Best way to loosen rusted bolts and screws? (Best solution)

  • If the bolt is stuck in place because of rust, you can use a bolt loosening spray such as WD-40 Penetrant Spray. This penetrating oil provides deep lubrication to loosen the nut or screw. If the rust has reached the threads of the fastener, then there is no better product to use to loosen it than WD-40® Specialist® Fast Release Penetrant Spray.

How do you remove a rusted screw that won’t budge?

If the screw still won’t budge, hit it a few more times with a hammer to help push the rust penetrant deeper into the screw’s threads. The vibrations may shake some of the chemicals around the screw. Wait a couple of minutes and try to remove the screw again.

How long does WD-40 take to work?

All you need to do is soak the screw with the WD-40 Specialist Penetrant spray and let it work its magic for about fifteen minutes or so.

What is the best penetrating oil for rusted bolts?

8 Best Penetrating Oils for Rusted Bolts

  • 1) Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil.
  • 2) B’laster Penetrating Catalyst.
  • 3) Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil.
  • 4) Gasoila Free All Rust Eater.
  • 5) CRC Knock-Er Loose Penetrating Solvent.
  • ​6) Castle Thrust Penetrating Oil.
  • 7) WD-40 Specialist Penetrant.
  • 8) 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil.

Does Coke remove rust from screws?

Coke, also known as Coca-Cola, is a soft drink. But a few of its ingredients are acids, which make it useful for removing rust. Acids such as phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid or oxalic acid are found in most commercial rust removers. This means that Coke helps to get the rust of screws.

How do you remove a rusted bolt without heat?

Hydrogen peroxide can dissolve rust. Applying hydrogen peroxide to the fasteners and letting it sit is also an effective method to remove rust and loosen nuts and bolts. Scouring it with a hard brush will help you get rid of all the rust left on the nuts and bolts.

How does vinegar react with rust?

Vinegar contains CH3COOH (acetic acid). This reacts with rust FeOOH. The chemical reaction is: 3CH3COOH+FeOOH⟶Fe(CH3COO)3+2H2O. The acid forms a water-insoluble salt with the iron oxide, which then probably just crumbles from the rust layer.

How do you loosen a rusted license plate screw?

How to Remove Rusted License Plate Bolts

  1. Spray the rusted bolt liberally with a penetrating solvent such as Liquid Wrench or Rust Busters. Let the solvent sit for five minutes or according to specific package instructions.
  2. Use the socket wrench to begin removing the bolt.

What should you not use WD-40 on?

But Don’t Spray It On:

  • Door hinges. Sure, WD-40 will stop the squeaking, but it also attracts dust and dirt.
  • Bike chains. WD-40 can cause dirt and dust to stick to a chain.
  • Paintball guns. WD-40 can melt the seals in the guns.
  • Locks.
  • iPods and iPads.

How long does WD-40 stay on metal?

It has a long-lasting formula to protect metal parts by blocking rust and corrosion for up to 1 year outdoors or 2 years indoors.

Removing a Rusty Bolt? Master It in 10 Easy Steps

We’ve all come across a nut that, over time, has rusted itself solidly to the bolt that it was intended to be attached to. Taking out a rusted bolt is difficult, but not impossible. Any do-it-yourselfer can complete the task with a little perseverance.

⚒️ You like DIY projects. So do we.Let’s fix something together.

The ability to resist the temptation of employing excessive force when working is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind while working. This might result in the breakage of a blind stud, which would need hours of drilling to remove the broken shank. As with every project, it is important to analyze the situation and plan properly utilizing the tips and tactics listed below.

Step 1: Check if the bolt is ready to break

The first thing you must do is determine whether or not the bolt is ready to snap. When a bolt gives (is stretched beyond its elastic limit), it is on the verge of breaking. For example, exhaust manifold studs are renowned for corroding the shanks of the studs, which are as thin as twigs and as simple to break as twigs. The bolt is rusty or does it contain locking compound on the inside. Thread locker has been applied to a large number of OEM bolts. Heat can be used to soften this material. Is it worthwhile to save the bolt?

It may be more convenient to simply break the bolt and replace it instead.

Use lockingplierson J-nuts to ensure that they do not spin and that the bolt is broken and discarded.

Step 2: Remove as much rust as possible

If the bolt is determined to be recoverable, remove as much rust as possible from the threads. A stiff wire brush and a little elbow grease may go a long way toward achieving satisfactory results in the home. Rust should be eliminated from the thread’s root all the way to the end, in order to prevent the nut from galling and seizing as it rotates.

Step 3: Select the proper tool

Select the appropriate tool for the job. It is most probable that flats on a jammed nut will be rounded off by open-end wrenches. For the same reason, a six-point box end is preferable than a twelve-point box end. If the nut has shrunk in size as a result of corrosion, you may be able to attain a better fit by using the next smaller metric or SAE size. For example, a 12-inch socket (12.7 millimeters) may be a better fit on a rusty 13-millimeter nut than a 12-inch socket (12.7 millimeters). Caution should be exercised because filing the flats can improve the fit.

Step 4: Remember righty-tighty, lefty-loosey

Are you sure you’re turning it the right way? You’d be shocked how many mechanics still get their spatial directions mixed up while working in a reversed or upside-down position after learning the rhyme “Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosey” on day one of their apprenticeship.

Note: Most threads are loosen in the left-hand direction, however certain ring gear bolts and ancient Chryslerlug nut s from the 1960s can be tightened in the reverse direction.

Tools for Removing Rusted Bolts Impact Wrench offers the Flex Head RatchetGEARWRENCH for $341.10. $59.81

Step 5: Use liquid thread-looseners

Some form of liquid thread loosener will be quite beneficial when dealing with trapped corroded nuts and bolts that cannot be cut or damaged. Many various kinds are available, however research has shown that penetrating oil may significantly lower the torque required to break the rust bond by up to 50% or more in the majority of situations. In certain situations, a home-brewed mixture of 50 percent Acetone and 50 percent automatic transmission fluid may be effective; however, be cautious of the fumes while using this method.

