tool box rust prevention

Affordable Tool Box Rust Prevention for Less Than $5

If you take care of your tools, they’ll return the favor. But tool box rust prevention requires not only proper care and maintenance, but also storage strategies that specifically aim to keep moisture out.

Maintaining and storing your tools doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Zerust offers affordable tool box rust prevention for under $5 – and it lasts up to 2 years.

We’re talking about Zerust Plastabs. These are the light, thin, yet rigid rectangles made of polyethylene that are crafted with corrosion-inhibiting properties molded into the plastic. It releases a vapor that forms a protective layer on metal surfaces, shielding them from the corrosive effects of oxygen and water/humidity. 10-packs of Plastabs are available for under $5, and last up to 2 years.

Plastabs are ideal for narrow areas, but also those with restricted space – like tool boxes.

Why Does Tools Rust in a Toolbox?

Toolboxes are made to store tools – but they don’t necessarily keep them protected from rust or other types of corrosion.

Corrosion is a natural process that involves the breakdown of a refined metal into a more chemically stable oxide. (Rust is a specific type of corrosion that specifically involves iron and its alloys.)

Although a tool box can protect tools and their metal components from direct exposure to the elements, it isn’t vacuum-sealed. That means it’s still possible for oxygen and moisture to build up. This is especially true when there are temperature swings.

Consider this scenario:

You store your tools in a tool box in the garage. There’s a cold spell. The temperature of the tool box and the tools inside drops. Then the weather warms up. This is going to cause condensation to build up on the tool box and the tools inside. (Think of how condensation builds up on a glass of ice water when it sits outside in the sun for just a minute or two.) With metal, all it takes is a little moisture to trigger rust.

Tool Box Rust Prevention Solutions 

The first step to tool box rust prevention is to effectively clean and dry your tools. Any dirt, grime, salt, grease, or other debris has the potential to accelerate the corrosion process. If you clean your tools but don’t adequately dry them, there is a risk that moisture will get trapped inside the tool box, resulting in an unpleasant surprise the next time you open it. It’s important to clean and wipe down your tools after each use to minimize the risk of corrosion and rust.

Next step is to utilize a weatherproof tool box. These toolboxes usually have a rubber seal around a tight-fitting lid. It’s not a bad idea to initiate some type of temperature controls, such as deploying a dehumidifier, but even just having good ventilation and keeping them in a place with a fairly stable temperature should be adequate.

Lastly, you need something moisture-wicking to keep the tools dry, even while in storage. This is where Zerust Plastabs stand out. They are odorless, non-toxic, and won’t leave residue on any electrical or contact surfaces. Although Plastabs will last up to two years in an enclosed space, if you’re frequently in-and-out of your toolbox, you may want to replace them a bit more regularly than that. But when you can buy a 10-pack for $3.95, it’s a very affordable means to keep your tools rust-free and in great shape for years to come.

Contact Zerust for information on VCI products to help with tool rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Proper Tool Maintenance, TrueValue

More Blog Entries:

Rust-Busting Plastabs Prevent Corroded Tools, March 15, 2022, Zerust Tool Box Rust Prevention

ammo storage

Proper Ammo Storage Solutions Include Corrosion Prevention

Ammunition does not have an infinite shelf life. But to ensure your ammo is in the best shape possible for as long as possible, your ammo storage plan should include corrosion prevention. ammo storage

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the number of new gun owners in the U.S. has shot up by 8.4 million in the last two years. If you haven’t been a lifelong or regular gun owner, educating yourself on proper gun and ammo storage is essential. Whatever storage solution you choose needs to keep firearms and ammunition from falling into the wrong hands, but also ensure that if you grab for your piece at a moment’s notice, you won’t be caught off-guard with failing components due to preventable corrosion.

Most ammo isn’t going to rust, exactly, but that’s only because rounds are often made of brass. Bullets are manufactured of a lead-antimony alloy that’s encased in soft brass or a copper-plated soft steel jacket. Rust refers to a specific chemical reaction that solely involves iron and iron alloys. However, your bullets can absolutely become corroded through a similar process. Most metals will start to corrode when exposed to water or humidity and oxygen.

The best ammo storage solutions are those that shield them from these elements – and also incorporate specific anti-corrosion, anti-tarnish protection. Zerust has a number of ammo storage solutions that utilize VCI technology to protect a broad range of metal materials. VCI stands for “vapor corrosion inhibitor,” and it was developed with the express purpose of preventing degradation of metal materials that occur naturally through the chemical processes of rust and corrosion. It involves creating a molecule-thin layer of anti-rust vapor protection around the metal when it’s being stored in an enclosed area. When the enclosure is opened, those particles release harmlessly into the air.

Rust and corrosion are huge problems for government, industry, and civilians all over the world. The rust-related breakdown of everything from ships, to cars, to electronics costs billions to address and/or replace annually.

Corroded ammunition in particular is a problem because a corroded bullet is a dangerous one. If it’s fired, it could rupture or break, shooting hot air back through action of the gun, possibly injuring the shooter. If a corroded bullet gets stuck in the chamber but the shooter doesn’t realize it and goes to fire another round, the firearm could explode. Of course, that’s fairly rare because gun owners usually take the time to educate themselves about how to safely store and maintain their firearms and ammo.

prevent tool rust on boats

3 Ways To Prevent Tool Rust on a Boat

With no hardware stores on the open sea, smart boaters keep certain tools onboard to ensure they’re prepared to tackle on-the-spot repairs while on the water. But it’s imperative to have a plan to prevent tool rust on your boat, otherwise your tool kit won’t be much good to you.

