How To Remove Rust from Axe Head – 3 Steps Process

how to remove rust from axe head

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Rust on the axe head is a common problem for axe users. The science behind developing rust is nothing but a chemical reaction. In chemistry, iron oxide is another name for rust.

The iron metal reacts when it gets in contact with water and oxygen and forms rust. However, no matter how carefully you handle your axe head, it can still develop rust. So, we are here to tell you how to clean rust from axe head. Check out the article.

How to Remove Rust from Axe Head – Step by Step

Removing rust needs some techniques to be performed, and then you can get a good outcome. The methods of removing rust are many. In some methods, you will require only organic products, and some methods require chemical products.

So, we are going to break down some of the most popular ways of removing rust from the axe head so that you can follow the process and do it by yourself.

Step 1: Clean the Axe Head

The most common use of an axe is to cut trees or wood. That’s why it is normal if you see any wood sap or resin in your axe head along with rust. However, before you start removing rust from your axe head, you must know how to clean an axe head. Most resins or wood sap are hard to clean.

So, just simply using soap and water will not work on them. You might need some effective chemicals such as acetone or paint thinner to clean the axe head. These chemicals will not only remove the dirt from the axe head but also control the moisture of the metal.

Step 2: Remove the Rust

Now that you have cleaned your axe head, remove the head from the handle carefully. To remove the rust, we have listed a few methods. Let’s check them out.

Method 1 – Using Vinegar

remove axe head rust with vinegar

Soaking the axe head in vinegar is one of the most convenient and efficient ways of removing rust from the metal. All you need to do is follow the steps and learn the easiest method of how to get rust off metal axe.

  • Take a plastic box and put the axe head in it
  • Now pour enough white vinegar to cover the axe head properly
  • After you have submerged the head in white vinegar, you need to wait for at least 24 hours

Note: The time can prolong to even 36 hours depending on the rust condition and size of your axe.

  • You can observe the particles of rust in the plastic box after 2 or 3 hours. 
  • So, after the time has passed, take your axe head from the container and rub it with any metal scratch brush to remove every bit of rust. And don’t forget to clean your eye as well.
  • Remember, vinegar has a pungent smell that can spread out to the entire area of the house in no time. To avoid any such situation, it will be better if you can do the process outdoors. 
  • After rubbing the axe head, clean it with clean water. And to remove the pungent smell of vinegar, you can use hot water to clean the axe.
  • Now that you have done all the hard work, it’s time to remove all the moisture from the metal.
  • Take a soft cotton towel to remove every bit of water drop from the head, and again, don’t forget the eye as well.

Your axe is as good as new. We will share some necessary tips after describing the rust removing processes. So, keep on reading.

Method 2 – Baking Soda

remove axe head rust with baking soda

Although we use baking soda, usually in baking, it can be very handy for removing rust from your axe head. Let’s see how

  • First, put a good amount of baking soda in a bowl.
  • Slowly add water to the bowl and make a thick paste.
  • Now, take your axe head and cover the whole exposed area with that paste properly.
  • When you see the baking soda is completely dry and is falling off the axe head, take a scrubber and scrub the rust areas forcefully.
  • After rubbing for a couple of minutes, you will see the rust coming off of the metal.
  • You can restart the process if you are not happy with the result.
  • Wash the axe head properly with warm water and pat dry the metal carefully.

This method is as simple as washing any container. But we want to give you a little disclaimer, and that is, this process might not work if your axe head develops a heavy layer of rust. 

Method 3 – Metal Rescue Rust Remover

After the home remedies, we will do the chemical rust removal process for you. Metal rescue rust remover is one of the best items when it comes to chemical cleaning. It is acid-free and doesn’t have any health risks.

  • Soak the axe head properly with the rust remover
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes

Note: The time can vary depending on the severity. It might take up to 24 hours to expunge the rust from the axe head.

  • Now, when you see the rust coming off of the surface without any effort, simply rinse the metal with tap water

This process doesn’t require any rubbing or scratching. You can remove all the rust from the metal without any effort. 

Step 3: Give Your Axe the Final Touch

After cleaning and removing the axe head, now it’s time to polish the axe head. This procedure has two steps. One is blackening, and the other one is polishing. 

How to Blacken an Axe Head?

Blackening the axe head is for professionals and needs to be done under supervision.

  • The axe head is baked in the oven, and a layer of Perma Blue Paste is put on the axe.
  • And then, you need to check if there is any dirt or debris on the surface and scrape it off carefully.
  • After doing this process twice, wash the metal with warm water and tap it dry.

You can observe the color changing from the first application. 

How to Polish an Axe Head?

A good oil polish is necessary to complete the rust removing process. The best oils for axe heads are beeswax, Vaseline, WD40, and 3-in-one oil.

Apply any of these oils with the help of a cotton pad. This extra layer of grease will protect your axe head from water and rust.


Can I remove rust from axe without removing handle?

The answer is a bit tricky. Many elements will decay your handle if you follow the traditional way of rust removal. But if the rust hasn’t spread so much, you can carefully remove the rust from the axe head.

Can rust remover cause health problems?

Most chemical rust removers use concentrated acid, which might cause discomfort and health issues. But there are plenty of risk-free rust removals available in the market. Just read the product description and buy the risk-free one. Besides, you can use traditional home remedies to avoid any risks.

What is the best way to store an axe to avoid rusting?

The best way to store your axe is to keep it in a dry place. Therefore, you should avoid any damp area for storing your axe. Besides, make sure your axe is completely dry before storing it.


Some might think that a rusty axe is of no use. And they eventually throw it away and buy a new one. But the reality is you can easily restore your old axe and make it as good as a fresh one. Now that you know how to remove rust from axe head, you can restore your favorite axe any time you want.

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