Passionate DIYers love to take care of home-related problems on their own. However, nothing tests their patience more, than trying to loosen rusted bolts that are not budging at all, regardless of how hard they try.
The majority of homeowners lose their patience when they come across a rusted bolt. Trying to force it open, can often make things worse. If you break a blind stud, it will take you hours to drill out the busted shank on the metal structure.
The best way to remove such bolts is to act calmly and try various methods to loosen the bolt from its place. In this article, we will discuss ways to loosen rusted bolts easily.
If you are thinking of working on metal structures, it’s best to plan ahead. Homeowners who don’t plan ahead often find themselves short of the right tools for removing rusted bolts. You might need accessories such as a wire brush, penetrating oil, and other tools to loosen the rusted bolt from its place.
Remove the Rust
To start, you need to remove as much rust as you can. Take a stiff wire brush and rub it vigorously against the bolt to remove the rust. It may take some effort to remove the excessive rust. Please note, this only works if the rusted bolt is still salvageable.
Use Penetrating Oil
Penetrating oil, such as WD-40 Multi Use Product or WD-40 Specialist Penetrant, are effective degreasers and can help you in many ways. Here, you can use them to dissolve the rust and lubricate the threads simultaneously.
The penetrating oil will make it easier to extract the rusted bolt and reduce the risk of snapping it, due to corroded threads. With that said, you must give the oil the time it needs to remove the rust effectively.
If the rusted bolt is located in a tight spot, remove obstacles such as brackets and panels to make sure that nothing impedes the wrench, and it has enough room to loosen and remove the rusted bolt.
Use the Right Tools
When you are dealing with rusted bolts, the best tool to displace them is a 6-point socket designed for a traditional hex-head bolt. It is ideal for rusted bolts because it reduces the likelihood of accidentally rounding up the head or nut.
The socket must be seated completely on the fastener. Avoid applying unnecessary force (using an impact wrench or a breaker bar might not be the best idea!).
Lastly, make sure that you are turning the bolt in the correct direction. To make it easy, remember the phrase “Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosey.” By learning it, you will always know which way to turn rusted bolts to loosen them.
Follow the techniques above, and you can easily loosen any rusted bolts you may come across.