Must-haves typically include an emergency kit with with a waterproof flashlight/headlamp, jumper cables, tow line, flare gun, and fire extinguisher, but also handy extras like Phillips and Flathead screwdrivers, long needle nose pliers, locking pliers, ratchet and sockets with spark plug match, a rigging knife, hose clamps, multi-meter, wire stripper, prop wrench, and a moisture meter.

Many of these boat tools are made with rubber or plastic handles for easy gripping, but the metal elements are still at risk for rust and corrosion.boat tool rust prevention

Scientifically speaking, rust is referred to as iron oxide. It’s a chemical reaction that occurs when ferrous metals (those made of or deriving in part from iron) meet water and oxygen. Similar types of corrosion can happen with different kinds of metals. Certain elements can accelerate the rust and corrosion processes, namely salt and grit/grime.

Even if you keep your tools in a dry spot, there’s more moisture in the air in a marine environment. That can be enough to cause your tools to rust in a short window of time – particularly if your boat is on saltwater.

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your boat tools from rust and corrosion, without much great effort or cost.

1. Wipe Tools After Use and Coat With Oil.

Anytime your tools have been in use, it’s important to ensure they’re free of dirt and grime, and there is no water left on or near metal parts. Once clean and dry, consider coating them with a thin layer of oil. Zerust Axxanol Spray-G is a spray-on light lubricant oil that offers advanced corrosion protection to prevent tool rust for up to 1 year outdoors.

2. Use a Toolbox Drawer Liner to Prevent Tool Rust.

Zerust toolbox drawer liners are made with heavy-duty, non-slip rubber, and our patented VCI formula to protect against rust and corrosion for up to 5 years. VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor. The material releases a colorless, odorless vapor that settles in a molecule-thin layer that shields metal components from corrosive elements like moisture and salt. Liners can be cut to size, and they also prevent slipping, denting, and mold/mildew formation. They’re easy to wipe down with a damp cloth, and are fire retardant as well.

3. Use a Rust Prevention Vapor Capsule.

Rust prevention vapor capsules are an easy, inexpensive way to keep protect your boat tools from rusting. These capsules also use the VCI formula, and can simply be placed inside any stowage bench or locker. These come in different sizes, and are easily placed on the interior of your storage container with an adhesive backing.

Using these strategies, you can buy a relatively cheap storage system (plastic, etc.) – as long as it’s solid and sealable. Combine that with cleaning, drying, and oiling your tools after use, and incorporating at least one other VCI tool rust solution.

Contact Zerust for information on boat rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Unprecedented detail on how rust happens, Feb. 4, 2019, DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Science Daily

More Blog Entries:

Battling Aluminum Boat Corrosion Off Saltwater Shores, April 14, 2022, Zerust Boat Tool Rust Prevention Blog

classic car rust

Classic Car Rust: What to Look For Before You Buy

When it comes to older vehicles, classic car rust is a top concern. Knowing what to look for before you buy – as well as how to protect your car from rust once it’s in your care – are imperatives. You want to know exactly what sort of challenges you may be dealing with, and you also want to protect your investment.

By 2024, the global classic car market is expected to grow significantly, to a total value of around $43.5 billion, with vintage cars being especially popular in North America and Europe. A survey by IHS Automotive revealed the typical car on U.S. roads is 11.5-years-old – a record in a country that historically values getting a new ride every few years. The number of vehicles on the road that are at least 25-years-old is somewhere around 14 million, up from 8 million 20 years ago.

To be considered “classic,” a car must be at least 20-years-old. An “antique” car is one that is at least 45-years-old. And a vintage car is one that is manufactured sometime between 1919 and 1930, and is either a “survivor” or has been restored to conform to the original manufacturer specifications.

According to Hagerty, the largest insurer specializing exclusively in older vehicles, more than 90 percent of class car purchases occur on the private market. That creates a “buyer beware” situation when it comes to classic car rust.

What to Look for When Examining a Vehicle for Classic Car Rust

Of course, no vehicle buyer wants to spot even a speck of rust, though it’s rare to find a decades-old vehicle without any signs of rust. The problem is that once rust takes hold, it can end up being a recurring problem.

For those purchasing older cars, identifying where the rust is, how prevalent it is, and how extensive the damage will be important.

Some rust red flags include:

motorcycle covers

The Best Motorcycle Covers Keep Your Bike Safe From Rust and Corrosion

May is motorcycle safety awareness month, and spring marks the start of prime riding season in many areas of the U.S. It’s a good time to note that keeping your bike road-worthy is key to ensuring safety on the streets. Beyond routine mechanical maintenance and cleaning, that means proper motorcycle storage – with a decent cover. The best motorcycle covers on the market are those that not only deter theft and prevent damage caused by direct exposure to the elements, but also safeguard against rust and corrosion. Make sure when you buy that it offers VCI – vapor corrosion inhibitor.

Why Motorcycles are at Risk of Rust

Many types of corrosion – rust included – are chemical reactions triggered by the trifecta of metal + oxygen + moisture. Other elements, like salt and mud, can act as accelerants.

