Since tools are a big part of motor vehicle repair I've run across some old hand wrenches and sockets that have rust on them and I'd like to keep them but wanted them cleaned. I was curious, due to the amount of surface rust if hand tools be cleaned with a sonic cleaner such as:

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I've debated a solution of simple green, alcohol and a little water. Leave them in for a few hours or until clean but I'm unsure of any metal weakening or damaging to the finish or if it's suggested?

1 Answer 1


For surface rust and more you could make an electrolysis bath.

Easy using a wall wart or old computer laptop power block, just make sure the output is dc...

Water with a teaspoon of salt and then a couple of hours works wonders...

Best is you can use a larger plastic container as most spanners won’t fit in that sonic thing - it’s designed for small personal items ie earrings watches etc...

Baesd on comments: Do this in a well-ventilated area or put the bath outside...

The amount if chlorine released will be small based on the teaspoon of salt... see https://orbitingfrog.com/2014/11/02/electrolysis-of-water-with-pencils-and-a-9v-battery/

  • 1
    I recommend soda, since salt could release chlorine gas.
    – sweber
    Dec 2, 2018 at 7:38
  • You will probably get a higher concentration at the local pool... putting the bath in a well ventilated area or, better, outside...
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 2, 2018 at 7:39

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