How To Clean Magnet Fishing Finds

How To Clean Magnet Fishing Finds

Most of your magnet fishing finds are going to be covered in rust. They won’t be in pristine shape and have a deformed outer surface since they have spent months, years, or even decades underwater. The oxidization and corrosion eat the metal and deteriorate its physical properties.

If you have pulled out a rare find, it is time to clean it.

You need to remove the rust and save what is left.

There are certain steps professional magnet fishers take after finding an object. They don’t require any expensive equipment and clean the rust with efficacy.

Use A Wire Brush

An ideal wire brush is made of high-quality material. It provides greater cleaning coverage and removes rust from different surfaces. Compared to other cleaning tools, you will love its cleaning performance. Due to its size and types, it can clean even those areas of the metal that other methods can’t handle. The professional magnet fishers also count on them to do the cleaning job.

Before buying a wire brush, you need to check a few things to ensure consistency and safety.

  • It should be made of stainless steel bristles.
  • The wire is 100% inspected and meets all the quality specifications.
  • It has even balance for smooth performance.
  • Handle for a solid grip.
  • Suitable wire length for cleaning narrow and difficult areas.

All metal workers start with the wire brush to remove the rust before repair.

You can buy wire brushes online too; some good options are from LabRat SuppliesDEWALT, and JAK Industrial. All of them are excellent for cleaning metals.

It doesn’t matter which wire brush you are using. Just ensure you are rubbing it on the dry metal, not wet. Scrubbing on the wet surface won’t let you get rid of the corrosion.

Baking Soda

For the ugly rust spots, baking soda works like magic.

It is available in every home; you only need to head straight to your kitchen cabinets. It is a safe method to remove rust and it isn’t expensive like the store-bought chemicals either. If it is your first time with the magnet fishing finds, try the baking soda method before reaching for harsh chemicals. It is imperative for you to understand how natural substances work on the metal.

Step #1: Rinse the metal items well and shake dry.

Step #2: Make a thick paste of baking soda and water (1 tbsp. baking soda + 1tbsp. water).

Step #3: Apply the generous amount of paste on the wet areas of metal that have corrosion.

Step #4: Scrub the paste aluminum foil; use it as a scrub.

Step #5: After scrubbing 5 minutes, wipe the paste away with a paper towel.

If the corrosion on a specific spot is stubborn, repeat the process, daily.

We love the baking soda method especially because it takes less time and it is very effective. For extraordinary results, you can set the paste and leave it alone for a few hours.

The only drawback of this method is you may need to repeat the entire process more than once.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is often used for stubborn rust that is stuck to your metal finds. Any tool that has a decent amount of rust can be cleaned with it. It is powerful and doesn’t take hours of polishing with the wire brush to knock the rust off. Experts recommend it to the beginner magnet fishers too as it is one of the least abrasive ways and easiest as well.

The citric acid powder is available at both the grocery store and the drug store. You won’t have any trouble finding its packet. People use it as a health food supplement or a baking ingredient… In order to use it, you need a few more things.

  • Container
  • Warm Water
  • Brass Brush
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Safety Glasses

First, you have to put the magnet fishing finds in the container and cover them with warm water. Next, sprinkle citric acid power on top of the water and let it sink and gently stir it in. If you don’t see small air bubbles after a few minutes, you need to sprinkle the more citric acid powder on it.

After an hour, hold the metals and scrub them with a scouring pad; the rust will be removed quickly. Heavily rusted items should be left overnight in the solution and scrubbed again.

Coca Cola

Are you surprised to see ‘Coca Cola’ on our list?

It is one of the most effective methods to remove rust and you probably have seen people using it on their metals for cleaning.

But the real question is what makes coca-cola such an effective cleaner?

The main reason is it is carbonated and dissolves with metal oxides. This process is immensely powerful and breaks up the rust almost immediately. Some people try to pour it on the metal, however, it is good to let the metal sit inside the container for some time (24 hours at least).

Its properties don’t just wash away the stickiness but also break down the dust particles; you feel like you have a new metal in your hands.

After removing the rust, don’t forget to oil the metal to prevent future rusting.

There are some other specific advantages of using this method. For example, Coca Cola isn’t acidic enough to damage the metals, and second, it works rather well on all types of metals.


All these methods are safe to use on your magnet fishing items.

But, bear in mind, it doesn’t matter which method you are using. It is pertinent to use gloves. They protect your hands from the contaminants that may thrive on items and don’t let you face cuts and bruises that can cause a dangerous infection.

Gloves from Mr. Clean and Gloves Legend are liquid proof and protect your hands from harsh detergents. Their non-slippery design gives you a good grip on slippery items too.

If you have any of your own tips, let us know in the comments section.

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