Rust is like a cancer for motor vehicles. Motorcycle rust can creep up quickly, be tough to spot, and do notable damage before you realize what’s wrong.motorcycle covers

As mentioned in a previous blog on our motorcycle covers, bikes are often made with numerous components that contain ferrous metals (those containing iron, and thus susceptible to the specific form of corrosion we all know as rust.) This includes the cast iron brake shoe liners and the steel camshafts, gears, sprockets, oil tanks, headlamp housing, exhaust valves, and mudguards.

While many of the visible metal parts on a motorcycle are likely lined with ceramic coating or other protective compounds, that’s not always true with interior workings. Beyond that, all it takes is a few stray pebbles to scratch and pock a metal surface, making that area especially vulnerable to corrosive damage.

Prevent PCB corrosion

Prevent PCB Corrosion With Zerust Vapor Capsules, Plastabs, Drawer Liners

Electronics corrosion almost always involves some type of damage to printed circuit boards (or PCBs). These are the foundational building block of most modern electronics. One might consist of a single, layered board used in a remote garage door opener, or it might be a complex, high-density, multi-layer circuit board powering a super computer. These intricate systems of diodes, resistors, connectors, semiconductors and radio devices are made to “talk” to one another, and the mechanical-electrical components make them the optimal archetype for a broad range of applications in our day-to-day use devices. You’ll find them in computers, integrated circuits, and microchips. But there is one major risk that can impact them all: PCB corrosion.

PCB corrosion – or just electronics corrosion in general – can occur for a number of reasons. Most of these stem from environmental triggers, like:

  • Exposure to moisture and humidity.
  • Proximity to reactive metals and other materials.
  • Electrolytic damage, occurring when surrounding ions are contaminated, impacting the voltage between two metal components.

Environmental contaminants, such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfates, chlorides, and ammonium, are surprisingly common in many environments, and can do considerable damage to PCBs. Dramatic swings in temperature can contribute to corrosion.

Sometimes, though, electronics corrosion is tough to test for. Devices may be written off as duds, when the reality is they were affected by PCB corrosion. Beyond being an expensive issue, it’s a potential dangerous one that carries the possibility of legal liability if failure results in injury or loss of critical data. The scope of the problem has been the subject of extensive research in recent years.

PCB Corrosion Prevention

Can I Clean PCB Corrosion?

Although it is possible to clean PCB corrosion off of an electronics device, the better solution – if possible – is to stop it before it starts.

Regular, careful cleaning of your circuit boards can help reduce the risk of corrosion buildup in the first place. If it’s already there, you might try tackling it with:

  • Compressed air. This is one of the most common, safest methods for routine cleaning circuit boards. Devices deliver short bursts of of air to the ventilation ports of your circuit board. If you’re trying to tackle corrosion that has already developed, you may want to open the electronic device so you can deliver the burst of air straight to the source.
  • Baking soda. Check with the manufacturer first, but baking soda can be effective in removing PCB corrosion in some cases. It’s mildly abrasive, so it can be used to remove corrosion that doesn’t come off easily with compressed air. Just be gentle in using it.
  • Brush. A toothbrush or paintbrush – something small, with soft bristles, can help you scrub some of the smaller spaces. Microfiber cloths might also work, assuming they are lint-free.

Again, the exact cleaning method will depend on the type of device and corrosion with which you’re dealing. Ideally, your focus should be on PCB corrosion prevention.

Zerust Products to Prevent Corrosion of Printed Circuit Boards

The most simple, effective, and inexpensive way to prevent PCB corrosion is by using vapor corrosion inhibitors, better known as VCIs.

All Zerust VCI products – from the plastabs to capsules to drawer liners – use this modern technology. It involves the use of a protective, molecular-level compound that settles on all metal surfaces, forming an ultra-thin shield that blocks the electrochemical reactions that cause corrosion on metal materials. It doesn’t damage the metal surface or impact the electrical function of your device (except to improve it by preventing damage). Store your item in a closed drawer with a tool liner, a container with a plastab, or some other enclosed space with an adhesive-backed vapor capsule nearby, and the VCI will do all the work. When you open the enclosed area, the vapor dissipates harmlessly into the air.

If you have questions about which Zerust products are ideal to protect your valuable electronics, our rust prevention specialists can help.

Contact Zerust for information on VCI products to help with electronics corrosion prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Corrosion in Electronics, James A. Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

More Blog Entries:

Prevent PCB Corrosion of Electronics With Anti-Tarnish Vapor Capsules, Dec. 15, 2020, Zerust Rust Prevention Blog

aluminum boat corrosion

Battling Aluminum Boat Corrosion Off Saltwater Shores

The last two years, there has been explosive demand for boats. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports retail sales units of power boats, personal watercraft, wake boats, and freshwater fishing and pontoon boats have sailed well beyond a 20 percent increase since 2019. One of the most popular materials in boat manufacturing: Aluminum. It’s lightweight (thus faster on the water and easier to tow), inexpensive, and relatively low-maintenance. BUT… Aluminum boat corrosion is a major issue, particularly in and around saltwater. Boat owners must take proper heed to prevent unnecessary deterioration.

