Skip to main content

How to Unstick Rusted Nuts and Bolts

Never be frustrated by a rusted nut and bolt again with this foolproof removal method.


  • Step 1: Brush off Loosen as much rust as possible off the nut with a wire brush.
  • Step 2: Tap Tap the sides of the nut with a hammer to help the rust separate and fall off.
  • Step 3: Apply heat Apply heat to the side of the nut for about a minute.
  • TIP: A small, narrowly directed propane torch—one made especially for small jobs—will work best for this job, but be careful.
  • Step 4: Spray lubricant When the bolt is cool enough to touch, spray WD-40 on and around the nut and bolt.
  • Step 5: Tap Tap the end of the bolt with a hammer to loosen the threads and allow the oil to penetrate.
  • Step 6: Loosen Wait another minute or so for the oil to work, and then use your wrench to loosen.
  • TIP: It sometimes helps to tighten the nut slightly and then try loosening it again.
  • Step 7: Split it If all else fails, buy a nut splitter and crack that sucker in half. Always wear safety goggles when using a splitter.
  • FACT: Painting an object prevents rust from forming by blocking water and air from reaching the iron or steel surface.

You Will Need

  • A wire brush
  • A hammer
  • WD-40
  • A wrench
  • Safety goggles
  • A nut-splitter
  • A small blowtorch

Popular Categories