How to Clean Rusty Jumper Cables

battery-terminals

Sarah asked:  How do I clean rusty jumper cables? I have a pair of jumper cables that are really rusty. How can I safely clean them?

Soda Method

You Will Need:

  • Coca Cola (other sodas can be used, but may not have the same results)
  • Bowl or glass
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Rust:

  1. Fill a cup or bowl with the soda.
  2. Place the rusty portions of the jumper cables into the soda and allow it to soak for a couple of hours.
  3. Remove the cables and wipe them off with a soft cloth.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Abrasive Method

You Will Need:

  • Steel wool
  • Fine grade sandpaper
  • Soft cloths
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Rust:

  1. If the rust can’t be cleaned away, it can be removed with a light sanding.
  2. Use steel wool or sandpaper and gently rub it on the surfaces of the metal.
  3. Once the rust is removed, wipe the metal off with a cloth moistened with clean water.
  4. Dry immediately.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • It is possible to restore metal, but the process is time consuming. In many cases, it’s easier just to purchase a new set of cables.
  • Always dry the cables completely to keep rust from developing again.

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