Step 6: Soak the threads

Using a generous amount of penetrating oil, saturate the threads. Whatever brand you choose, you may need to repeat the application process and even soak for an extended period of time. Keep in mind that patience is essential; it can save you hours of time spent drilling out a damaged bolt.

Step 7: Get more leverage

A breaking bar or a ratchet with a long handle will provide extra leverage. Continuous, equal pressure should be used, with particular attention paid to the feel of the turn during each turn. It is possible that you are breaking the bolt or stripping the threads when the strain suddenly turns soft or rubbery. Avoid skinned knuckles and the use of cushioned mechanic’s gloves to decrease the amount of quarters thrown into the cursing jar.

Step 8: Try using heat—it can be very effective

It will be necessary to use more severe approaches if the nut is attached to the bolt. Heat applied to one side of the nut, with caution, can cause it to expand enough to break the rust bond or melt the locking compound on that side. Make careful to thoroughly clear away all of the penetrating oil before proceeding, and only use open flame in locations where it is safe to do so. Many contemporary automobiles contain large amounts of plastic, which may melt and catch fire if the driver is not careful or attentive.

Fireproof welder’s blankets can be used to shield critical parts and paint from the heat of a welding torch.

Step 9: Use paraffin as a lubricant

My favorite tip for removing corroded NPT pipe plugs from cast iron is to heat the iron around the plug and then melt a candle on the threads of the plug. Paraffin will wick into the threads and function as a lubricant as a result of the process. Make certain you use a socket that is properly sized and fits snugly. The female square drive socket that I used in this example was specifically designed to fit the square on the pipe plug.

Step 10: Use drastic measures if all else fails

A pneumatic or electric impact cannon should only be used as a last option since it frequently just destroys the bolt when it is used.

Make use of the right impact socket, and protect your hands and eyes with gloves and safety glasses. Because these tools are fairly strong, they should only be used on bigger nuts. Utilize the impact on the nut side of the bolt and secure it with a wrench, if feasible.

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5 tips for loosening rusted, corroded, and stubborn nuts & bolts

The situation is one that we’ve all experienced: you’re making tremendous work on a project then, all of a sudden, the momentum comes to a grinding stop. Who is the perpetrator? A bolt that has become so rusty that it appears to have not been touched since the Ford Administration. Without a doubt, you’re not the kind to back down from a task. After all of your elbow grease, not to mention a few choice obscenities spoken under your breath, what if you’re still no closer to making it budge than you were before you got started?

Listed here are five professional suggestions to help you remove even the most rusted, corroded, and indescribably tenacious fasteners on the market today.

Tip1: Scrape away excess rust

To begin with, if the fastener in issue is heavily coated with rust or another kind of corrosion, it would be natural to remove as much of this extra accumulation as possible before proceeding with any further steps. With a robust wire brush, you may quickly and easily clean the head of the bolt and the bottom of the threading (if necessary) without wasting any time. Now that your tools have a stronger hold on the situation, your chances of success will improve significantly.

Tip2: Soak the threads with Deep Creep

To begin with, if the fastener in question is heavily coated with rust or another kind of corrosion, it would be natural to remove as much of this extra accumulation as possible before proceeding with the rest of the restoration process. The head of the bolt and the bottom of the threading (if necessary) may be scraped clean in minutes if you use a robust wire brush. Now that your tools have a firmer hold on the situation, your chances of success will improve dramatically.

Tip3: Add extra torque

Using a longer lever can significantly minimize the amount of force required, which is something you should remember from high school physics. If you are unable to loosen the bolt using a standard wrench or pliers, reach for a long-handled ratchet or—better yet—a breaker bar that has been specifically built for this purpose. Make cautious to use your newly discovered twisting strength slowly at first to avoid injury. if you notice that the resistance is softening at any time, it is possible that you are removing the bolt head, in which case you will need to attempt an alternative way

Tip4: Apply heat

The expansion and contraction of metal are similar to those of many other materials when they are heated and then cooled. This simple process of expansion and contraction might sometimes be all that is required to release the iron hold that rust has on your bolt. Take into mind your surroundings, though, before taking any action. Ensure that you are not in close proximity to any gasoline lines, oil canisters, or other flammable materials by removing any plastic or rubber parts and other heat-sensitive components.

One side of the bolt head or nut should be heated to the point where it is practically red hot.

Deep Creep, in contrast to many other penetrating oils, is non-flammable and has been specially formulated to withstand high temperatures. As a matter of fact, the extended bolt will allow it to crawl even further into the bolt than it already has, loosening it from the inside out.

Tip5: Use an impact tool

If you possess a pneumatic or electric impact wrench, you are well aware of the tremendous amount of torque that can be applied with virtually little effort. If your goal is to clean and repurpose the fastener, you’re better off skipping this step. Depending on how strong the rust or corrosion’s hold is, the route of least resistance might very well mean shearing the head clean off your bolt instead of removing it.

Remove even the most stubborn fasteners with Deep Creep

When applied to metal surfaces, Deep Creep works quickly to release surface tension while being resistant to evaporation and intense heat. It is extremely effective in swiftly cutting through rust and buildup of all types, allowing it to loosen, lubricate, and protect even the most delicate components and systems. Deep Creep may be compared to your favorite store lubricant to see how it creeps deeper, works harder, and lasts longer. Afterward, browse through the rest of our Sea Foam goods and see why we’ve been converting pros and amateurs for more than 75 years.

How to Remove Rusted Bolts and Loosen Stuck, Seized or Frozen Nuts and Bolts

In the world of gearheads, corrosion-prone bolts such as these are commonplace. However, science, not a fortunate horseshoe, will be the one to free it from its shackles. (Image courtesy of Thester11 through Creative Commons) It just takes one corroded or seized bolt or nut to transform a simple endeavor into a nightmare. As a matter of fact, mechanics have been known to either hold a fortunate rabbit’s foot or refuse to work on Friday the 13th for this precise reason. However, removing a stuck bolt does not rely on chance; rather, it relies on adequate preparation and the right equipment.

