How to Remove Rusted Bolts

How to Remove Rusted Bolts

If you were to ask any professional about which metal item that gets affected by corrosion and rusts the most, their unanimous answer will always be nuts and bolts. These nuts get damaged so much that they meld into their accompanying bolts. If this happens, they will be so bonded into each other that it would be quite impossible to remove them.


If the nuts and bolts over any object have been exposed to long periods of moisture or humid weather, they will form rust quite quickly. The fasteners you will find in home appliances and automobile components are the ones that seem to be affected the most in such environments.

Due to moisture, the fasteners will be degraded to a point that the device they hold together will be on the verge of collapse or won’t be working at all. You’ll also find that it is nearly impossible to remove these fasteners because of the rust formations over their metal head.

So what can you do?


Things you will need:

WD-40 Specialist Penetrant Spray


Clamps and a bolt cutter (if you need to cut the bolt off)


1.     Lubricate Them with WD-40 Specialist Penetrant

If you find that fasteners are stuck in place because of rust formations, an ideal solution here would be WD-40 Penetrant Spray. When rust makes its way to the threads of your fasteners, you can loosen them up with this product.

All you would need to do is apply the Penetrant Spray over the affected nuts and bolts and then tap them lightly using a hammer. Doing so will help the product to creep into the fitting of the nuts and bolts and thereby loosen it. You’ll find that removing fasteners using this method will be quite simple. Make sure you wipe away any excess product and wash your hands after use if you come into contact with the product.


2.     Cutting

If you find that the fastener has been so severely rusted that there is no way to salvage it, then you will have to cut it out. Doing so, however, will make these nuts and bolts unusable and you will simply have to throw them away.

All you will need to do here is to use clamps to get a grip of the fasteners head. Then, begin twisting so hard that they get freed from their position.


3.     Torching

Lastly, another method to remove rusted bolts, would be to use your heat torch to moderately heat them. The heat will cause the rusted nuts and bolts to expand which will, in turn, cause them to be loosened.

You should, however, be very careful while doing so because a lot of the lubricant products out there are flammable and will ignite if they get exposed to flame. Take precautions while doing this by using protective gloves and goggles.


Other advice

To help your nuts and bolts from further rust, keep them clean and lubricate them with WD-40 Multi-Use-Product! It leaves a thin layer over the nuts and bolts to help protect them from corrosion. It will need to be re-applied regularly though.

Replaces blog ‘best way to remove broken bolts’


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