Metal Rescue GEL FAQs
It is not required but it is recommended. The performance of Metal Rescue GEL will greatly improve if grease (such as Cosmoline), oil, loose rust, and/or dirt are removed prior to application. Pre-cleaning will speed up the rust removal process and extend the life of GEL.
One jar of Metal Rescue GEL will cover 1.6 square feet (230 sq. inches) of surface area if applied 1/8″ thick. (1/8″ is approximately the same thickness as two pennies stacked on top of each other.)
Metal Rescue GEL can be used on any size area of rust as long as you have the ability to keep it moist using common household plastic wrap. We recommend limiting the application of GEL to surface areas no larger than approx 15 inches by 15 inches at a time (which is equal to the coverage capacity of one jar of GEL) if applied at 1/8” thick as indicated in the instructions for use.
Metal Rescue GEL will remove iron oxide (rust) from ferrous-based materials in 5 minutes to 24 hours depending on the degree and age of the rust. It will remove zinc phosphate, bluing, browning, and other oxide finishes. It also brightens copper and copper based alloys such as brass and bronze.
Metal Rescue GEL will not remove anodizing, chrome, nickel, and powder coating when used as directed. GEL will not remove paint with a few exceptions, as outlined in next question. For best results, only leave GEL on long enough to remove the corrosion.
Yes, GEL is safe on the vast majority of paint coatings, with a few exceptions.
#1 If a layer of rust has formed under the paint some of the paint coating will be lost as GEL removes the rust and therefore the paint on top of the rust.
#2 Some paints and inks (typically red/orange), especially old paints, may use iron oxide pigment. GEL has been engineered to remove iron oxide in all forms, therefore it may dissolve the pigment in these types of paints.
#3 Painted metal items with flaking or cracking surfaces or chipping/deteriorating paint or coatings may not be suited for rust removal– whether it is GEL or a different product–and may experience unexpected damage. If in doubt, test a small area on the part prior to use.
Metal Rescue GEL is a rust remover designed for iron and steel. It is safe on metals other than iron and steel as long as they are not left in contact with GEL for too long. GEL will remove some oxides from copper, brass, and nickel but contact time is critical. The length of contact time is dependent upon the amount of oxidation present and alloy composition. It is recommended that the following metals be checked approximately every 30 minutes so as not to damage the surface under the oxidation layer: brass, copper, chrome, gold, lead, nickel, silver, titanium, tungsten, solder or solder points.
Metal Rescue GEL is not recommended for use on magnesium or magnesium alloys, zinc or aluminum.
No. It will not harm rubber, plastic, or glass surfaces. However, as with any materials, do not leave Metal Rescue GEL on for longer than needed to remove the rust.
Metal Rescue GEL may leave a black film on some parts. The black is from iron oxide II, often referred to as black oxide. Black oxide is a corrosion inhibiting film that is a more stable state of oxidized iron. It is not detrimental to the metal surface and is only cosmetic in nature. It can form on certain steel alloys and high carbon steel when left in contact with GEL for long periods of time. For these metals, reducing the time will minimize the black film. Much of the black oxide film can be removed simply by rinsing with mild detergent or wiping with a cloth. It is best to remove the black film immediately after using GEL and before the metal parts dry. It is best to treat rusted parts only as long as needed to remove the rust.
Once opened, GEL is good for one year. When storing GEL, keep closed and out of direct sunlight. When using GEL, avoid contamination.
Metal Rescue GEL will continue to work even after changing color. The GEL darkens in color due to the iron oxide particles removed from the iron/steel. GEL will cease to be effective when it turns completely black.
If left on too long, (over 24 hours), a darker film may appear on the metal. The dark appearance is from iron oxide II, often referred to as black oxide. Black oxide is a corrosion inhibiting film that is a more stable state of oxidized iron. It is not detrimental to the metal surface and is only cosmetic in nature. It can form on certain steel alloys and high carbon steel when GEL is used for longer periods of time. For these metals, reducing the application time will minimize the black film.
As supplied, Metal Rescue GEL is environmentally friendly and contains no VOCs, solvents, or hazardous ingredients. However, if hazardous waste or contaminants (certain oils, paints, heavy metals, etc.) are introduced into the GEL, check local and federal disposal requirements.
Metal Rescue GEL must be kept moist. If GEL dries, it will not work. Use Metal Rescue’s signature plastic wrap technique—apply GEL and cover with a layer of plastic wrap to maintain moisture, or as we like to say “Keep GEL from Dryin’—Wrap After Applyin.” In addition, GEL is temperature sensitive—use at or above room temperature. Operating temperatures for GEL are 68°F (20°C) to 150°F (65°C). If too cold, GEL will not work or will take much longer to remove rust. GEL performance will also be greatly improved if any grease, oil, loose rust, and/or dirt are removed prior to application.
Move the Metal Rescue GEL to a warmer area and let stand to thaw. Once completely thawed, you can use as directed–making sure that GEL is at a minimum temperature of 68°F (20⁰C).
No. Metal Rescue GEL will leave clean, bare metal ready for use or additional processing. To protect from new rust, use Dry Coat™ Rust Preventative spray.
Metal Rescue GEL is completely water miscible and easily rinsed off. Use warm, clean water to rinse off parts and dry thoroughly.