Screws and bolts can be a nightmare when dealing with a project. This can be incredibly revolting when they are rusted and are impossible to remove.

Just like any metal objects, they are subject to rust and corrosion. That is why it can be a hardship to remove and replace them. Not only them but the item that is secured by the rusted screws.

The rust can become an obstacle when you want to remove them with a screwdriver or a wrench. It makes them more challenging for the tools to have a grip on them. Fortunately for you, there are several ways you can remove the screws.

This article compiled a list of how to remove a rusted screw. Not only will it show you how, but it will show you how to remove them safely with minimal harm.

Necessary preparations before you begin with the project

Put on protective equipment and gear

It is especially important to protect your hands and eyes when working on this project. Thick leather gloves are recommended for this use. You can easily slip and fall, thus hurting your hands. The gloves will minimize the impact and help you preserve your hands. Goggles for your eyes are necessary too. Some nails can fly off and hurt you.

Remove leftover paint if any

Some old paint can harden and glue the rusted screws and nails even more. It holds them in place and makes them impossible to remove. To solve this difficulty, find a chisel. With that tool, you should be able to scrape away the paint. There are two places you want to completely clear of old paint. First, the outer perimeter of the screw where the head meets the piece of hardware it’s holding, and second, the slot that will fit your screwdriver tip.

Make sure you’re the only one when doing this project. Having kids and pets can distract you from work. Not only that, but they can also get injured.

Method No.1: Using screwdrivers and hammers to get rid of the rusted screw

Use the head of the hammer to unstick a rusted bolt. Do this a couple of times. This will make the bolt to shake and break the bond from the rust.

  1. The impact of hitting makes the screw loosen up. It might take a while for the rust to break.
  2. It would be better to find a hammer that comes with a hex-shaped bolster. With that, you can have more force to twist and lift the screw. You can also slide a box-end wrench to add even more power. Then, slightly lean towards the screwdriver. Simultaneously turn the screwdriver with the wrench.

There is a possibility that the screws still won’t move. In that case, you might have to explore other alternative methods.

Method No.2: How to remove a rusted screw by applying a corrosive solution 

You might have to use something more robust than a hammer at this point. Chemical products are a great alternative. WD-40 is a fantastic concoction that is meant for these kinds of projects. If you don’t have WD-40, you can use some everyday household products. Coca Cola, hydrogen peroxide, and even lemon juice are excellent anti-corrosive substances. They are lubricative and help loosen screws.

  1. Apply a little of the liquid to the head of the screw. Wait a couple of minutes for the reaction to start working. Then, gently tap the head of the screw with a hammer.
  2. This action is going to cause the nail/screw to vibrate. That way, you will be able to work its way down, and you’ll be able to remove the screw easily.
  3. If this doesn’t work, you might have to do this again for the second time.

When knowing how to remove a rusted screw, it is necessary to be careful. Especially when using WD-40 and hydrogen peroxide. They are toxic chemicals and can be harmful to your health. Carefully read the instructions on the back of the product. And, make sure you work in a highly ventilated area.

Method No.3: Using heat to loosen the rusted screws

If you still have trouble removing the screws, then try applying heat to it. The metal expands when exposed to heat. That will break off the corrosive layer between the object and the screw.

  • First, make sure to put on a coat of a water-based degreaser. The screw needs to be cleaned first. Some debris can be highly flammable. So, when applying heat, it will set on fire. You can put a little of the solution on a clean cloth and then wipe the screw. Or, you can apply directly to it and then wipe it away.
  • Make sure to wear protective equipment. Also, you have to have a fire extinguisher close by.

  • You can use a simple lighter to heat the screw. But, if you don’t have one at the moment, a torch will work the same.
  • Immediately after you heat it, apply cold water. Make sure you do this many times before the screw finally loosens up. Use a screwdriver to remove it.

Before you heat the metal, make sure you haven’t used any flammable products. Thoroughly clean the screw and wear heat-resistant gear. Now you know how to remove a rusted screw with heat.

Method No.4: Screw extractor for removing screws

Do you know how to remove a rusted screw with an extractor? The extractor should only be used if the screw head was damaged to the point where you couldn’t fit the screwdriver’s end into the head of the screw. The screw extractor is essentially a drill bit that’s machined in the opposite direction of a standard drill bit.

  1. First, dig into the screw head. Then insert the screw extractor. Switch the drill to the reverse setting, and place the tip into the hole you drilled in the top of the screw.
  2. Squeeze the trigger to start the drill at a prolonged speed. And, allow the extractor and drill to pull the screw out of the object.

Method 5: Cut a New Groove into Stripped Screws

It happens so that sometimes the head of the screw or the bolt is abnormally rusted. Lubrication, heat, and even abrasive products can’t remove the rust. So what should you do then? Cut it.

  1. You will need a rotating tool. Place the cutting disk on that machine. Many similar devices come with detachable ends. You can remove those heads according to your need.
  2. To cut the screws, you will need a wheel designed specifically for cutting metal. Cut a slot the size of your most giant screwdriver into the screw head.
  3. Then, bend the rotary tool, so the edge of the wheel is over the screw head. Lower the tool down to begin cutting into the screw. Work slowly and carefully to widen the cut to the size you need.

Again, you can use a screwdriver to pick up the screw. Push the screwdriver deep into the hole you’ve created just now. Then push down again and rotate the tool. Rotate counterclockwise.

Now, once you know how to remove a rusted screw all by yourself, you can move onto the next step of your project. You don’t have to call a professional just to remove your nails and screws. Now you can do it yourself.

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