How To Remove Rust From Fishing Hooks

The ultimate worry amongst the fishing folks is to know how to remove rust from fishing hooks. Though a majority of fishing hooks available on the market features a coating on the surface that covers the main hook to protect it from rusting by slowing the process down a bit.

Here comes the reality check – your fishing hook will rust, specifically if you tend to fish in salty water and not rinse the hook afterwards. To be honest, getting your hands on new hooks often does not seem attractive at all, and let’s accept that it is quite expensive. Well, we know you will be dreading over to find the best way to clean rusty fishing lures.

On a side note, you would also be wondering if rusty hooks are dangerous to use? Yes, rusty hooks on a fishing line are dangerous! Why? Because hygiene-wise, it creates a gunk habitat that may become the cause of tetanus. Also, a rusty fishing hook has higher chances of breaking off and loosening from the mouth of fish. 

A simpler way to Remove Rust From Fishing Hooks is to use sandpaper, either with the help of a rotary device or soaking the fishing lures by mixing either baking soda and water or lime juice and salt. Also, as an alternate, you can also make use of a rust converter to make your fishing hooks robust. 

But, as we mentioned, the above-discussed method is just a simpler way; however, there are other proven methods that enable fishing folks to keep the hooks clean by removing the rust off the lures and making it shine like a brand new hook once again. Are you interested? Take your coffee and keep scrolling!

You May Also Read: Best Trout Lures For Rivers.

What is Rust?

To decipher in scientific language, rust is known as Hydrated Iron (III) Oxide. The reaction between iron, oxygen, and water forms iron, and it is also known as the process of oxidation. A majority of the fishing hooks are made from alloys rather than pure iron; however, they do have a particular iron percentage. As a result, it enables deposits of iron oxides to spread beyond the contact point with iron. 

The conversion of rust to another soluble product is also one of the ways to clean rust from the fishing hook. Usually, a chemical reaction is involved in carrying out the procedure between iron oxide and an acid. There are other rare cases, where a base can be used to remove the rust from fishing lures. In cases of a light layer of rust, you also have an option to use brute force to remove it from the surface of the hook. 

We hope now you have a precise and clear idea of what is rust and what reaction forms it.

methods to remove rust from fishing hooks

It is time to finally discuss and outline “how to remove rust from fishing hooks”. This blog post will further talk about different methods to remove rust and have an almost brand new sort of fishing lures. And guess what? No hefty bucks are required to get rid of the rust, just a few items in the kitchen and you are good to go. 

Lemon/Lime and Salt

This method requires you to have either a lemon or lime at hand along with table salt. So far so good? Now, follow the steps you are required to do:

  • Firstly, soak the fishing hook that is rusting in a mixture of lemon or lime juice and salt for about four hours. There is no need to add any water to the solution for it creates dilution of the chemical concentration; therefore, the process will take much longer to remove rust from fishing hooks. Also, do keep in mind that you would require a couple of more if you have more than one hook. 
  • The second and last step requires you to scrub the rust away using a metal wire scrubber.

Wondering what’s the science behind it? The citric acid in lemon or lime comes into reaction with the rust that, as a result, forms a scrubbable soluble salt. Also, if you think doing it once didn’t do the job, try it a couple more times.  

Baking Soda

Scientific jargon is easier for this one, we recalled our 12th standard, did you? Well, this is also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, which is a pretty basic substance. But, it still has the potential to react with rusting on the hook for the production of soluble iron, sodium carbonate, and water. What are the steps, well they are pretty basic, too!

  • Firstly, make a thick paste by adding water to baking soda. Make sure to not add extra because a runny paste just won’t work here. 
  • Apply the paste on rustic areas of the fishing hook and wait for a couple of hours. 
  • Once a few hours have passed by, do the scrubbing using a metal wire scrubber. 

Repeat this method until desired outcomes are achieved. If it doesn’t work even after multiple attempts, you know what to do – change the hook.


Coca-Cola – seems strange? Well, it won’t sound strange specifically when we see a number of cleaning hacks being carried out using Coke. Why does it work? Because it has multiple acids that fight against rust. Also, there is not any particular requirement for the Coke type that is required for the method. Keep reading for the amazing hack:

  • Firstly, fold the aluminium foil into layers.
  • Pour out Coke on the affected area and try scrubbing with a tool you just made with aluminium.
  • Don’t want to do the hustle of finding aluminium? A metal wire scrubber would be just fine as well.
  • Once the rust has been scrubbed off from its surface, you can use soap for further cleaning followed by washing away with water to remove any rust residue.

If it doesn’t work out, you have an option of submerging the hook in Coke for a couple of hours and then doing the scrubbing part. This would enable the acid to work its magic on the rustic surface. Considering Coke with a pH of 2.52, this method is highly effective for deeper rust for it contains strong acids. Also, if you don’t have the ingredient in the refrigerator at the moment, try it with similar drinks with acids; however, we won’t give any guarantee whether it would do the same job as Coke or not. 

Citric Acid

For those who know, citric acid is highly acidic. It has a strong potential to remove paint or metals that sit on the surface of the fishing lure if it has been galvanized. So, if you have some really bad rusting going on, this would be highly effective. What do you need to do?

  • Firstly, prepare a hot bath of water, and then add three tablespoons of the acid. It is probable that you might not find it easily; hence, in that case, you may use Alpha Chemicals 1 Pound Citric Acid.
  • Once you have prepared, soak in the rustic hook for one night and then scrub the rust off with a metal wire scrubber.


Vinegar is another staple ingredient found in a majority of pantries; hence, using it is also a piece of cake. Basically, it has weak acid that reacts with rust to remove it. There is no limitation on the type of vinegar because each of them is acidic. But we would always prefer white vinegar. 

  • The first step requires you to pour some vinegar into a bowl 
  • Now, dip in the rustic hook in the bowl filled with vinegar for a couple of hours and then scrub the flakes off using a metal wire scrubber

Rust Converter

This might sound new to you, and to be honest, it is quite interesting as well. The rust converter actually allows you to make the rust work in your favour. It basically converts iron oxide into ferric tannate, ultimately extending the life of the hook by preventing corrosion for quite a long time; however, don’t take it as an ultimate barrier, as it will still react and cause rusting but at a slower percentage. 

However, you will be needing the iron metal for the rust converter to function, which indicates that if you have galvanized or painted fishing lures, chances are that you might not be able to take the rust off completely. 

In order to make it work, you will be needing a paint stripper to make sure that all paint has been removed properly. To apply the rust converter, you will need either a liquid or spray rust converter, a paintbrush, metal-suited paint, and a wire brush. Now, the question is how to actually apply it? Scrape off any paint or flaky rust by using a wire brush and then go for the application of the rust converter. Use a paintbrush to spread evenly. Now, leave for around 24 hours. Once the black layer has been formed, you are done, but if you want to go for another coat of paint, you can do so too. 


The methods are not guaranteed that Remove Rust From Fishing Hooks; however, these are implemented by a majority of people. If you want to give them a try, go ahead and do let us know if any of them worked out for you. Happy cleaning!

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