I’ve got a few things around my home that are showing signs of rust: A steel gate, boat trailer and some burglar bars. The corrosion looks surface bound for now and not too serious, but I’d like to tackle it before it gets any worse.

I’ve removed the rust with sandpaper before and sprayed the area with a multi-purpose oil, but eventually the oil dries up and the rust returns. Of course, I could just keep spraying the area with lube, but is there a better long-term solution?


While most multi-purpose oils have anti-corrosion properties, they’re not formulated for the long-term treatment of rust. For that, we recommend a 2-step process using our Q12 Rust Remover, followed by CRC Industries’ Zinc-It.

Start by using an old toothbrush or paintbrush to apply Q12 onto the affected area. Q12 uses a formula of hydrochloric- and phosphoric acid that converts iron oxide (i.e. rust) into iron phosphate. The conversion takes about 15- to 30-minutes to work, after which, you can literally wash the rust off with clean water.

If the corroded area was badly rusted, it would be advisable to prep the area beforehand with a wire brush, steel wool, or sand paper. However, because you mentioned surface rust, Q12 can be applied directed to the area without requiring any sort of prep work.

NOTE: Q12 should not be used on certain types of stainless steel, or on chrome-plated surfaces. What’s more, when working with any acid-based product, it is advisable to wear gloves and eye protection.

Once the rust is removed, and the area is completely dry, you can then apply CRC’s Zinc-It spray that electrochemically bonds with ferrous metals to form a galvanic cell. The product dries quickly, actively fights rust and corrosion, and provides lasting outdoor protection for up to 2-years.


Typically speaking, corrosion is the result of metal surfaces coming into contact with electrolytes, and thus, returning to their natural state as an ore. Of course, this process causes the metal to structurally weaken and disintegrate. One way to prevent this from happening, and to prolong the integrity of the metal, is to use a sacrificial material that gets attacked (by corrosion) instead of the metal you’re trying to protect. This is also known as ‘Cathodic Protection’, where products such as Zinc-It serve as a sacrificial coating that protects the steel against corrosion.

Click here for more information on Q12, or here for more information on Zinc-It. Feel free to send your DIY related queries to

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