallons. Since it doesn’t spoil and you can dispose of it by simply pouring it down the drain, it makes sense to consider the larger options as well.
It’s safe to use in closed spaces since it doesn’t have a pungent odor or releases any fumes. Moreover, it doesn’t damage your skin, plastic or paint, which makes it easy to apply on cars.
Once applied, it acts fast (a few minutes) and prepares the surface for a top coat. Finally, it is a versatile product that can be used on any metallic part of your car (including aluminum ones) and even on metallic structures such as a vehicle lift for home garages.
4. PlastiKote 624 Rust Converter
Designed for various metallic surfaces affected by rust, the PlatiKote 624 rust converter product comes in a 16 oz. container, which makes it perfect for treating rust spots and smaller areas. And, since it fits perfectly in a repair tool kit, it’s mostly used by car owners.
The action is similar to that of most rust converters – the rust is transformed into a black, organic coating that acts as a primer and protector against future rust attacks. Also, once the product settles in, it can be painted over without the risk of bleed-through staining.
The substances used to make this rust converter are non-toxic and non-flammable, which makes this an environmentally safe formula.
5. Rust Converter ULTRA
With the power to turn rust into a dark and protective polymeric coating, Rust Converter ULTRA is one of the most effective products in this category!
It comes in 1-gallon containers, but this is enough to cure 500 square feet of metal (if it’s smooth and non-porous). Irregular surfaces may require more product, but it’s equally effective.
The product works on anything metal, from automobiles to structures, tools, and even objects used in the marine environment. You just need to apply it on a clean surface (no dust, grease, or debris) and wait 20 minutes to work its magic. The producer recommends applying two layers, to ensure it will last a lifetime. You should also wait 48 hours before applying any top coating (recommended to use oil-based paints).
According to the instructions, the product should be applied in temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), in well-ventilated areas, wearing protective gear. You can use a brush, a roller, or a sprayer and there’s no need for thinning (the product can be used as is).
Once applied and settled in, the Rust Converter ULTRA protects the surfaces against the effects of weather, regardless of the conditions.
Features to Consider for the Best Rust Converter
If you read all the reviews above, you’ll notice that all the converters have the same action: they turn rust into a polymer coating.
So why are there so many products out there?
Well, each is designed to fulfill a certain need. So, if you’re looking for the best rust converter for a specific situation, here are some of the features to consider.
Method of Application
Most rust converters can be used directly from the can (without the need to thin or mix them with another substance). However, the ones that are water-based will need to be mixed with water in a certain proportion (so you won’t dilute them too much).
The favorite method of application is a brush or a roller, but some come packed in spray cans so it’s easier to treat medium to smaller surfaces.
Level of Toxicity
Most modern solutions are toxin-free and non-flammable, but it’s best to read the label and follow the instructions, especially when it comes to protective gear and ventilation.
Also, make sure to read about the disposal methods, as not all solutions are safe to pour down the drain.
This feature is usually specified on the label, but most products will need around 24 to 48 hours to complete curing the surface and turn rust into an inactive polymer.
So, while it may take about 20 to 30 minutes to dry, it is not wise to apply top coatings such as epoxy or paint right away.
While all rust converters promise the best possible results, not all will last a lifetime!
So, before you decide which one is best, we recommend reading reviews from users who already experienced with similar products on surfaces like yours. This is important because a rust converter can work wonders on the metallic structure of a car and be terrible at protecting the surface of a boat.
The chemical mixture in each converter is the one that makes it durable to water and salt or resistant to bad weather conditions. However, this may be a bit confusing for people who don’t have basic chemistry notions, which is why reviews remain the most relevant source of information.
How to Apply the Rust Converter?
Rust converters are fairly easy to apply, but the user must follow these steps for maximum efficiency and durability:
- Prepare the Surface – Each surface must be cleaned of debris, dust, grease, or chunks of rust that come off easily. For this, use a tough brush (to remove rust that’s coming loose) and a piece of cloth. While this step is not deemed necessary by some people, it ensures the durability of your work and allows the converter to bond with the surface at a deeper level.
- Prepare the Product – This step is only needed with water-based rust converters that need to be thinned. You can also implement it if you need to work on a smaller surface, transferring some solution into a smaller container. Basically, you will be preparing your work area, so everything is easy to reach.
- Apply the Solution – With a brush or roller, spread the converter on the entire surface. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer, but the area should be fully covered. If you’re using a spray can, there’s no need for the brush, but you should avoid applying too much product in one place.
- Drying and Curing – Most products take about 20 minutes to dry, but the curing usually needs about 24 to 48 hours. So, make sure the treated surface is protected against the elements and stored at a safe temperature.
- Clean Everything Up – Use water and soap to clean the equipment you used for protection and application.
Also, make sure to follow the safety precautions mentioned on the label. They are mostly referring to the ideal temperature during application (above 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and the type of coating that can be applied once the curing takes place.
Rust converters are a great solution to a pesky problem, but if you can, it’s best to avoid rust in the first place. While there’s not much we can do about marine equipment or agricultural tools, the metallic surfaces of our vehicles and the ones inside our homes are easier to maintain.
Even though it may not keep rust at bay forever, good maintenance and regular checkups will prevent those rust spots on the hood of your car. Also, properly storing and cleaning will keep rust from the equipment you use at home.
Still, if you are in a rusty situation, now you know which products to use!