Removing Rust From a Metal Plumbing Pipe

We all have metal plumbing pipes in our home. They form part of the proper instruments that help the house run well, or at least the water in the house run well. If by chance or unfortunate luck, one of these plumbing pipes get rusted, it would be very difficult to repair it. Depending on how damaged it is, it can either be repaired or changed. And, the latter definitely costs a lot to do.

Any metal surface will face the same problem of corrosion, which is ‘rust’. Metal will become prone to rust when they are exposed to water, you can always find a rusty part on a leaky plumbing pipe. It’s not alright to leave this rusty part as it is. It will further damage the pipe. It’s more or less like a virus destroying the whole thing.

Removing the rust from a metal plumbing pipe is not as hard as it seems, it can be cheaper and easier as long you have the right tools and directions. The steps will normally include sanding the rust off from the plumbing pipe, and then treating it with a rust-dissolving product. Though this might sound like the easiest job on earth, you have to be careful and take the needed precautions as you might end up hurting yourself if not taken care properly. Here are the steps on how to remove the rust.

You will need:

  1. Fine grit sandpaper
  2. Naval jelly
  3. Clean cloth
  4. Paint brush
  5. Wire brush
  6. Protective gloves
  7. Water
  8. Primer paint

Metal Plumbing Pipe


  1. First, prepare the surface by scrubbing it with a wire brush to remove any loose rust flakes. Use a fine grit sandpaper to sand over the surface of the pipe with a small circle movement. The sandpaper will remove the rust that is too stuck for the wire brush to loosen.
  2. Then, wear protective gloves to secure your hands. Take the naval jelly and apply a thin layer of it to the surface of the pipe and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  3. The purpose of using naval jelly is to dissolve the rust. Rinse the surface with clean water after 30 minutes, and dry the pipes with a clean towel.
  4. Next, use primer paint for plumbing pipes or any similar product that you can get from hardware stores. Leave the primer paint overnight to dry.
  5. The primer paint will help to protect your plumbing pipe for any further rusting issues. You could either let it plain with the primer coat or add another coat of any color paint that you prefer.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Working With Metal – Learn How To Cut, File and Drill, Shape Sheet Metal, Control Rust, Transform Wrought and More

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Home Plumbing: Newly Expanded 3rd Edition (Black & Decker Complete Guide)