Aluminum boat corrosion is primarily due to an electrochemical reaction that occurs when aluminum is in proximity to other metals. This is accelerated in a saltwater environment. When metal is corroded by other metals, it’s called galvanic corrosion or bimetallic corrosion. It occurs when metal has an electrical contact with a more “noble” metal (those more resistant to chemical action and corrosion and not easily attacked by acids) or a nonmetallic conductor in a corrosive electrolyte (like saltwater). Conductivity goes up with the temperature too – which is why boats in Florida corrode faster than those in Maine.

Boat builders will try their best to prevent galvanic corrosion by designing vessels in a way that keeps aluminum components away from noble metal components. Boats built for saltwater fishing generally don’t allow joints or crevices that collect water. They also avoid channels or upturned brackets where saltwater can become trapped. They’re typically constructed with sacrificial anodes, made of zinc, which bear the brunt of the electrochemical reaction so the aluminum is protected.

Still, these solutions aren’t always perfect. Even if your boat is well-made, if it’s stored in the water near boats made of more noble metals or components, it can still be at risk of galvanic corrosion. The rate of corrosion is impacted by how chemically active a metal is when it is placed in saltwater (more active metals are more highly susceptible to corrosion.) Aluminum tends to be a fairly active metal. That’s why ideally, per the American Boat and Yacht Council, aluminum boats should have protective paint coating that provides a high resistance barrier between the aluminum and the water.

Key Solutions to Keeping Aluminum Boat Corrosion at Bay

Zerust firearm bags

Zerust Firearm Bags Trusted by Military, Available to Civilians

Rust and corrosion are natural – but controllable – processes that have been especially problematic to society since the start of the Industrial Revolution. However, military officials didn’t start taking a hard look at the actual impact on its artillery until about the 1990s. In so doing, a bleak picture emerged, with government analysis of corrosion’s dollar impact on the U.S. Department of Defense revealing more than $21 billion in losses every single year. That’s just in direct costs. Indirect costs are even higher, with firearm rust and corrosion substantially increasing equipment downtime and impairing overall readiness. One way the military addresses this is by relying on Zerust firearm bags to protect guns and other equipment from accelerated degradation. Zerust firearm bags

Zerust VCI polybags, which can be used for handguns, rifles, and extra-large equipment, offer protection against corrosion damage for guns and accessories during shipping, storage, and between operations – with thousands of units proving their performance and reliability in the field.

They’re especially useful in environments where there is extreme weather, sand, and salt air conditions.

VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor, a product that works by releasing a non-toxic vapor into the air surrounding a metal item. These colorless, odorless vapors form a molecule-thin layer of protection around the metal items, preventing the electrochemical reactions that cause rust and corrosion. The vapor doesn’t impact the mechanical or electrical functions of the items they protect, and might actually improve it by preventing degradation in areas too small to see with the eyes alone. They can be used to protect both ferrous and non-ferrous metal (the former being subject to rust, the latter to other types of corrosion).

Civilians can also avail themselves of this same, cutting-edge technology to protect their own firearms.

prevent firearm rust

3 Simple Ways to Prevent Firearm Rust

Firearm rust is a reality with which many gun owners must grapple – particularly with older models. Sometimes they’re passed down in less-than-ideal condition or perhaps purchased with the intention of cleanup and resale. But even newer guns aren’t immune, particularly if they aren’t taken care of.

Of course, as any responsible gun owner will tell you, it’s much easier to prevent firearm rust than it is to treat it after the fact. The good news is there are three simple ways to do that:

  • Thoroughly clean your gun after every use with the proper gun cleaner.
  • Oil your gun with the right kind of gun oil.
  • Properly store your gun with vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) technology.

prevent firearm rustAny one of these three methods will go a long way toward preventing rust on your firearm. Combining all three is the best way to ensure the metal components of your gun remain in ready condition.

1. Thoroughly Clean Your Gun After Each Use.

Cleaning your gun properly – and thoroughly – after each use can go a long way to helping prevent firearm rust. A grimy gun is a potentially dangerous one. The risk is that dust or debris might cause inaccuracy or even failure when you need it most. Make sure when you clean your gun that you start by reading the manual. This might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. This is going to tell you how to correctly arm and disarm the gun. If you bought your gun used, you can probably still find the manual in a simple Google search. Once you’ve read through that, unload the gun. (Again – important but frequently ignored.) Then you’ll want to carefully remove any debris from the gun. This might take a bit of elbow grease, but it’s easier when you’re working with the right cleaning solution. Making your own isn’t a good idea. There are countless DIY recipes, but truly, the best materials are going to be those that were especially made for the purpose of protecting your firearm. Remember, you’re demanding that this machine perform with precision in seconds – under extreme forces of friction and heat. Trust the products you know are going to clean it correctly. Our gun cleaner is expressly made specifically for this purpose. firearm rust prevention

2. Prevent Firearm Rust With the Right Gun Oil.

Even if you take great care to clean your gun, failure to oil it can cause you headaches. You might know that the military goes to great lengths to shield their firearms from rust and corrosion. They are fastidious in cleaning AND oiling in order to keep each piece working optimally under a broad range of conditions. Guns are often going to be used outdoors, sometimes in harsh environments with conditions like rain, dust, dirt, debris, mud, and humidity. Applying gun oil after a good cleaning puts an additional barrier between the metal parts of the gun and those corrosive elements. Plus, greater lubricity can help control carbon buildup (common in more modern guns) and enhance a gun’s performance. Using the wrong gun oil, though, can have the opposite effect, causing dirt and debris to stick to the surface. Choosing gun oil that has been battle-tested is essential.

