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