Plan Ahead.

Take advantage of your head start by spraying the bolt with penetrating oil if you have the luxury of arranging a bolt removal in advance of the actual removal process. A high-quality penetrating oil accomplishes two tasks: It will work as a mild solvent to chip away at rust, and it will also lubricate the threads, which will make extraction much simpler (and mitigate the risk of snapping a bolt due to corroded threads.) Some people build their own penetrants out of ordinary garage ingredients such as automatic transmission fluid, acetone, and candle wax, but we prefer to rely on the commercially available products.

See also:  What happens if you overfill engine oil?

Start several days in advance, spraying the bolt or nut with a new blast of penetrant every day until the job is complete.

Allow enough time for the penetrating oil to seep into the bolt threads before proceeding.

If the bolt or nut is located in a tight space, remove as many obstacles as you can from the area.

Use the Right Tools.

When it’s time to remove the bolt, put your 12-point socket in your sock drawer next to your four-leaf clover, because you won’t need either of them. When working with a standard hex-head bolt, use a 6-point socket. This will lessen the likelihood of accidently rounding the head or nut on purpose. If the bolt in question is an Allen or Torx, double-check that you have the correct-sized bit before proceeding. (Those familiar with AMC and Jeep will understand what we’re talking about.) Take a wire brush and clean off any corrosion that has built up on the bolt’s head.

Don’t start with an impact wrench or a breaker bar as a first step. Try instead to see if you can break the bolt loose with your trusted socket wrench instead of replacing it. You don’t want to take the chance of shearing the bolt head off with too much power.

Greek History Time!

If, after all of this, your bolt still stuck, call Archimedes for assistance. Archimedes was a Greek gearhead who was the first to mathematically describe the mechanical advantage of a long lever. He lived in the fifth century BCE. In other words, he had a role in the development of the breaker bar. Utilize the leverage provided by the bar to deliver extra turning strength to the bolt head while applying moderate force. Feel is crucial, and if you fear you’re going to round or shear the bolt head, take a step back and stop working on it.

  • (Photo courtesy of Mueller Kueps) If a breaker bar is still unable to free the bolt, it is time to call Prometheus for assistance.
  • Now, as a result of his efforts, you will be able to use that fire to free your jammed bolt.
  • The bolt or nut will expand as a result of the thermal dynamics.
  • Obviously, you’ll want to use extreme caution in order to avoid any harm caused by the extreme temperatures.
  • Be aware that your torch will quickly melt plastic and rubber, so be careful not to damage bushings, mounts, or boots.
  • Despite the fact that opinions differ, we recommend that you wait for the fastener to cool off before attempting to rotate it.
  • Heating a bolt is an efficient method of releasing a stuck bolt, but use caution!

Impact Play.

When everything else fails and your bolt becomes stuck, contact Archimedes. Archimedes was a Greek gearhead who was the first to mathematically describe the mechanical advantage of a long lever. He lived in the fifth century BC. This means he was instrumental in the development of the breakers bar. Using a mild effort, increase the turning strength of the bolt head by leveraging the bar’s leverage. If you suspect you’re about to round or shear the bolt head, take a step back and remove the fastener from the workpiece.

  1. Mueller Kueps provided the image for this article.
  2. Fire was stolen from the gods by Prometheus, according to Greek mythology, and given to the mortals by the gods.
  3. Heat the bolt head or nut using a flame to ensure that it is properly sealed.
  4. The goal is that the process of expansion and contraction will also un-seize the bolt, releasing it from the grip of corrosion that has seized the threads.
  5. Remove any solvents from the area and make sure you’re not operating your torch near a fuel line or an oil-weeping gasket before you start working.
  6. – Small torches and induction tools are very useful for this type of work.
  7. Despite the fact that opinions differ, we recommend that you wait for the fastener to cool off before turning it.

When the corrosion is released by the expanding action of this procedure, the wonder of this method is once again shown. While heating a bolt might be a successful method of releasing it from its jam, proceed with caution! Summit Racing provided the image.

Preventative Maintenance.

There are a number of things you may do to minimize the likelihood of the bolt being caught in the first place.

  • Torque in the proper range. Bolts should not be overtightened. Thread lubricant and anti-seize compound. Make use of a high-quality thread lubricant on the bolt or stud to keep it from seizing due to galvanic corrosion. Fastener heads should be painted. The application of a basic layer of spray paint will keep rust and corrosion off the fastener head and moisture from seeping into the threads. Refresh your memory. Don’t be afraid to use a wirebrush on the fastener head once in a while to clean it. In this way, filth and moisture will be kept out of the threads. Apply a thin layer of grease or oil. If you are unable to paint the heads, occasionally wiping them down with a penetrating oil or putting a little dab of grease would suffice in the absence of painting them altogether. Additionally, if the bolt’s threads are visible behind a bracket, it is a good idea to perform the same thing to them as well.

A Lucky Turn?

In the hopes that following these suggestions has been beneficial, and your bolt or nut is now laying harmlessly on the cement in front of you, If it isn’t, and you’ve rounded the top of your fastener head or sheared it entirely off, don’t give up hope just yet. There are solutions on the market that can repair a rounded nut and extricate a broken stud—and none of them need you to bang on wood, wish on rainbows, or cross your fingers in hopes of a miracle. It is not the end of the world if a bolt breaks.

(Image courtesy of Summit Racing) Paul Sakalas is the author of this piece.

When he’s not writing, you’ll most likely find him repairing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or preventing a 1972 Corvette from overheating on the weekends.

How To: Remove Rusted Screws

Photo courtesy of If you’re working on ancient objects, it’s certain that you’ll come across some corroded screws. Even the most difficult fasteners may be undone as long as you have the proper tools and supplies on hand and maintain your composure. Remember that rust is simply another type of adhesive, and that this is the key to understanding it: It is necessary to first break the connection produced by the rust before applying lubricant to the metal screws in order to ease them out.

