How to Remove Rust From Brake Rotors?

Have you ever seen the harsh yellow powder accumulating on your wheels after a spell of no riding, times of moisture, or a steady rain? Your brakes are working in good working order, and they are rotting. Ruin is a form of metal in layman’s terms. That rust will chip and cause chipping in your blades over time, which is not good. The difficulty is that you can’t wipe off the discs with a stain remover until you get all the wheels apart, and even then, you’d have to be extremely cautious not to damage your pads. Fortunately, there is a free, simple, six-step method for removing rust from brake rotors… It is relatively simple to remove the rust: press the pedals a few times at a decent pace, 5 to 10mph. I advocate doing it in a car park or when there are no automobiles on a calm highway, as doing so would result in you being left behind even if you’re not listening.

remove rust from brakes

Furthermore, while you pedal while going, you’re usually softly pulling on the braking as you approach a crossroads; this doesn’t give adequate power for the calipers to grasp and clear the rust. You must add pressure to that same braking system for this little technique to function effectively. Unless you lawfully smash something, it will not cause any damage, will not affect your vehicle, and will not cause you any harm.

Brake rotor rust removal tools

  • 6-inch C-clamp
  • Combination wrench set
  • Large bucket or basin
  • Floor jack
  • Length of pipe for handle extension
  • Tray to catch runoff
  • A lug wrench
  • Wire-bristled brush
  • Wheel chocks

Because rust is more common in wet or rainy areas of the planet, it affects everyone’s wheels. Walking down the sidewalk, you’ll notice hundreds of automobiles with dirty rotors, which is truly a nuisance. You might just be shocked over how much filthy rotors detract from the aesthetic of your automobile because once the rust is removed, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

How to remove rust from brake rotors?

To remove rust from the brake rotor, you need to remove the wheel to expose the rotor, then spray using a brake cleaner to remove rust. Wait a few minutes to rotor dry, and then wipe the rotor with a clean rag. You can also use white vinegar, CLR, or Evapo-Rust to clean brake rotors.

Here are the steps on how to remove rust from brake rotors:

  • Prepare the necessary materials: You will need a wire brush, sandpaper, brake cleaner, and rust dissolver.
  • Remove the brake rotors: First, remove the brake rotors from the vehicle. You may need to remove the brake calipers and brake pads first.
  • Clean the brake rotors: Use a wire brush to remove any loose rust or debris from the brake rotor’s surface. Then, use sandpaper to sand the surface of the rotor until all rust and corrosion have been removed.
  • Apply rust dissolver: Apply a rust dissolver to the brake rotor and let it sit for the recommended amount of time specified on the product label. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when handling the rust dissolver.
  • Rinse the brake rotors: After the rust dissolver has had time to work, rinse the brake rotors thoroughly with water to remove any residue.
  • Dry the brake rotors: Use a clean cloth or towel to dry them thoroughly before re-installing them on the vehicle.
  • Reinstall the brake rotors: Reinstall the brake rotors onto the vehicle, following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.
  • Test the brakes: Before driving the vehicle, test them to ensure they work correctly. Make sure to bed in the brake pads and rotors according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How to clean brake rotors?

To clean the brake rotor, you need to use white vinegar or commercial cleaners such as CLR or Evapo-Rust to clean the brake rotor thoroughly. However, if your brake rotor is not too dirty, only rusty, you can try to use ordinary brake cleaner and then wipe it off using a clean rag.

In the video below, you can see how to use vinegar to clean the rotor: Please give it a go and let people know how you get on. Of course, you could dust and vacuum the interior of your vehicles and clean and vacuum everything outside, but how many of you have pondered cleaning your brake calipers? Many automobiles come standard with stylish wheels and tires, but the disadvantage is that you should see right through to the filthy brake calipers and discs beneath. This, however, does not seem to be an issue. In the sections below, we’ve described a strategy for cleaning your tires and preventing brake dust. To gain entry to your wheels, jack up the automobile and secure it using an axle platform.

How to remove rust from brake rotors without removing the wheel?

To remove rust from brake rotors without removing the wheel, you can use commercial cleaners, such as CLR, Meguiars, and Evapo-Rust. Then, spay on the wheel, wait a few minutes and wash the whole reel.

Read our article about Brake Rotor Rust Removal Spray Evapo Rust.

See the video below on removing rust from brake rotors without removing the wheel: How do you start brake cleaning?

First, you need to remove the wheel and then, if necessary, Caliper and Pads.

It may even be preferable to clean the wheels independently, so after the car is firmly off the floor, remove the rims while using the tire nut. After you’ve removed the first wheels, you’ll need to disconnect the brake caliper so that the shock absorber is readily accessible. You should be able to get rid of it by unscrewing the caliper nuts. The caliper should move up and away from the brake.
Initially, this may be harder to eliminate, but try moving it until it breaks free. Set away from the caliper. You can extract the brake pads for polishing after the caliper is removed.

A couple of studs will hold it in situ. Disconnect them, and indeed, the discs can glide out of position. Next, you may brush it with an inexpensive rag and wash it with washing liquid. There may be a line of rusty paint around the rim of something like a disc, but this is very typical. Next, distribute the braking rubbing alcohol over the entire wheel and pat it dries with a towel. After you’ve cleaned the disc, inspecting it for indications of wear is a brilliant idea. Given that you completely went to the primary trouble of cleaning the cd, this is a reasonable task.

It should have been repaired whenever you see significant pitting or scoring markings on the brake drum. Whether you’re satisfied with its cleanliness, replace it with the appropriate bolts. Make sure that they are securely screwed in. Continue for the remaining three cylinders. You may also polish your braking calipers if you wish. You may accomplish this by following the same steps as described previously. I used a steel brush to remove harder dirt. Whenever polishing the caliper meanwhile, take care not to harm the cylinder seal. When applying brake cleaners, ensure you’re in a well-lit location and strive not to inhale toxins.

