Loosen rusted screws - how does that work?

When a screw is stuck due to rust, the despair is often as great as the number of well-intentioned advices. What actually works, and what you should always pay attention to first when rusted or rusted screws, you can read here.

Corrosion degree of screws

A screw can either be rusted or rusted. That's a big difference.

Heavily corroded screws - those that are heavily rusted - are usually also very fragile and brittle. With brute force nothing is normally achieved here. When the screw tears off, in many cases the problem is only bigger.

Hard-rusted screws, however, have rusted in the thread. Both the thread and the screw are attacked here. The rust inside the screw connection prevents the screw from moving.

Both cases must always be clearly distinguished from each other, since they require a fundamentally different approach. So first, look at where the screw is attached: in a metal thread or in a plastic part? Since plastic does not rust, it can not be rusted there. It helps a lot to know that.

The following options:

  • rusty
  • rusted
  • rusted and rusted

Solution by mechanical means

For larger screws that are rusted, you can try to turn the screw with a water pump pliers or other suitable pliers with as long a handle as possible (leverage) to turn the screw.

Insert the screwdriver into the screw cross and hit the handle of the screwdriver several times with the hammer. Sometimes the thread can be solved this way.

Before you drill the screw, you should first try a chemical solution again. All this, as I said, for rusted screws.

With rusty screws, which can no longer be moved due to their brittleness, it can often help to mill a slot carefully across the head of the screw with a multi-sander, if it is a Phillips screw.

This allows you to use a larger flat-head screwdriver, reducing the pressure on the head of the screw, and possibly loosening the corroded screw without breaking it.

Chemical methods

Any means that eliminates, converts or conserves rust can in this case be used to re-mobilize rusted screws.

It has proven useful to spray with WD 40, possibly also behind the screw head, so that the WD 40 can seep into the thread. Allow to act overnight.

But you can also use creeping oil, kerosene or cola.

Tips & Tricks

As a last resort, you can drill the screw. Just carefully drill a hole in the center of the screw until it rotates or breaks. The remaining pin can then be easily removed with the pliers.

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