METHOD 1: Shock, Break, and Lube

Always begin with the gentlest possible measures of “persuasion” in order to prevent injuring or breaking off the screw heads during the process. After attempting the mild procedures (2 and 3), if the corroded screws are still not removed, try the more heavy-duty methods (2 and 3). Materials and tools are available for purchase on Amazon. –Ball peen hammer is a hammer with a ball peen. A rust penetrant aerosol–Acetone or nail polish remover (optional) (optional) Oil for the sewing machine–Transmission fluid (optional)–Sewing machine oil (optional) The following tools are required: –screwdriver with hex bolster–powdered kitchen/bath cleanser–closedend wrench to fit screwdriver bolster–heavy leather gloves –An impact driver with a hand grip


The first step is to break the rust’s link with the screw head by striking it many times with a hammer straight on the head. Because of the hammer blows, the rust is cracked, which creates channels for the rust penetrant to soak in and dissolve and lubricate the metal.


Rust penetrant may be purchased for roughly $6 per can at any hardware or home center store (Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster, and WD-40 Specialist Rust Release are three popular brands). You don’t have any rust penetrant on hand. You may manufacture your own by combining acetone or nail polish remover with transmission fluid or sewing machine oil in a 50/50 solution (see recipe below). If you don’t have access to such products, you can use a general-purpose lubricant such as WD-40; but, it will not function as well or as quickly as a rust penetrant fluid.

Allow for a few minutes of soaking. After that, give it a few more hammer blows. Then give yourself 15 minutes to let the rust penetrant to do its job. Image courtesy of


As soon as you return to the job at hand, smash the screw head a couple of more times and then tap the metal surface surrounding it to push the penetrant even farther into the screw threads. Then attempt to remove the screw. Stop immediately if your screwdriver slides out of its slot or begins stripping the screw head. Increasing the amount of force applied will just shred the screw head, making it even more difficult to remove and impossible to reinstall. This is the stage at which professionals apply a dab of automotive valve grinding compound on the screw head to serve as a “gripping paste,” so increasing the amount of grip between the screwdriver tip and the screw head.

Simply mix a few drops of water into a half teaspoon of cleaner, press the paste into the screw head, and then jam your screwdriver into the screw head while twisting and pushing at the same time to remove the screw.

STEP 4 (optional)

If your screwdriver has a hex-shaped bolster near the handle, you may increase the amount of leverage and twisting power you have by slipping a box-end wrench over it. To maintain the screwdriver’s tip engaged with the screw, lean into it with your body weight and turn the screwdriver with your wrench. If increasing the torque doesn’t help, try using a hand impact driver and a ball peen hammer instead of a drill. With a hand impact driver, straight hammer blows are converted into a twisting motion force, while simultaneously driving a drill bit further into a screw head.

Before you begin, put on eye protection and strong gloves to protect your hands in case you accidentally hit the tool’s head with the blade.

To use an impact tool, locate the bit in the screw, hold the tool in one hand, and strike the impact tool with a hammer.

Continue using the more forceful procedures listed below if the rusty screws still refuse to budge.

METHOD 2: Cut a New Groove into Stripped Screws

Philips and star head screws are incapable of withstanding high levels of torque without stripping. Instead of trying to unscrew your rusty screws or remove the screw heads from the screw heads, consider cutting small notches into each head and removing the screws with a flat blade screwdriver. The following materials and tools are available on Amazon: rotary tool with cut-off wheel, heavy leather gloves, and a large flathead screwdriver.


As long as you’re wearing strong leather gloves, use a rotary tool and a cutting wheel to create a whole new straight slot deep into the screw head.

Make certain that the slot is large enough to accommodate the largest flat blade screwdriver you own while yet maintaining a tight fit on the screwdriver.


Push and turn the flat tip of the screwdriver into the freshly created screw slot at the same time. Is there no way to win? It’s time to raise the heat up a notch.

METHOD 3: Bring the Heat

Heating the screw head causes it to expand, and this expansion aids in the cracking of the rusted surface. The downside of using heat is that it can ignite the combustible rust penetrant you’ve applied, melt internal plastic parts, and remove the temper from steel, thus it should only be used as a last option in most situations. In the event that you’ve attempted the other methods and are still unable to loosen the screw, follow these instructions for fire preparation and heat application. Materials and tools are available for purchase on Amazon.


Using a water-based grease-cutting home cleaner, completely remove all remnants of the rust penetrant oil and solvent from the surface. Remove the greasy rags from the area and properly dispose of them.


Take a fire extinguisher and keep it close by, and wear leather gloves to protect your hands from being burned.


Apply heat to the screw head using the tip of a butane lighter to prevent it from breaking. Heat the screw head until steam or smoke appears (never cherry red), then turn off the heat.


Cool the screw head with a trickle of water or a moist towel as soon as it becomes hot. It is the expansion caused by heat, followed by the contraction caused by cooling, that causes the rust bond to be broken.


After many heat/quench cycles, try removing the cooled screw head with the original Philip or star screwdriver (or a flat blade screwdriver if you’ve followed Method2 above) to see if it comes out easier. The screw head should be coated with rust penetrant, which should be rotated in and out multiple times to disperse the penetrant along the threads if it begins to spin but then becomes stuck in place. If required, repeat the process. The screw should be easy to remove since it should be free of most of its corrosion and properly lubricated.

How to Loosen Nuts, Bolts and Screws

1/20Handyman for the Family

Use an Impact Driver When You Can

To remove tiny nuts and bolts, all you need is an impact driver and a set of high-end hex-shaft nut drivers, which are available online. An impact gun and a set of six-point, impact-rated (black finish) sockets will be required for bigger nuts and bolts. Ordinary chrome sockets are incapable of withstanding impact work and may fracture or shatter as a result of the strain. In addition, because impact-rated sockets have six points rather than twelve, they are less prone to round over bolt and nut heads when used.


