How To Remove Rust From Old Keys

If you’re realizing that you unknowingly found an old key in your pocket, you may be wondering how to safely get rid of the rust on it that could now be ruining the operation and appearance of your door lock. In this article, we’ll tell you what to do so it won’t adversely affect your fob or result in a broken lock that requires replacing!

What Causes Rust on Keys

Metal oxidation and corrosion is one of the leading causes of keys rusting. The chemical reaction takes a while to occur and cause damage to the material’s surface. In some cases, the oxidation process can take months or years. Rust causes harmful corrosion of metal and rusted keys are more risky to use. Oxidation speeds up when there is high humidity in the air, which makes the process happen faster on a humid day.

How to Remove Rust from Old Keys

If you’re still using an old key, I hope that you know what a headache it is when the key gets rusty and won’t turn in your lock. But don’t worry! This guide will show you how to clean the rust off of your old keys so they can be reused.

Using Salt Water or Alcohol

It is not uncommon to find rust in old keys. If you know the key will be sticking in a lock, you can prevent this rust from reappearing with salt water or alcohol. Both substances are relatively easy to carry near a key if you’re on the move. Salt water will dissolve rust quicker than alcohol because it is less acidic.


Many people are in search of ways to remove rust from old keys. It is recommended that you start by using a vinegar and rubbing alcohol mixture. You can slowly apply pressure to the area without standing on fingers of this mixture for about 10 minutes.

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