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Remove Rust from Walk-in Coolers & Freezers

Posted by Rodger Busse on

 Since we have had several customers call to order Rust Doctor to remove rust from their commercial coolers or freezers, we thought we would blog on the process of removing rust.  Rust happens  when there is condensation in the cooler or freezer. Moisture collects and unless there is a protective coating, rust will start to show up. These commercial coolers/ freezers can be expensive to replace, so good maintenance is a must to keep it in great working shape. Rust Doctor is non-toxic, non-flammable and biodegradable. This makes refurbishing the inside of a large cooler or freezer much more pleasant and easier to restore.  Unlike Rust Doctor, solvent based rust removers require special respirators and ventilation.

If the rust is on the outside of these units, it makes you your kitchen look old and not as clean and sanitary as you would like it to appear . We are featuring a picture of a small commercial freezer that has rusted and is about to take on a new life.  In this case the owner is converting it for his hobby of making home brew. The process for restoration is the same, whether you are restoring a small ice chest or a large commercial cooler.  As plastic takes over the smaller home ice chests, it might be fun to restore an old metal ice chest for your summer picnics and outings.

Virtually all standard paints require the removal of rust before surfaces can be primed and painted. With Rust Doctor, rust does not need to be removed. Rusty surfaces only need to be cleaned before they are treated with Rust Doctor. This saves a great deal of time and effort in the repair and maintenance of metal surfaces. In addition, Rust Doctor incorporates a clear latex primer that dries on the surface, allowing for the application of a topcoat. The Rust Doctor converts the rust and primes the surface, all in one easy step.

rusted cooler

Bottom side of freezer that is being refurbished to hold home brew.

Prepare the rusty metal for treatment
Using Rust Doctor is very easy. Clean the rusty surface to remove any loose rust and paint flakes. This can be done with a wire brush. On large surfaces this can be done with high-pressure washing.

Clean the surface to remove any surface contaminants such as dirt, grease, and oil . Use a  water-based degreaser/cleaner such as the Grease Doctor. (If you are pressure washing, add the degreaser/cleaner to the pressure washing water. Rinse thoroughly with water. If a water source is not near by, use a bucket with water and wipe it down.

Apply Rust Doctor to the rusty metal
Be sure surface is dry. Apply Rust Doctor with brush or spray system. Apply enough Rust Doctor to cover the rust completely. Do not allow any rust to show through the surface. If necessary, apply a second coat of Rust Doctor while the first coat is still tacky or after 24 hours.  In a few minutes, Rust Doctor begins to convert the rust, turning it black.

The conversion process turns the rust black as it changes to magnetite- a very hard form of iron oxide. This hard surface protects the metal from future rusting and is not affected by moisture or oxygen. After the conversion process is complete (in 16 to 24 hours), the surface has turned completely black and has a slight sheen. This sheen is the result of the latex primer that remains on the surface. The primer creates an excellent base for any kind of kind of topcoat.

Obtaining a smooth surface
There are various ways to obtain a smooth surface when using Rust Doctor. You can sand the rust to a smooth surface (it is not necessary to sand to bare metal). If, after applying the first coat of Rust Doctor, it still is not as smooth as you would like, a second coat can be added to achieve a smoother surface. Another and perhaps easier method is to use sanding primer on the metal after the Rust Doctor has dried. Sanding primer is a fast drying paint that fills and smooths surfaces effectively. Because it dries quickly, successive coats can be added in a short period of time. Sanding between coats helps to smooth out the surface.

When you have achieved a surface that is as smooth as you desire, you can top coat with any type of paint. Specifically, Rust Doctor will accept enamel, alkyd, oil, vinyl, latex, epoxy, urethane and lacquer topcoats. It is best to talk to a professional at your local paint store for a recommendation for the surfaces you will be painting. You can also weld on surfaces treated with Rust Doctor.


Ready to be restored

yellow chest

A beautiful restoration

RD 3 sizes

Click here to order

If you have any questions about Rust Doctor products or its’ application, call or email us.  We welcome pictures and stories of the projects you are working on for our blog. Send us a JPEG of your pictures, and we will do the rest!  Our web site features a “how to” on using Rust Doctor. Just go to our home page, reach into your cooler for a beverage, and have some popcorn while you view our short video on how to remove rust. We have three convenient sizes for your rust removal projects; quarts, gallons and 5 gallon pails. We can help you figure out how much Rust Doctor you will need for your project.

Good luck on your restoration projects!

The Rust Doctor Team


The post Remove Rust from Walk-in Coolers & Freezers appeared first on The Rust Doctor.

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