3. Properly Store Your Gun With VCI. 

VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor. Here again, the military leads by example, using VCI technology to protect everything from handguns to extra large equipment. What we do is make similar products for everyday consumers who want the best protection from corrosion for their tools, vehicles, and other valuables. We do this in a variety of ways, depending on the type and size of item you’re trying to preserve. For firearms, we have lots of options, such as VCI firearm protection bags, VCI fleece-lined firearm bag, or rust prevention vapor capsules that can be simply latched onto the inside of a gun safe, cabinet, shed, or closet. There are also tube and barrel strips that can be cut to size to protect the internal components of your firearm.

When you take proper care of your firearm, you protect your investment and ensure that it lasts for many more years to come.

Contact Zerust for information on rust protection for firearms by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

8 Ways to Keep Your Guns From Getting Rusty, March 21, 2021, By Joseph Albanese, Field and Stream

More Blog Entries:

Keeping Your New Gun Rust-Free, Dec. 15, 2021, Prevent Gun Rust Blog

prevent corroded tools

Rust-Busting Plastabs Prevent Corroded Tools

Hammer or hand saw, screwdriver or square – the tools in your toolbox have a broad range of uses, but all share a single foe: Rust. Prevention of corroded tools can be as simple as tossing in a tiny, thin rectangle of polyethylene in your toolbox.

Large companies have long trusted Zerust Plastabs to protect the metal contents of their shipments from corrosion and rust while packed away for long journeys across air, land, and sea. Individuals can now do the same for the the tools in which they’ve invested – whether you store them in a toolbox, closet, cabinet, or drawer.Tool box rust

Corroded Tools are Compromised Tools

As you may know, rust is a chemical reaction compound that results when oxygen reacts with iron (or its alloys) in the presence of water or moisture. Not all metals are iron or iron alloys, but they may still be susceptible to similar types of corrosion when exposed to water, moisture, and oxygen – as well as proximity to other types of metal.

As noted by the Electrochemical Society, corrosion is the same force that costs billions of dollars in damages every year – from building collapses to oil pipeline breaks, chemical plant leaks to ships sinking, floods to fires. The fact that these occurrences continue even when we clearly know the cause is a testament to how quickly the damage can be done if preventative measures are undertaken.

With tools, rust and other forms of corrosion can decimate effectiveness, causing them to dull, weaken, malfunction, or even break entirely. That can be incredibly dangerous when you’re working on a job that requires great caution and precision.

Beyond that, there’s the risk of tetanus. Metal tools like nails, knives, and gardening sheers that are left to rust in their natural environments are going to be prone to attracting the bacteria that causes tetanus. (Note: Rust itself doesn’t cause tetanus, but it’s a good indicator that the environment is ripe for Clostridia bacteria growth.)

While there are ways to rescue some rust-bitten devices, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to stop the spread once it’s started. It’s expensive to discard and replace rusty tools, and it’s dangerous if one breaks or malfunctions mid-use.

Proper cleaning and storage of your tools is compulsory.

Proper Cleaning & Storage of Hand Tools

Hand tools are a necessity for most home projects, yardwork, etc. To keep them in great shape, proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage are key.

To properly clean hand tools:

  • Wipe down. Take an old towel or rag, wipe off any debris, dust, or grease left over from the previous use.
  • Spot check for damage. After wiping down the tool, give it a once-over for any signs of damage. You’re specifically looking for cracks, breaks, splinters, or corrosion that may cause harm during use or diminish the tool’s effectiveness. If you notice any of these indicators, set the tool aside until you can repair or replace it.
  • Use a grinder for striking tools. Any striking tool with a metal head is going to eventually form a ridge that will spread and form a thin ridge at the edge. Over time, this ridge can become susceptible to breakage. Use a grinder to grind off any edges.
  • Lubricate tools. Once all your tools have been cleaned, dried, and checked for damage, it’s not a bad idea to lubricate the tools with an all-purpose oil (avoid getting any on the handle). This is one way to help prevent tool rust and corrosion.

It’s important not to stop there. Storing your tools right will keep them functional for the long-haul. This goes for all hand tools, but garden tools especially seen to be prone to rust and corrosion because they are often digging in dirt, debris, and moisture and then sometimes left on the ground.

Once you clean and lubricate your tools, you’ll probably be tossing them back in a toolbox. Plastabs are great for this scenario because they’re nearly paper-thin, small rectangles that can simply be tossed into the top and bottom compartments. They’re made with a special vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) formula that releases a molecular layer of protection against corrosion for as long as the box is closed. The VCI protectant is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and harmless. Open the toolbox, and the VCI simply dissipates harmlessly into the air – while your tools are kept in top shape.

(In addition to tool boxes, plastabs can be used in tackle boxes, pistol cases, ammo boxes, control boxes, and enclosure cabinets – providing up to two years of protection against rust and corrosion.)

