what are you rusting? if it's fabric, i've read that you can neutralize the rust by rinsing it in a baking soda mixture (1-2 T baking soda to a gallon of water) or make a paste out of baking soda and water.
whatever it is, you would have to neutralize it some way.
Hi Diana. Thanks for the reply.
I have scavenged some marvelous rusty items - an old metal trunk, letterbox etc. There are parts where any further rust will destroy their usefulness. I was hoping to preserve the rust I have and let it go no further. But maybe it's like trying to hold back the tide?
i'm a natural skeptic, and from what i've read about rust-- it's hard to "kill" or neutralize. I just bought a book about rusting from a person who seems to be a master at altering surfaces with things like natural dyes and rust-- Kimberly Baxter Packwood. she has a PhD in such stuff, I think. http://www.prairiefibers.com/Rust%20Dyeing.htm
she has a blog and you can ask the question there. I'm guess that there really is no way to stop rust, though.
Thanks Diane. You've been very helpful.
Rust as a process does stop when the film of rust on the surface is thick enough but this only happens on very thick metal plate. If the surface is disrupted or the metal flakes the rusting will again take place. On thinner metal pieces of the type that you have the only thing you can do to slow the rusting down is to varnish the item which will exclude the moist air.
Thanks everyone for your help... I am not sure what I will do... just slow it down with a sealer or maybe just let it develop.
Hi Lea, I think those killrust style products may change the colour and character of the rust... I am a bit wary about using them on my beautiful old rusty objects. As for Bunnings, I spend far too much time and money wandering up and down the aisles!
Killrust and such products are designed to convert rust into a solid metal and stop rusting, they will also turn the rust metal coloured.
Rust is just simple iron oxide. the important thing to remember, the only way to prevent rust is to prevent it from being in the open air or water (2 ways it can get access to oxygen)
now as for stopping the rust, once it starts ... you really can't stop it unless you want to remove it. There are ways to retard the reaction (sealing it or using rust retarders for example) but eventually it will start up again.
That is not to say you can't rust something THEN strip the rust for the look of rusted metal without any rust ... then seal the metal.