You may have seen the videos on YouTube showing how to remove rust with an old analog battery charger and some laundry or washing soda. Well old battery chargers are hard to come by and when you do find one, it may not even work. I burnt up one plugging it into a regular 110 socket that someone rewired to 220v for some unknown reason. The only other one I managed to find didn’t power on.
There are two solutions to this that I have found to the battery charger issue. One is to use a digital battery charger and have a battery in line with the circuit. So you hook the battery charger to the battery just like you would to charge it. Then you connect your anode and cathode to the battery. I can verify this works, but it was very finicky with my battery charger. You may have good luck with a cheaper battery charger. I have what I think is a better solution to this.
You can purchase a dedicated 12v power supply that is fairly inexpensive. There is a link to one below. Before you buy one, read all the way to the bottom, there is some additional info that you may find useful in choosing which power supply you need. I have bought a power supply like this and can verify it works very well, just as good as the battery charger with a battery.
If you decide to get one of these, you will need to hook up a few wires and you will need a 110v electrical connector. If you have the electrical connector. You could always buy a replacement cord to bare wire like the one listed below. You can pick up one at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart or just about any other store. The one below is a little more, but you don’t have to fool with hooking up as many wires. When you first get your power supply, most of these have a little switch on the side to select either 110 or 220v input power. Make sure you select the correct setting before you plug it in the first time.
Now for information that may help you decide what power supply to buy…..
There are many options of power supplies with different amounts of amps and watts they supply. If you buy a bigger power supply, its probably not going to remove rust faster. The current that the power supply is able to supply is driven by the equation V=IR where V is volts, I is current and R is resistance. Your resistance isn’t really changing much, and your voltage is set by the power supply in turn your current is set. Buying a larger output power supply doesn’t change much. Now after I purchased my 12v power supply, I read about a guy that hooked up a forklift battery charger to remove rust. This was described as looking like the water was boiling. So looking back at the equation above, our current is set by the resistance and the input voltage. There isn’t much that can be done to reduce the resistance. If your voltage doubles, the current will also double. So you could buy a higher voltage power supply that supplies 24v, 36v, 48v or maybe even higher. I have purchased a 36v power supply and can verify that it does work for this process and does create a significantly larger amount of bubbles. However, I can not guarantee the higher voltage will not damage delicate metal. It did seem to remove rust a lot faster than the 12v power supply It would also create a higher electrical shock hazard so if you decide to try this be extra cautious about kids, animals, etc around this.
This information is supplied as entertainment purposes only. Electricity is dangerous, have a licensed electrician do any electrical work. No guidance is provided and not guarantee that the information above is correct. There is no guidance that this is a good method of rust removal for your application and I take no liability for any misuse of this information or negligence.
My Home Workshop is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.