Stuck Fasteners Can Bite You

When it comes to generating discomfort, stuck fasteners are capable of doing the job. Wrenches will slip, bolt heads will shatter off, and your hands will be bashed against something sharp just as you’re about to give a jammed bolt all you’ve got. As a result, always wear gloves and attempt to position tool handles in such a way that your hands will be free if a tool slips. It goes without saying that pounding on recalcitrant fasteners with hammers, mallets, and sledgehammers is fraught with the same risks.

It is possible for little pieces of the hardened metal to break off and become embedded in your body. When operating any of these extremely powerful and noisy instruments, it is imperative that you wear safety eyewear and wear hearing protection. 3/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Lock on to Wrecked Heads

The Vise-Grip brand is the most well-known name for these pliers. When bolt and nut shoulders have been rounded, or screw slots or Phillips crosses have been stripped away, they will get you out of a bind, no matter what brand you have on hand. The optimum shape for the jaws is rounded. Prior to twisting the fastener, make sure that the jaws are properly set on the flats of the nut/bolt or around the screw head, and that you have tightened the handle as far as you possible can. 4/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

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Pound a Combo Wrench

For stuck heads, box-end wrenches perform better than sockets because they spin in the same plane as the head, rather than being offset by an inch or more. Because of the offset, sockets are more likely to come loose from heads and fall round over shoulders. Pulling in small pulses instead of a full-throttle pull may be more effective if the closed end of the wrench is fitted over the bolt head. That will aid in the loosening of rust-bonded surfaces. If it doesn’t work, tap the wrench with a plastic, metal, or wooden mallet until it starts to turn.

5/20 Mr.

Pipe Wrenches Aren’t Just For Pipes

It’s possible that a pipe wrench will be your best option if you’re dealing with really large stuck bolts, especially if you don’t have a large collection of wrenches or sockets. Even the most obstinate bolts will be loosened with ease because to the large handle and powerful jaw teeth. Just make sure that the jaws are tightly clamped against the shoulder blades. When bolt shoulders have been rounded over, pipe wrenches are a great tool to have on hand. 6/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Sacrificing a Tool

It may seem sacrilegious to destroy a tool, yet working in tight or cramped quarters may necessitate such action in some circumstances. This is when your grinder comes into play. It may be used to make wrenches thinner and screwdrivers skinnier, as well as to provide taper to sockets to allow them to fit into small spaces. However, there is a cautionary note attached to this procedure. Grinding a tool can cause it to lose its structural integrity, therefore use caution when grinding it (wear goggles and gloves).

7/20 Mr.

Heat is the Last Resort

Even while it may seem sacrilegious to destroy a tool, working in tight quarters or small locations may necessitate such action on occasion. That’s when your grinder comes in to help out. It may be used to thin down wrenches and make screwdrivers skinnier, as well as to provide taper to sockets to allow them to fit into small spaces more comfortably. However, there is a caveat to using this method.

Take special measures while grinding a tool since it damages its structural integrity (wear goggles and gloves). Upon completion, throw away the changed tool and purchase a new one, as it is no longer safe to use on future projects. 7/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-Us.

Whack Stuck Wheels

In certain cases, rust may bond the wheels to the rotor, making it very hard to remove them completely. It’s most likely to happen while you’re changing a tire or working on the brakes, so release the lugs and place a 2×10 against the tire before pounding away with the heaviest sledgehammer you can find. The wheel will come off with a few strokes of the arm and be gone. However, if you wait until you have a flat on the side of the road, you will not have access to a sledge to remove a trapped wheel from the roadside.

9/20 Mr.

Don’t Mess Around—Cut It Off!

Unless you have a broken or damaged nut or bolt that has to be replaced, don’t waste your time trying to loosen the rusted one. Simply remove the seized fasteners (or the pieces around them if they are being replaced) and replace them with fresh ones. Make use of a reciprocating saw with a hacksaw blade or, even better, a cutoff tool to complete the task. (A cutting tool, which can be purchased for as little as $30 at any home center or hardware shop, is an excellent investment.) Then take the leftovers to the store to see if they can be matched up with new items there.


Try an Impact Driver

When you need to deal with stubborn slotted or Phillips screws, a $15 hammer-style impact driver will come in handy. Apply the rust penetrant and let it to soak in for a few minutes. After that, insert the appropriate driver bit into the end and pound it with a ball-peen hammer to seal it. This shocks the fastener, breaks the rust, and twists the bit at the same time, causing them to fail. When you hammer the screw head, it holds the bit in the screw head and prevents additional damage to the slots.


Drill Out Rivets

Removing rivets is less difficult than you would imagine. Simply select a drill bit that is slightly bigger in diameter than the hole at the top of the rivet. Drill until the washer head comes free from the drill. Then use your fingers to pry the remainder of the rivet out of the hole. 12/20Handyman for the Family

Stuck Receiver Hitches

A ball mount that has been in the receiver hitch for an extended period of time may rust in place. Here’s how to get it to open up a little more. Make use of an air chisel (about $30 at any home center or auto parts store) and a special 1-inch hammer impact chisel to finish the job. For this project, we utilized the Grey Pneumatic 1′ Diameter Hammer, which can be purchased on The receiver hitch should be saturated with penetrant before pulling the trigger. Hold the hammer alongside the receiver tube while pulling the trigger.

Then repeat the procedure on the opposite side of the hitch and try to slide the shaft out of the hitch.

Although it may take several attempts and several maulings to get the hitch to come loose, it will finally do so if you persevere. Before reinstalling it, treat the shaft with a water-resistant marine lubricant to ensure that it does not become stuck again. 13/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Cheater Bar

This suggestion is despised by tool purists (as well as tool makers) because they believe it is both unsafe and a misuse of tools. Yes, it is. However, there are situations when this is the only method to complete the task, particularly when removing huge nuts and bolts. Slide a metal pipe over the handle of a pipe wrench, a combination wrench, or a socket wrench to tighten the pipe joint. The pipe will provide a significant amount of leverage. It may be difficult on your tools, and it may even cause them to shatter, but on the plus side, you will most likely break the fastener loose and suffer fewer strained muscles and/or bruised knuckles as a result of this method.


