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How To Loosen Rusty Bolts, Screws And Nuts

After finally receiving the long-awaited keys, you excitedly move into your first home. There are cobwebs, one of the windows is hanging off its hinges and one of the doors are rusted stuck, but you are finally on the property ladder! Now, it’s the hard part, renovation, and the hard grind of DIY. So, first things first – do you know how to remove those rusted screws and bolts? Whether you are a first time DIYer or an accomplished handyman, rusted nuts and bolts are a common occurrence that you will have to deal with. Most of the time, the nuts become one with the accompanying bolt. They are so stuck and seized in place that it becomes difficult to even move them. If you live in a humid climate or even have damp in your walls, the exposure to moisture can exacerbate this issue. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Keep reading for a detailed guide on how to remove a rusted bolt.

Removing Rusted Bolts, Seized Screws & Nuts

Moisture can lead to the degradation of the nuts and screws. It is difficult to remove these stuck fasteners, especially if the metal head or threads are affected by rust making it hard for a screwdriver or wrench to grip them. So, how do you free a rusted, stuck, or seized bolt?

  1. Lubrication

If the bolt is stuck in place because of rust, you can use a bolt loosening spray such as WD-40 Penetrant Spray. This penetrating oil provides deep lubrication to loosen the nut or screw. If the rust has reached the threads of the fastener, then there is no better product to use to loosen it than WD-40® Specialist® Fast Release Penetrant Spray. The penetrating spray specifically targets corroded or rusted components and mechanisms and can loosen stuck or seized parts quickly and easily. You can use the Spray2Ways technology for the wide spray nozzle or the precise straw applicator for extra accuracy. You can browse our full range of WD-40 penetrating oils here.

Apply the lubricant spray to the bolt and then tap it using a hammer. This will help the formula to penetrate the fitting and loosen the bolt so that it can be removed easily.

  1. Cutting

If the nut, bolt, or screw is so severely rusted that it cannot be removed with lubrication, the only option left is to cut it out. This will make the fastener unusable but will help you to remove it. You can use a clamp to get a good grip on the fastener’s head and twist it hard so it can be freed from its position.

  1. Torching

Another method to loosen a rusted nut and bolt is to use a heat torch on low or moderate heat. Heat will allow the rusted nuts and screws to expand so that they can be loosened. It is, however, important to be very careful with this method. Many lubricants applied to the nuts and bolts are flammable and can ignite if exposed to flame.

Loosening Rusted Bolts, Nuts & Screws

While it is possible to remove a rusted screw and replace it with a new one, this option is not always the case. You can release the nut and screw using rust removal techniques. Here are some common techniques used for loosening rusted screws, bolts & nuts:

  1. Sanding

Once you are done with removing a rusted fastener, you can rub it with steel wool or sandpaper to scrape off the remaining rust. This is an inexpensive and relatively simple method, although it can be very time consuming and will also need a lubricant to make the fastener able to be used again.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can dissolve rust. Applying hydrogen peroxide to the fasteners and letting it sit is also an effective method to remove rust and loosen nuts and bolts. Scouring it with a hard brush will help you get rid of all the rust left on the nuts and bolts.

Pro Tip: WD-40® Spray grease can also lubricate rusty nuts and bolts in order for you to remove them, and it can even be applied to the metal to protect it from rust. The unique formula provides a thin protective layer that is water-resistant and will protect the metal from corrosion. Find out more in our blog how to prevent metal from rusting.

Now that you have your first DIY tips, why not get to work on the rest of your house and learn how to remove chewing gum from your carpet, how to use a rust remover spray, how to lubricate your garage door or how to fix blocked radiator valves. With our Tips & Tricks, you will be a DIY pro in no time!

 

Disclaimer

The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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