How To Remove A Rusted Bolt

How to Remove a Rusted Bolt

Dealing with rusted bolts can be a real pain. They can be difficult to remove and may require a lot of effort. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks on how to remove a rusted bolt.

What Causes Bolts to Rust?

Rust is formed when metal reacts with oxygen and moisture in the air. This reaction can cause a buildup of rust on bolts, making them difficult to remove. Bolts that are exposed to harsh weather conditions or are not properly lubricated are more likely to rust.

Tools You Will Need

Before you start removing a rusted bolt, make sure you have the necessary tools. You will need:

  • Wrench or socket set
  • Penetrating oil
  • Heat source (propane torch or heat gun)
  • Wire brush

Steps to Remove a Rusted Bolt

Step 1: Apply Penetrating Oil

The first step in removing a rusted bolt is to apply penetrating oil to the bolt. This will help to loosen the rust and make it easier to remove. Spray the penetrating oil generously on the bolt and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2: Use a Wrench or Socket Set

After the penetrating oil has had time to work, use a wrench or socket set to try and turn the bolt. If the bolt is still stuck, try tapping it gently with a hammer to help loosen the rust.

Step 3: Apply Heat

If the bolt is still stuck, try applying heat to the area around the bolt using a propane torch or heat gun. Heat will cause the metal to expand, which can help to break the rust seal. Be careful not to overheat the bolt, as this can cause it to warp or break.

Step 4: Use a Wire Brush

After applying heat, use a wire brush to clean any remaining rust off the bolt. This will help to make it easier to turn the bolt and remove it from the surrounding material.

Step 5: Repeat Steps as Needed

If the bolt still won’t budge, repeat the steps above until it comes loose. It may take several attempts to remove a rusted bolt, so be patient and persistent.


Q: Can I use WD-40 instead of penetrating oil?

A: While WD-40 can help to loosen rust, it is not as effective as a dedicated penetrating oil. Using a specialized penetrating oil will give you better results when trying to remove a rusted bolt.

Q: Can I use a hammer drill to remove a rusted bolt?

A: No, a hammer drill is not the right tool for removing a rusted bolt. You should use a wrench or socket set instead.

Q: Is it safe to use a propane torch to heat up the bolt?

A: Yes, it is safe to use a propane torch to heat up the bolt. Just be sure to use caution and not overheat the bolt.


Removing a rusted bolt can be a frustrating and time-consuming task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done. Remember to be patient and persistent, and don’t be afraid to repeat the steps as needed. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you should be able to remove even the most stubborn rusted bolts.