Start With a Rust Penetrant

Rust penetrants are comprised of a solvent to dissolve rust, a lubricant to minimize friction, and a surface tension reduction to allow for deep penetration into the rusty surface. Coca-Cola, kerosene, and mineral spirits are examples of “home brews” that do not contain all of these components. WD-40 doesn’t work either (it’s a terrific lubricant, but it’s not intended to be used as a rust penetrant). Those solutions just do not perform as effectively or as quickly as true rust penetrants. They are also more expensive (find penetrants like Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil, Royal Purple Maxfilm and PB Blaster at home centers and auto parts stores).

15/20 Mr.

Then Hit It With a Hammer

Rust penetrants are comprised of a solvent to dissolve rust, a lubricant to minimize friction, and a surface tension reduction to allow for deep penetration into the rusty material. Coca-Cola, kerosene, and mineral spirits are examples of “home brews” that do not contain all of the elements listed above. Nor does WD-40 (which is a fantastic lubricant but is not meant to be a rust penetrant), which is also a good example. Actual rust penetrants outperform such products in terms of effectiveness and speed (find penetrants like Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil, Royal Purple Maxfilm and PB Blaster at home centers and auto parts stores).

15/20 Mr.

Try a Socket on Your Air Chisel

Using an air chisel socket adapter, you may apply even more power to a rusty bolt (No. PH1050 Insert a wrench into the adapter flats and begin cranking while applying air hammer blows to the adapter. The combined forces are able to snap the bolt away. 17/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Mangled Slot, Solution 1

If the slot of a roundhead screw or bolt has been so chewed up that it is no longer possible to hold it with a screwdriver, file two flat edges on the slot. After that, using an adjustable wrench, turn the head. 18/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Mangled Slot, Solution 2

Make a new slot by cutting it at a right angle to the existing one using a hacksaw. Put two blades in your hacksaw and position them precisely next to each other, cutting a bigger groove so that you may use a large screwdriver to install large screws.

This is also an excellent method of gaining a hold on the head of a stuck carriage bolt that does not have a slot or flats. 19/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Split a Nut

Using a nut splitter, you can shatter any non-turning nut without causing damage to the threads of the bolt or stem that it is attached into. You just put the ring over the nut and turn the tooth into the nut until it snaps in half. It’s available in auto parts stores and on the internet. 20/20 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

A Screw Extractor

A screw extractor may be able to save the day. It is capable of grabbing and removing virtually any threaded fastener, even if the head has been broken off. Most of the time, it comes with a hardened drill bit that you may use to drill a hole in the middle of a tough screw or bolt. Then you insert the extractor into the hole by rotating it counterclockwise. In part because to its tapered form and left-hand thread, the extractor will jam in the hole and then begin to spin the screw out of the hole.

The original publication date was October 16, 2019.

How to Remove a Stubborn Nut/Bolt

In this situation, a screw extractor may come in handy. It is capable of grabbing and removing virtually any threaded fastener, even if the head has been damaged. It is normally supplied with a hardened drill bit, which may be used to drill a hole in the middle of a resistant screw or bolt if necessary. Next, insert the extractor into the hole by turning it counterclockwise. In part because to its tapered form and left-hand thread, the extractor will jam in the hole and then begin to spin the screw out as it turns.

First published on October 16, 2019 (first published on October 15, 2019).

Step 1: Use Some Muscle

If your nut or bolt is stuck, try using a 6-point wrench or socket. Start by tightening then loosening the bolt, this may be enough to break through the rust and free the bolt from its socket. Avoid using 12-point wrenches and sockets because they have a higher chance of slipping and stripping the bolt head. The Original Locking Wrench, which is created by Irwin Tools, is yet another excellent item that I have discovered. This tool, which I discovered here, has saved my life! That thing has taken out some of the worst brake bleeder screws I’ve ever seen!

This beast may be tightened to the point where it will wreak havoc on the nut!

They feature a parrot beak like jaw, which allows them to make contact on three sides of a hex fastener without damaging the corners!

Step 2: Clean It Up

If applying some force to the bolt does not cause it to budge, don’t be disheartened; there are a few of other options for removing the bolt from its socket. Using a wire brush, thoroughly clean the bolt to remove any loose rust or debris. After that, we’ll use some PB Blaster or another PENETRATING OIL to get things moving (I can vouch for its effectiveness). Apply oil to the bolt and threads, being sure to thoroughly coat them, and allow it to work for a few hours; I prefer to spray it every hour for two hours.

I’m a person who is impatient. Consider attempting to loosen and tighten the 6-point socket/wrench once again. You may find that it now loosens more easily, although it may still bind. Again, rock it in and out to break the tether that has been holding you. Are you still having trouble?

Step 3: Leverage

Our next step will be to provide leverage to the recalcitrant bolt in order to remove it. Keep in mind that rusty bolts and lower-quality tools may snap and cause serious problems for you. The most effective method of gaining leverage is to use a Breaker Bar, which is a long-handled socket wrench that does not have a ratchet mechanism attached to it. As a result of being able to lean into the lever and having great leverage, you will be able to apply more power on the bolt as a result of the longer lever.

Another method of obtaining leverage is to use your wrench or socket wrench and extend the handle by placing a pipe over the handle.

I recommend that you do it correctly and get a breaker bar.

Step 4: Heat ‘er Up

It is possible that the bolt will not budge at this stage. I’m sure you’re becoming annoyed, aren’t you? Don’t get discouraged; there are lots of other things to try! The next step is to heat the bolt using a torch until it is hot. The objective is for one side of our bolt to expand as a result of the heat, so breaking the rust. A tiny propane torch may be used to do this task quickly and easily. Caution is advised since this procedure WILL cause the heat treatment on stronger bolts to fail. Heat it up to the highest temperature you can manage without melting the bolt.

