Best Rust Inhibitor

The Best Rust Inhibitors Reviewed

July 14th, 2015 In our labs, we tested 17 of the most popular rust remover and rust inhibitor products on the market today. All products were tested under identical conditions in a salt/fog chamber for 30 days initially to see which of these products prevented rust the best. The testing was personally supervised by Franklin G. Reick, chemist and inventor of HinderRUST to investigate claims made by other products, and to see if HinderRUST was a viable product to bring to market. Below is a picture of our simple salt/fog chamber, custom designed to present almost identical conditions to each sample under test.

best rust inhibitor

Each metal sample is coated with a different rust inhibitor product. Salt water is then aerated and heated to 140°F to produce a corrosive fog environment inside the sealed chamber.

Rust Inhibitor Products Tested

Our testing included some of the biggest names in rust inhibitor products, including well-known consumer and industrial products such as WD-40, BoeShield (made by Boeing Aircraft company), and TC-11, another consumer-oriented product. In the video below, Franklin Reick discusses the testing and the results after over a month in our salt/fog chamber.


 

A note about rust removers vs. rust inhibitors

At the end of the day, there are only a couple of ways to remove rust from a metal surface:

  1. Sand it off, chisel it off, or blast it off with high pressure.
  2. Use a chemical converter (acid) to dissolve it without dissolving the metal. Chemical converters typically only work on small amounts of surface rust. Almost everyone ends up sanding, chiseling, and wiping off rust by hand at some point in the process anyway, even after acids are used.

If you’re going through the trouble and mess of removing rust, most likely the next step would be preventing it from coming back, right? Because these operations go hand-in-hand, the distinction between a rust remover and a rust inhibitor is often confusing to people. What is important to remember is that a product that makes a good rust remover is not necessarily a good rust inhibitor. The chemistry of these products is different and as our testing shows, solvent-based rust inhibitors tend to evaporate more readily and have more difficulty providing long-term protection against rust.

And the Best Rust Inhibitor Is?

How about one that not only works, but lasts without the need for frequent reapplication?One that doesn’t evaporate off the surface? One that doesn’t make you gag from the smell of solvents? One that doesn’t wash off in the first rainstorm? How about one that also lubricates the surface being protected, making it useful in a much broader array of applications? We have assessed the best rust inhibitor products from our salt-fog testing and this is what we’ve found.

RANKING LOGO Overall Rating Rust Protection VOC Free Long-evity(est). Pene-tration Evaporation Loss Lubricant Qualities
best-rust3 best-rust6 9.9 9.9 YES 9.8 10 <1% HIGH
best-rust4 TC-11 9.6 9.8 NO 9.5 9.9 20% LOW
best-rust5 FLUID FILM 9.3 9.6 NO 9.2 9.5 <1% MED

Before you accuse us of voting ourselves to the top, let us just say that the evidence here really spoke for itself, and we have tried to give credit to our competitors where credit is due. But the fact is that of all the products tested, only one other product really came close to HinderRUST in its ability to prevent rust over an extended period (TC-11). But this product also used flammable solvents in an aerosol container, and had no meaningful lubrication qualities. In a three-day test, TC-11 lost 20% of its liquid volume through evaporation (solvents), while HinderRUST lost less than 1%.

Ranking #1 – HinderRUST “The Rust Stopper”

Summary: After 30 days in salt/fog testing, theHinderRUST sample had the least surface corrosion of any sample. After a 60-day test, its leading ability to prevent corrosion was even more apparent, indicating that the surface active adsorption process is indeed bonding directly to the metal and creating a very robust protective shield against moisture and oxygen.

Pros

  • Both a rust inhibitor & a penetrating lubricant.
  • Self-healing chemistry means best-in-class durability.
  • Longest lasting product, only product with no significant rust after 90 days in salt/fog.
  • Safe, no solvents, no odors or volatile organic compounds. Spray pump application, no aerosol.
  • Does not evaporate off the surface of metal and rarely requires reapplication.
  • Easy to apply.

Cons

  • Does not provide acid-based rust removal.

Ranking #2 – TC-11 Summary: TC-11 did a good job of keeping the rust off our test sample over the initial 30-day testing period. By 60 days in salt/fog, however, the product began to wear off the underlying metal and some rust had appeared on our test sample. TC-11 tries to be both a solvent-based rust remover and a rust inhibitor and this brings with it some tradeoffs. If you wipe off the solvent to remove the loosened rust, you also wipe off the rust inhibitor and must reapply it.

Pros

  • Both a rust remover and a rust inhibitor.
  • Spreads and covers metal surface well with good surface adhesion.
  • Performed well in extended salt/fog testing.

Cons

  • Product solvents evaporate, losing 20% of their volume over a three day period.
  • Solvent effectiveness is only for small amounts of surface rust.
  • Product will require periodic reapplication under outdoor conditions.
  • The product has no meaningful lubrication qualities.
  • As a solvent-based product, TC-11 is flammable and prolonged exposure to the fumes is a health hazard (contains VOCs).

Ranking #3 – Fluid Film Summary: Fluid Film is a lanolin-based product made from unrefined woolwax, an organic compound. It has good surface adhesion and migration qualities that help it form a protective rust barrier. It has no solvents and has both lubricant and penetrant qualities.

Pros

  • Spreads and covers metal surface well with good surface adhesion.
  • Provides good rust protection over an extended period.
  • Solvent-free material, does not evaporate.
  • Mixed with petroleum products that provide some lubrication qualities.

Cons

  • Organic woolwax can decompose over time, causing an odor that attracts insects.
  • Contains volatile organic compounds.

Best Rust Inhibitor Summary

There are only a very few rust inhibitor products that provide best-in-class rust prevention performance and HinderRUST is certainly in the top 2 or three. But when you consider the durability of our product, the fact that it is completely VOC-free, is not a solvent, and the quality of its penetrating lubrication properties, there is only one clear winner. Try HinderRUST today and we are sure you will never need another rust prevention product.

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