How to Clean Rust off Barbell?

How to Clean Rust off Barbell?

You have decided to build your home gym to train in your home’s warmth, so you have invested money to have the whole home training experience. After a while, you noticed rust on your barbell between rows of tears and sweat during hard training.

Although you first think you have to buy a new barbell, you are spending money on one of the leading gym equipment, but you don’t have to. Effortlessly, you can remove the rust from your barbell with just a few things.

In this article, I will explain how to quickly and without much work remove rust from the equipment you use daily.

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Quick Summary

  • To clean the barbell from rust, you need a bucket, water, white vinegar, baking soda, paper towels, plastic wrap, 3 in 1 oil, and a steel or brass brush.
  • The process is based on the initial cleaning of the barbell with a brass brush, soaking it in vinegar through the night, brushing the rust, rinsing it from vinegar, and putting the baking soda and 3-1 oil.
  • It is recommended to clean your barbell with 3-1 oil every two weeks so you can keep your gym equipment clean and healthy for longer times

Materials Needed

Materials needed for cleaning rusty barbells are a bucket, water, white vinegar, baking soda, paper towels, plastic wrap, 3 in 1 oil, and a steel or brass brush.

Besides this essential equipment, I recommend you wear gloves to prevent eventual damage to your hands while cleaning your barbell. Besides that, I recommend putting some protective materials, like Plywood or Tarp, to protect your floor from any harm.

How to Clean and De-rust a Barbell: Step-By-Step Guide

To clean and de-rust your barbell, you should follow my steps to do your job successfully. It is not that hard, but if you skip some of these steps, you won’t do it successfully.

Before doing any of these steps, we remind you to cover yourself with protective materials to prevent any damage to the surface above which you will be working. 

After that, wear protective gloves to protect your hands and get to work!

1. Use Brass Brush to Do an Initial Brushing

Use a brass brush to do an initial brushing to remove all deposits of dirt and surface rust before you get to the part you cannot remove that easily. Although it seems to you that this step is unimportant, believe it is. With this method, you can make your work even easier in just a few minutes.

2. Soak in White Vinegar Overnight

Soak in white vinegar overnight to remove large amounts of rust most easily.

You can do this in many ways, but two are used most often.

One way is to completely disassemble your barbell into the smallest parts, pour half vinegar and half water into a larger bucket, and mix and place the parts in the bucket. After that, leave the disassembled barbell in the bucket all night.

The problem with this method is that depending on the size of your barbell, you may not be able to find a bucket of the appropriate size. Then another way enters the scene.

Raise the barbell above the ground by placing it on some elevation, soak paper towels in vinegar and wrap the barbell with them. Then quickly wrap them in plastic to prevent the vinegar from evaporating, creating flash rust. Flash rust cannot damage your weights, but it can make cleaning them even more difficult.

Depending on your funds, choose one of these two ways to complete the second step.

3. Brush off Rust, Rinse off Vinegar, and Neutralize With Baking Soda

This part requires the most focus and work because you have limited time.

You left your barbell soaked overnight in a mixture of water and vinegar. Now it’s time to take it out.

First, you must prepare everything you need for this step because you only have a few minutes before the vinegar starts to create flash rust.

Protect the surface above which you will work, pour a mixture of water and baking soda into a spray bottle, and you are ready for work.

Take out your barbell, whether it’s whole or in parts. Immediately start cleaning it with a brass brush, or if the layer of rust is too thick, with a steel brush.

After intensive cleaning, rinse the barbell with water and spray it with a mixture of water and baking soda. If you did everything right, your barbell should look almost like it was never rusty.

4. Oil and Brush the Barbell

Oil and brush the barbell in order to save it from rusting in the future.

First, wipe the entire barbell with paper towels. After that, apply 3 in 1 oil and spread it slowly with a brush. Oil and brush until you are delighted with the cleanliness and shine of your barbell.

5. Wipe Down With Oil One More Time

Wipe down with oil one more time to extend your barbell’s rust resistance for as long as possible.

Reapply the 3-in-1 oil to your barbell and gently wipe it down with paper towels to ensure that your crucial piece of gym equipment stays clean for a long time.

Why Is Your Gym Equipment Rusting?

Your gym equipment is rusting because it is made of steel or iron, which are materials prone to rusting.

How quickly it will rust depends on the quality of your home equipment. If you spend more money on your equipment, rust will take more time.

More expensive gym equipment often contains various forms of protection, such as chrome or zinc, which prevent rusting and extend your equipment’s life.

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What Can You Clean a Barbell With?

You can clean a barbell with water, white vinegar, baking soda, paper towels, plastic wrap, 3 in 1 oil, and a steel or brass brush. These items are key to cleaning your barbell, and you will achieve the highest level of cleanliness with them.

Should I Oil My Barbell?

Yes, you should oil your barbell. Applying 3-in-1 oil to your barbell is the final step in the process of cleaning your barbell from rust. However, it would help if you did this every two weeks to keep it clean and to extend its rust protection further.

Will Baking Soda and Vinegar Remove Rust From Steel?

Yes, baking soda and vinegar will remove rust from steel. These two elements are practically used in all recipes for cleaning various steel objects, and there is no difference when cleaning barbells.

Can You Clean a Barbell With Soap?

Yes, you can clean a barbell with soap. Mix the soap with water in the form of regular maintenance of your barbell. Since this is part of your daily equipment, it gets dirty quickly. Regularly washing your barbell with soap and water and reapplying oil prolongs the health of your barbell.

Can I Use Alcohol to Clean Barbell?

No, you can’t use alcohol to clean the barbell. Cleaning the barbell with alcohol, bleach, or any strong substances can permanently damage your equipment, creating cracks, corrosion, and rust.

Are There Any Corrosion Resistant Barbells?

There isn’t any corrosion-resistant barbel. Depending on the funds you set aside for purchasing the barbell, it will also depend on how much it will rust. If you spend more money on a stainless steel barbell, it will rust much more quickly.

Its regular washing and maintenance are essential in preventing the barbell from rusting. Periodic application of 3-in-1 oil will extend the life of your barbell and keep it from rusting longer. When rust appears, you need to do the entire rust cleaning process step by step to preserve your barbell’s value, appearance, and quality.

In the comments below, you can leave your experiences in cleaning rust from barbells.

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Vanja Vukas

Student at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education and a hardcore functional training enthusiast. Heavily inspired by Michael Boyle, a strength & conditioning specialist, and by Adam Sinicki, the founder of Bioneer. Vanja believes that transitioning to a movement-based exercise program can drastically improve your fitness, balance out your muscles, and support your current lifestyle.

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