We must also avoid getting brakes cleaned on our sidewalk since it may discolor it. Due to substance, they’re constructed of-generally cast metal-plus their placement on your automobile; rust is pretty prevalent on brake pads. However, you could not do much to keep this corrosion from accumulating. Driving the car is the most straightforward and economical technique to remove rust from your brake pads. Riding and often using the brakes will remove the rust from the disks, leaving the bright metal below.

What to clean brake rotors with?

You can clean rotors using the following:

  • Brake cleaner
  • white vinegar
  • CLR commercial cleaner
  • Meguiars commercial cleaner
  • Evapo-Rust commercial cleaner

Brake dust and its reactions

Brake dust may be pretty harmful to your tires and your automobile’s paint. This is due to its abrasive nature. Two metallic sediments are deposited every moment you accelerate,e and the stop pads brush against the rotors. These might accumulate over time and generate dust and debris, detrimental to the paintwork on your driver’s rims. As a result, this dust must be removed. So then, how can we do anything without damaging your car’s bodywork? The most straightforward approach to cleansing your bearings is to use a solution of boiling water and dishwashing liquid. Before beginning, use a pump to rinse some dust and debris, as these can damage the metal even more.

Solution for brake dust

Because of the attractiveness of vehicles equipped, shock absorbers are the whole show. Conversely, propellers must be composed of strong, high-temperature metal that quickly causes corrosion in a cylinder pit’s severe circumstances. Many individuals wonder how to prevent corrosion from rear rotors because of the ugly discoloration visible under their pricey alloy tires. It depends on how powerful the rusty rotors are. You can clean them with a variety of methods. We’ll guide you through the procedure, from the simplest to the most difficult, to assist you in completing the task. Of course, you must follow the essential safety precautions: never apply a lubricant (such as WD-40) or a continuous coating on the rotor’s brake surface.

What causes rust on brake rotors?

If the car remains in one location for another few days, you will most certainly see the rust growing on the discs. Merely driving will erase this surface corrosion. Inspect the discs and move the car for a run, including a few preventive drives. If the damage is still apparent, go to the next stage. Look for a vacant roadway or a car park. Set the car in drive, accelerate to aroundten0 mph, and then slam on the brakes hard. Repeat this method a few times more, and then double-check the discs. If there is still rust visible, go to another process. The rotors can be cleansed while the brakes and caliper are still in place, although it may be quicker if you detach them. That’s how it works: Remove the caliper unit from the guide screws on the caliper brackets with a box-end screwdriver.

Removal of Calipers

Remove the caliper component from the rotors and fix it in the cylinder area to hang without damaging the steering knuckle. Although old wire clothes hooks perform nicely for this task, caliper hangers are available at most motor stores. Next, release and unscrew the bolts that secure the caliper bracket with a package screwdriver. Take this out and set it away. Though eliminating rust from discs is purely aesthetic (regular car use keeps it at bay), repainting the hub will increase the look and prevent the non-breaking portion of the blades from getting ugly. Finally, add brake caliper paints to the middle part of every rotor after installing a new pair.

To preserve the brake surfaces from pollution, wrap them off before coloring, and therefore, only color the domes that go well over the hub. Before painting, brush away any sticky remnants with a cloth dampened with a brake cleaner. When maintaining wheels, it is usually a good idea to check the brake liquid level in the tank. It may require recharging or replacement, which should be conducted every few years. Mistakes occur, and whether filling up or manipulating transmission fluid regularly, leakage is always a risk.  Fluid flow is now acidic,c, and can harm mechanical parts and automobile paintwork by functioning as an abrasive chemical. Brake pads can dissolve any beeswax or porcelain covering placed on the bodywork as they move down the driver’s bodywork, producing vertical lines or streaks.

Non-Maintained Cars

If the liquid is left untreated, it will eventually eat through the painting to the physical hardware. The critical word here seems to be wiped, not wash. Allow much water to seep into a fresh or cotton cloth as practicable. Wiping will spread germs throughout any surface, exacerbating the situation. Cleanse the damaged area promptly with massive volumes of soapy water is essential for effectively using the fluid’s acidic nature. Even when the chassis has been covered by a waxed or porcelain coating, cutting brake pads will easily take care of that.

Any waterproof layer will probably already be destroyed, necessitating local chassis detail. If the painting is still undamaged after rinsing, polish it to eliminate streaks and reapply the beeswax. It would make sense to undertake a thorough polishing job on that car’s exterior. Then again, spending quality time verifying that the brakes are operating correctly and other duties stands to reason. Americans spend so many dollars on our automobiles; maintaining them is an ongoing cost.

How to stop rust on rotors?

To stop rust on rotors, you must drive your car and avoid a dirty environment. Sometimes you can remove dust from the brake rotor if you drive a vehicle because driving moves the rotor, which can clean itself. But, of course, if the rotor brake is so dirty, you need to clean it properly.

Wherever feasible, these services save money and time for yearly garage maintenance. Some components of contemporary automobiles are very complex and should be entrusted to a specialist. Still, brake system washing is a relatively simple chore that any automobile enthusiast hobbyist can perform.


Robert Aksamit

Robert Aksamit

Robert Aksamit is a mechanical engineer and automotive industry expert. Robert was born in Minnesota and worked in the US automotive industry for 25 years. He is highly regarded for his passion and dedication to continually improving vehicles in response to customer feedback. Robert has a keen eye for sourcing the best vehicle components and materials on the market and is always looking for ways to enhance the user experience. As a writer, Robert covers automotive-related topics. Read more on Robert Aksamit's about page. Contact Robert:

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