Rust-Busting Plastabs 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.
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.)
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