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Cleaning rusty screwdriver bits

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Does it make sense to clean rusty screwdriver bits?

I had a couple of dozen rusty screwdriver bits . These included the standard Phillips head And Flathead bits as well as torx bits and Allen wrench bits .

They were not organized. They were just scattered around my work bench in various places .

I decided to give it a try to clean them up . In order to clean them, I:

  • Soaked them for awhile in vinegar.
  • Put them through a dozen cycles in an ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Sprayed them with WD 40, then wiped them down and organized them .

The first step was to simply put them in a pan and spray them with vinegar.I let them sit overnight. You could probably use a commercial product such as Naval Jelly.

Rusty bits soaking in vinegar

The next step was to run them through about it dozen cycles in the ultrasonic cleaner with the heat on and the maximum time set. Note that you should never ever stick your hand in the ultrasonic fluid while it is running. You can have a very nasty effect on your bones . . . like turning them to Jelly .

Rusty bits in an ultrasonic cleaner.

Most of the rust came off and a thin layer of WD 40 would probably prevent additional rusting . However, I found that sorting them was problematical. The stamped Legends On the bits were in many cases unreadable . I did the best I could And use bit holders that I purchased from Amazon To organize things .

Rusty bits after cleaning.

Summary – just buy a set.

When I was finished, I realize that it was a lot of work, and tedious work at that, to clean them and sort them. You can go to Amazon or HarborFreight and purchase a set that is relatively inexpensive. As a bonus, it will already be sorted, organized and labeled.

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