Rust removal is an enormous hassle, normally involving lots of elbow grease, steel wool, and sweat. Build your own electrolytic anti-rust tank out of a five gallon bucket instead and you’ll clobber your oxidized iron with science.
This project relies on a few simple components—a five gallon bucket, some pieces of rebar or other narrow steel, a trickle battery charger, and some wire—and a washing soda/water solution to create an energized solution that’s really tough on rust. The simple summary of how it works: you clip the negative charging lead to the item to be cleaned, the positive to the rebar, and then hit the juice and watch as the combination of electricity and washing-soda-laced water channel the rust right off your tool and towards the rebar anode.
Want to know the science behind how this Frankenstein cleaning tools works? Read through this Wikipedia entry about electrolysis. If, on the other hand, you want to dive right in and restore some rusty tools, check out the Instructables tutorial below for more information, appropriate warnings, and lots of pictures.