Once the breaker bar has cooled, you may try it out again.

This is not a good idea when working with combustible materials or rubber gaskets and bushings.

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Step 5: Be Smooth

We can also use the propane flame to apply candle wax to the threads of the jammed bolts while we’re at it. If you place a paraffin candle on the cool side of the nut, it will allow the paraffin (a lubricating wax) to be attracted toward the heat via the threads, allowing you to possibly unscrew the nut.

Step 6: Home Chemistry

If that fails, our final attempt to accomplish this without causing damage to the nut and bolt will be to treat it with another penetrating chemical one more time to see if it works. This time, though, we shall create our own concoction. Try a 50/50 mixture of automatic transmission fluid and acetone; it works incredibly well in most cases. Treat many times over the course of an hour and then attempt to loosen the joint with the breaker bar. Have you have any luck? It’s time to go about things the hard way!

Step 7: Drill a New Hole

If you haven’t been able to remove the bolt at this point, we’ll have to resort to more extreme methods. Using a bolt, we will have to drill out the threads of our existing bolt and retap the threads for a new bolt. This entails selecting a drill bit that is the proper size for the hole, boring directly into it, and removing the bolt’s threads. After that, you’ll need to screw in a tapping tool in order to reproduce our threading pattern.

If you want a precise size hole, drill the bolt out slightly larger than necessary and purchase a heli coil. This threads into a tapped hole with an inner diameter that corresponds to the diameter of the bolt you choose. Fortunately, removing a nut is significantly less difficult.

Step 8: Split a Nut

If you have easy access to the bolt, another alternative is to use a nut splitter to separate the nut from the bolt. These low-cost devices can be obtained at most car parts stores – I paid $10 for my particular one. Using a nut splitter, it is possible to press a wedge into the side of a seized nut by sliding the splitter over the seized nut and tightening the screw on one side of the splitter. Continue to spin the nut splitter screw until the nut produces an audible snap and you are able to pass through the nut completely.

Try applying extra penetrating oil to the freshly exposed bolt threads and then removing the bolt using one of the other ways indicated above to complete the job.

Unfortunately, this procedure ruins the nut and, depending on the state of the bolt, it may also destroy the bolt every now and again.

Step 9: Be Abrasive

If the nut splitter does not work (or if your difficult bolt situation does not respond to our plea), we will use an angle grinder to cut the bolt head off the bolt. Simply grind the nut and bolt together until the nut is no longer there, and then take the bolt straight out of the nut. However, extreme caution should be exercised while using an angle grinder because they spin extremely quickly (8000 RPM or more) and do not have an anti-kick device in place. It is possible that the grinding disc can fracture and fly apart in all directions if you are not careful.


Step 10: Bolt Extractor

Oops! You’ve just broken off the head of the bolt you were trying to extract, leaving you with a jammed bolt and no means to get it out of the way any longer. Fortunately, there is one more option before drilling and retapping. A Bolt Extractor is available at auto parts stores and is a handy tool that screws in the same direction as the bolt unscrews and allows you to drill into a stuck bolt while rotating it tighter and tighter until the bolt is freed and pulled out of the vehicle. I received a reverse-threaded drill bit with my bolt extraction kit, which allowed me to drill into the bolt and then back the bolt out with the bolt extractor.

Step 11: Feel the Vibes!

A buddy of mine taught me about this relatively new strategy, which I’m excited to share with you! I wanted to include this on the list as well. A great approach to get a difficult bolt to come loose is to “shock” it loose with a hammer. When I say “shock it loose,” I’m referring to a hammering it! More specifically, an Air Hammer should be used. When using a low-pressure air hammer, you may create a lovely vibrating but forceful instrument that can be used to release rust on occasion. Believe me when I say that it works.

If the first method doesn’t work, the second method involves using a blunt or pointed tip on the head of a bolt while applying maximum PSI to the tool at the same time.

When penetrating oil has been used, the effect is even more pronounced.

According to my latest finding, there is truly a brake bleeder tool created by Phoenix Systems called a Bleeder Buster that may be used to remove brake fluid.

It operates on the principle of a hammer action, while simultaneously applying rotating force to the obstinate bolt. I purchased a kit from them, and I can attest that it is quite effective!

Step 12: Dont Go Nuts!

Is there any method for removing a rusted and stripped bolt besides drilling it out? Repairing the hex section of the faster is always an option! How? It’s as easy as that! Adding a new nut to the old bolt head is a fantastic technique to do this! Using a wire brush to clean the bolt head is an excellent method of accomplishing this task. It is appropriate to keep things somewhat clean. It is then possible to MIG/Wire Feed weld a suitable-sized nut onto the bolt to create a new gripping surface for the wrench to grab onto the bolt!

Guess what?

This heating to cherry red during welding also serves as a fantastic heat shock to the corrosion that is keeping the fastener in place.

Step 13: Brace for Impact!

An impact gun is one more instrument that I use frequently in my own business and that may be a lifesaver if you have one. It doesn’t matter if it’s a battery-powered, corded, or air impact tool! Heck, even manual impacts are effective! In order to shock and loosen the bolt in a single stroke, these tools employ a powerful and rapid rotating hammering action. When compared to utilizing a breaker bar, they are significantly less likely to round off a bolt! It is sad, but they have a tendency to break rusted bolts off every now and again.

Nothing complicated about these; simply attach one to a rusted nut and depress the trigger, allowing the tool to hammer away at it!

Step 14: Thanks for Reading

These are all solutions that I have personally tried and found to be effective. I hope that this information has been of assistance in making the annoyance and difficulties of stuck nuts and bolts a thing of the past for you. Look forward to reading your comments on additional approaches you’ve discovered that are effective as well! If you have any other suggestions, I’d be delighted to include them.