Contact Zerust for information on VCI products to help with electronics corrosion prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

How to Remove Rust From Tools, HomeDepot.com

More Blog Entries:

Preventing Electronics Corrosion on Computers, Integrated Circuits, and Microchips, Jan. 21, 2022, Tool Rust Prevention Blog

Bicycle cover rust prevention

Beat Bike Rust With the Right Bicycle Cover

For a long time, biking was eyed skeptically as a kid thing, an urban thing, a 20-something thing, a performance athlete thing, a guy thing, a warm weather thing. The stereotypes go on for days, but they’re being successfully challenged with increasing diversity among riders and growing awareness of how regular cycling benefits our health, air quality, wallets, and road safety. But regardless of their reason for riding, all cyclists share a common adversary: Rust. Pedaling past the rust risk is a challenge for seasoned and amateur cyclists alike. This is especially true if you’re storing your wheels outdoors or in a garage that isn’t temperature-controlled. Choosing the right bicycle cover is essential. best bicycle cover

According to Bicycle Guider, biking popularity has shot up 47 percent in the U.S. during the last decade. In cities, ridership is up 73 percent. Americans spend $81 billion on biking every year – the bulk of that on just the bikes themselves. The average road bike costs somewhere between $350 to $700. Mountain bike price tags easily top $1,000. Even kid bikes are in the neighborhood of about $150 a pop. Bicycle rust can quickly eat up that investment.

Why Are Bicycles Prone to Rust?

Bicycles have a lot of metal components, from chains and frames to wheels and gears. Anytime iron-based metals are met with oxygen and moisture, it triggers a chemical chain reaction that results in rust. Factors like sweat, salt, mud, dirt, and debris are only going to speed up the metal degradation process.

Rust is a very specific type of corrosion that occurs only with iron and its alloys. Many bikes are made with at least some steel components, and steel is an iron alloy. But different metals can be vulnerable to similar types of corrosion, particularly when left outdoors.

Bicycles are routinely exposed to corrosive elements every time they’re taken out for a spin. Even small dints and dents can rapidly spread into a larger corrosion issue, potentially one that results in irreversible damage. Often, it doesn’t start out too bad, but rust can be tough to remove once it takes hold. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Bicycle Cover Rust PreventionMajor problems can be largely circumvented by regular cleaning and drying – and proper storage. Ideally, bikes are stored in a clean, dry, temperature-controlled space. A bicycle cover adds an extra layer of protection – which is especially important if you keep your ride outdoors. Leaving your bicycle exposed or outside for a day or so probably isn’t going to do major damage. But stretch to a week or more, and you’re likely to start seeing some signs of corrosion.

But even in a garage, the right bicycle cover can protect a bike from rust and corrosion. The wrong bicycle cover can actually make matters worse.

Choosing the Right Bicycle Cover

Rust ruins more than your bike’s aesthetic. It can render it un-rideable. It can happen faster than you think, particularly if you’re using the wrong bicycle cover.

Some bike covers are advertised to be waterproof, etc. The problem with many of these covers is condensation. This buildup of moisture can trigger the corrosive process. Sometimes, this can be an issue even if your bicycle is dry when you store it. Fluctuation of temperatures can result in a buildup of condensation inside the bike cover, hastening the degeneration of metal mechanisms.

This is where Zerust bicycle covers can make a difference. Not only are they water resistant and mold-proof, but the fabric is constructed with VCI technology. VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor, and it’s the same technology our military uses to stretch the life of its metal machinery. The bike rolls easily into the cover and is zipped. The VCI molecules attach to the metal elements of the bicycle, protecting them from corrosion. This is particularly valuable not just for the frame, but the gears, brakes, and shifters. The VCI stays active for a full five years.

We offer several storage options for cyclists, including zip and non-zip as well as covers that fit tandem bikes. If you have questions, we’re happy to help answer them.

Contact Zerust for information on bicycle covers and bike rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

What Happens When You Store Your Bike Outside, Oct. 6, 2021, By Caitlin Na Giddings, Bicycling.com

More Blog Entries:

You Got a Bike! Now Protect it With an Anti-Rust Bicycle Cover, Oct. 15, 2021, Zerust Bicycle Cover Blog

ice skate covers

Ice Skate Covers Keep Blades Sharp, Rust-Free

Olympic figure skating is graceful, precise, and stunning – and easily one of the most popular winter sports, captivating global audiences every four years. Even though most skating enthusiasts don’t skate their way onto an elite international stage, ice skating does draw more than 10 million people to rinks nationwide. That includes everyone over the age of 6 not only participating in figure skating, but speed skating, ice hockey, and recreational skating. As anyone who’s ever invested in a pair of skates knows, keeping them sharp is an imperative. The right ice skate covers can help shield the blades from the dulling effects of rust and corrosion.

Avid skaters recognize that a decent pair of figure skates is going to impact both performance and safety. Skaters need clean, knife-edged blades to ensure smooth, fast glides and sharp, crisp edges. Any amount of rust on a blade is inevitably going to dull one’s performance while wearing them. Rusty skates are risky skates whether you’re a beginner just learning proper techniques or an experienced ice skater pushing the boundaries of your skill.

Not all blade damage is immediately visible, either. In fact, one of the earliest indicators of a problem is the skater falling or struggling more than usual to complete a certain move or task. Rust prevention is preferred, which is where Zerust ice skate covers come in.Skate Guard Covers

Optimal Ice Skate Care & Keeping

Figure skating is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous sports, but it’s not cheap. In addition to the investment in costumes, there are private coaches, travel, sometimes physical therapy, and (of course) the skates. Even at the amateur level, decent skates can cost somewhere between $300 and $500. Ice hockey is a similar investment – around $7,000 a year, by some estimates.