Step 15:

Have you ever had to deal with a corroded screw or bolt? Rusty fasteners are not uncommon in the construction industry since they are frequently constructed of iron alloys, such as steel. As oxidation deteriorates the screw or bolt, a film of reddish-brown rust will form on the threaded portion. Unfortunately, the presence of this rust might make removing the screw or bolt more difficult. So, how do you go about removing a corroded screw or bolt in the first place?

Spray With Rust Remover

If the rust is only superficial, you may be able to remove it with a rust remover from the screw or bolt that is causing the trouble. When rust begins to form on the fastener, it will cause the fastener to become stuck to the inner threading into which it has been put. You can twist and pull on the rusty screw, but until you unbind it, you’re unlikely to be successful in removing it from the screwdriver. Rust removal solutions such as WD-40, Liquid Wrench, and other similar compounds are intended particularly to dissolve the bond formed by corrosion.

Using your spray bottle, spray the rust remover over the screw or bolt head, making sure that the product sinks into the threads of the fastener. Allowing the screw or bolt to soak for 10 minutes before attempting to remove it is highly recommended.

Strike It With a Hammer

Some screws and bolts are so stubborn that they only need to be removed by striking them repeatedly with a hammer. It has already been said that corroded screws and bolts are difficult to remove because they become entangled in the inside threading of the hole into which they have been put. One method of releasing a rusty fastener from its binding is to spray it with a rust removal solution. A hammer hit on a corroded fastener, on the other hand, can be used to free it from its binding. While using eye protection, pound the head of the fastener with sufficient power to dislodge the bolt.

Cover Head With Duct Tape

Duct tape can be used to cover the heads of screws and bolts that are difficult to remove because they are corroded or otherwise compromised. When the head of a fastener rusts, it can make it difficult for a screwdriver to “grab” the fastening. Even if you are able to insert the tip of the screwdriver into the head, turning the screwdriver will not move the fastener in any way. Duct tape can be used to cover the top of the head as an easy option. According to how much rust has accumulated on it, you may need to apply many layers of duct tape to cover the whole surface area.

You may then use the screwdriver to loosen the duct tape, which should allow you to turn it and remove the fastener more easily.

Looking for Screws or Bolts?

Duct tape can be used to cover the heads of screws and bolts that are difficult to remove because of corrosion. Having rust on the head of a fastener might make it difficult for a screwdriver to “grab” the fastening. Even if you are able to insert the tip of the screwdriver into the head, turning the screwdriver will not cause the fastener to be moved. Duct tape may be used as a simple way to protect the head. The amount of rust accumulated on it will determine how many layers of duct tape you will need to apply.

With the screwdriver in place, the duct tape will be gripped and, ideally, the fastener will be turned and removed.

How to Remove a Stubborn Stripped Bolt

Working on an antique lawn mower, a washing machine, or even a beautiful tiny red wagon may be on your to-do list right now. At some time during a do-it-career, yourselfer’s he or she will find themselves gazing at a bolt whose head or nut has become rusted in place, has been rounded off, or, in the worst-case scenario, the bolt itself has been broken off below the level of the surface. But hold on a minute! There are a few alternatives to shooting your wrench into the neighbor’s shrubs to remove a stripped or broken bolt before doing so.

How to Remove a Rusted Bolt

The sight of rusted bolts is all too frequent, especially for individuals who spend the majority of their working days outside. Occasionally, the heads of machine bolts might get oxidized to the point that they are no longer visible. The nuts that hold carriage bolts in place might corrode as well, making it hard to remove them. Rust can cause a bolt to become stuck in position, or it might impair the form of the bolt head or the nut that holds the bolt in place.

Even if you use a wrench, you’ll have trouble getting the bolt or nut out since the wrench will not hold the hex head. This will make it difficult (if not impossible) to remove.

What You’ll Need:

  • Oil for penetrating
  • Socket wrench set
  • Box-end wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Locking pliers
  • Hacksaw
  • Oscillating multi-tool
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Penetrating oil


  1. Oil for penetrating
  2. Socket wrench set
  3. Box-end wrenches
  4. Hammer
  5. Locking pliers
  6. Hacksaw
  7. Oscillating multitool
  8. Reciprocating saw
  9. Penetrating oil.

Removing a Rusted Nut

When it comes to removing a corroded nut, the only option is to cut it off completely. If you have an oscillating multi-tool or a reciprocating saw, you can use a metal-cutting blade to make it work. (A hacksaw is used to cut through the wood, which is a slower but no less efficient procedure.) You may either cut the edges of the nut off or cut across the base of the nut, all the way through the bolt. There is always a chance to spend money on tools, and removing bolts is no exception to this rule.

They range in price from $25 to more than $200 and are equipped with sockets that are particularly designed to hold rusty bolt heads and allow them to be removed.

How to Remove a Broken Bolt

It happens every now and again when you try to remove a corroded bolt that the head pops off, leaving the headless body trapped between the threads. There are a few of options for removing the item. The first step is to drill it out completely.

What You’ll Need:

  • An electric or cordless drill with drill bits and machine lubricant, a center punch, a hammer, and a bolt extractor of proper size are all required.


  1. Locate a drill bit that is smaller in diameter than the bolt’s diameter
  2. Make a starting point in the middle of the bolt with a center punch, and then carefully drill down into the bolt while lubricating the bit with a machine lubricant such as 3-in-1 to prevent the bit from slipping. It is important not to damage the threads of the assembly, as this will make it impossible to replace the old bolt. A bolt extractor, which looks similar to a coarse threaded screw, can make removing a broken bolt more simpler and faster. It is possible to obtain a set of bolt extractor screws for less than $10. The screws are available in a variety of sizes and feature threads that are left-handed. You’ll need to start the process of drilling out the bolt as previously explained, but you’ll only need to drill down far enough to allow the bolt extractor enough hold on the bolt to be effective. Apply a little amount of penetrating oil to the bolt. The extractor should be tapped forcefully into the hole with a hammer until it is securely seated, after which it should be rotated counterclockwise with a pair of pliers or a wrench, and the bolt should come out.

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