One of the fastest ways to junk your blades is to let them fall victim to rust. The good news is that stretching their lifespan doesn’t need to cost a fortune.

Rust creeps up on ice skates when blades are left wet or subject to moisture. Ensuring skates are dry after each practice, game, or skate session is important. Keep a clean, soft, dry cloth in your gym bag or hockey bag specifically to wipe down your skate blades after you get off the ice and before you toss them in a bag to take them home.

Skate Guard CoversKeep in mind, however, that even after wiping them off there’s still a good chance they’re going to “mist up.” That’s because the temperature of the blade right after it’s been on the ice is cooler than the air around them. You’ll probably notice the tiny droplets forming on your blades. While most ice skating rinks do have dehumidifiers, there is still inevitably going to be moisture in the air. That’s why we recommend using ice skate covers (also known as “soakers”) right away, as soon as you wipe down your blades until you’re ready to lace them back up again. (Skate guards, made of harder, more durable material, are worn to shield blades when you’re walking across hard surfaces other than ice. Ice skates should not be stored in guards, but rather in the softer material.)

As for storage, you want to keep your skates in a cool, dry place – ideally one with controlled temperatures. Rapid rising and falling temperatures, sometimes referred to as thermal cycling, can put stress on the metal itself. But the bigger problem usually for ice skates is the build-up of condensation that can kick-start corrosion. Condensation happens when there’s more moisture than the air can hold. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. As warm air cools, it reaches saturation and water droplets form. This tends to be more problematic in regions where the temperature frequently falls below 35 degrees. Not coincidentally, this tends to be where the majority of ice skating rinks are concentrated.

VCI ice skate covers keep your skate blades clean and dry while they are in your bag or hung up in your garage or closet. They help not only protect the blades from damage from being jostled about (especially against each other), but also shield against the corrosive impact of moisture. Zerust Skate Guard Covers cost just $10 and are engineered for the express purpose of blocking blade rust and corrosion for up to five years.

Slipping easily over the blades, these covers extend the life of your skates through vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) technology woven into the fabric. Zerust VCI works by releasing non-toxic, odorless, colorless vapor into the air. Molecules of this protective compound settle on metal surfaces, forming an invisible layer of protection that prevents the natural, electrochemical reactions that would typically happen on metal that meets moisture. Surfaces that are exposed to ice, water, or just moisture in the air are going to be protected from rust, tarnish, and corrosion.

Note: There are lots of cutesy, fluffy soakers for sale, but most of these are NOT made with VCI technology that will actually keep your blades rust-free and in good working condition. They may even cause more harm than good by trapping condensation moisture inside. Steer clear.

When you use VCI ice skate covers every time you store them, you ensure maximum protection. You can even wear them when walking on hard surfaces other than the ice, which helps you skate past the sort of scratches and dents that can make metals vulnerable to corrosion and rust.

Contact Zerust for more information on ice skate rust prevention, email or call us at (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Get Started, U.S. Figure Skating

More Blog Entries:

Zerust Hockey Skate Blade Covers Keep Rust From Dulling Your Edge, Dec. 15, 2019, Zerust Ice Skate Soakers Blog

Preventing electronics corrosion

Preventing Electronics Corrosion on Computers, Integrated Circuits, and Microchips

Electronics corrosion can occur in integrated circuits, microchips, lighting systems, PCB assemblies, marine equipment, and computers – all of which are broadly used and routinely exposed to potentially destructive environmental conditions. Corrosion can be costly and potentially dangerous for individuals, small businesses, and property owners who rely on these electronic systems being in good  working order at all times. Fortunately, there are simple, inexpensive ways to prevent electronics corrosion – namely, VCI anti-tarnish capsules.

But first, let’s talk about the science behind electronics corrosion. Corrosion is the gradual breakdown of material (typically metal) as a result of some chemical reaction with the environment. One of the most common forms of corrosion is called rust, which occurs when the metal iron (or its alloys, such as steel) meets with oxygen and water or moisture. The result is iron oxide, more commonly known as rust.

As anti-corrosion specialists, we recognize that many electronic devices have complex designs and numerous components that are vulnerable to corrosion. However, it’s not typically “rust” that’s occurring. That’s because electronics tend to be made of other types of metal besides iron or iron alloys. Most are made with materials like copper, lithium, tin, silver, gold, nickel, and aluminum. To be clear: These metals can certainly be vulnerable to water and moisture corrosion, but it’s not the exact same as “rust” because that is a specific chemical process dealing with iron. But what’s equally a problem with metal components is something called galvanic corrosion. This is corrosive damage caused by one reactive metal’s proximity to/interactions with other dissimilar metals.

Electronics that are notorious for all kinds of corrosion issues are:

  • Integrated circuits (ICs)
  • Printed circuit boards (PCB)
  • Switches
  • Magnetic Recording Media (Hard disc)
  • Packaging and Shielding Parts

Although corrosion has been an issue for electronics just as long as they’ve been around, we’re hearing more about it because as a society, we’re using electronics more than ever before. Not only that, but there’s a high expectation that all of our electronic devices will be reliable under almost all conditions. Corrosion threatens functional reliability – and it can happen very quickly. This is especially true considering the growing trend toward miniaturization (the sizing of electronics has decreased by a factor of 10 over just the last few years). The result is that potentially reactive metals are placed in even closer proximity to each other, heightening the galvanic corrosion risk. Also with smaller devices, we see huge damage with seemingly small environmental impacts. Just a little exposure to water or slight exposure to reactive metal and the whole thing malfunctions.

All of this makes preventative measures – particularly those that are easy and inexpensive – a smart protection of your investment.

car cover car rust prevention

Keep Your Car Rust Free With a Corrosion-Fighting Car Cover

Rust is a silent killer of cars, inconspicuously creeping in, concealing its calamitous presence in the undercarriage, door frame, and internal mechanics. Understanding top car rust myths – and taking appropriate action when cleaning and storing your coupe – can help you steer clear of the worst impacts vehicle corrosion.

Before we get rolling on the myths and misconceptions about vehicle rust it’s important to explain why cars get rusty in the first place. As our car rust prevention experts can explain, rust is the electrochemical process of iron-based metals breaking down due to exposure to water (or even just moisture) and oxygen. This occurs in virtually all cars, even newer models, despite advances in outer coatings and the use of alloys as opposed to pure iron. But anything containing iron (including steel, a common component in cars) is going to rust eventually. The question is, how long can you prolong that reality? Answer: Quite a long time, if you’re cautious and using the right cleaning processes and storage tools.

Regular and thorough cleaning AND drying, as well as the use of a rust prevention car cover, can go a long way.

Most Common Car Rust Myths

  • Myth No. 1: Vehicle rust is usually visible. Unfortunately, oxidation (the chemical process that causes rust) frequently occurs in the areas of a vehicle that aren’t blatantly obvious. People are often concerned about how rust will impact the look of the car, but that doesn’t typically happen until the later stages. Early signs of rust – the point at which mitigating it is most effective – often go unnoticed, particularly on the undercarriage and inner components, which are some of the most vulnerable. Once rust sets in, car owners are faced with some potentially expensive solutions for getting rid of it. It’s always better to approach with a preventative solution.
  • Myth No. 2: Newer cars won’t rust. If you’re comparing cars made today to those produced decades ago, then yes, modern cars have an advantage when it comes to corrosion. (Cheap cars made in the 1970s started to rust almost as soon as they hit the docks. Owners of classic cars have to be especially careful when it comes to automobile rust prevention.)  However, that doesn’t mean newer cars are immune. Many newer models on the market are manufactured with a layer of plastic around the chassis, but this is primarily to improve fuel economy and reduce wind resistance. What it won’t do is block moisture and dirt from worming their way into the undercarriage and other components. That creates a perfect environment for rust and other forms of corrosion to take hold.
  • Myth No. 3: Regular car washing makes a vehicle more prone to rust. We think this misconception arose from the notion that high-pressure water and/or harsh chemical cleaners might cause damage to paint, increasing the car’s vulnerability to corrosion. The reality is that when you wash the car, you’re clearing out the dirt and other impurities that can accelerate metal corrosion over time. This is especially true in northern states during the winter months, when salt covers the roads, as a build up of salt can hasten the rust process. Because this is a particular problem with the undercarriage, be sure to wash underneath your car with either a pressure washer or in an automatic car wash. (And don’t put any type of car cover on your vehicle until it’s fully dried, as this can trap moisture inside, potentially kick-starting the rust process.)
  • Myth No. 4: Car rust risk is the same no matter where you live. Although it’s true that there is the potential for rust no matter where you’re parked, the reality is there are some climates where vehicles are more vulnerable to oxidation. Exposure to moisture is a big factor. That’s why your car is more likely to develop rust in Louisiana than Nevada. An aggravating factor in the corrosion process is salt., which boosts water’s ability to carry electrons. If you live on the coast, your vehicle is going to be at higher risk of rust than someone living further inland (assuming the latter isn’t exposed to copious amounts of road salt in the winter; road de-icers are known to cause $3 billion annually in vehicle rust costs).
  • Myth No. 5: Cars kept in garages or under car covers won’t rust. Garages do help protect vehicles from many of the external pollutants to which they may otherwise be exposed if parked on the driveway, street, or parking lot. But garages aren’t necessarily a shield-all. Neither are car covers, for that matter. The bigger factor is ensuring the car is both clean and dry when it goes into storage. You also want to limit the amount of moist air to which the vehicle is exposed while in storage. We recommend using a Zerust car cover – whether in a garage or elsewhere – because it not only protects against the elements, but the chemical rusting process as well.

prevent car rust car coverMany factors play into how fast a car will rust, including which iron alloy components are used, the thickness of those materials, the local climate, and the degree of care one puts into cleaning and storage. Vehicle owners can slow the process considerably by washing their car regularly, drying it thoroughly and keeping it parked in a cool, dry space. Lots of car coverings will offer some degree of protection against sun, water, and dust, but only Zerust car covers with vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) technology effectively protect against rust and corrosion without expensive anti-rust treatments. We offer four different sizes – lined or unlined – priced between $250 and $400, each offering a full five years of active, anti-rust protection.

If you have questions about our car covers or the best size fit for your vehicle, our dedicated rust prevention specialists are available with prompt answers.

Contact Zerust for information on car covers and information on preventing classic car rust by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

How to Prevent and Remove Rust on Your Car Like a Pro, Jan. 10, 2022, By Ben Wojdyla, Popular Mechanic

More Blog Entries:

Zerust Car Covers Help Prevent Undercarriage Rust, March 12, 2021, VCI Car Cover Rust Prevention Blog