Removing A Rusty Screw

Ah, the dreaded rusty screw. You just wanted to clean your a/c compressor, but Mother Nature sealed it shut with rust. Now, you have a DIY nightmare on your hands. But before you throw in the towel and call for help (which we’ll get to!), here are six simple ways to remove a rusty screw:

Rust Removing services in Washington, DCRust Remover

Your first line of defense is a good rust penetrant like WD-40 or Rust-Oleum Rust Dissolver. Apply the product around the screw threads and head, letting it soak for at least 15 minutes (consult the specific product instructions for optimal time). It will help loosen the rust’s grip, making the screw easier to turn.

Tap Gently

Sometimes, it takes nothing more than a gentle nudge to break the crusty seal. Use a hammer and a screwdriver (choose the right size and type for the screw head!) together. Give the screw head a few light taps with the hammer as you apply slight pressure while turning it with the screwdriver.

Heat It (Safely)

For those really stubborn screws, heat can help. Caution: For use with metal or heat-resistant materials only. Apply heat with a lighter or heat gun for a short period, then quickly try turning the screw. The heat should cause the metal to expand slightly, breaking the rust’s hold.

Extra Grip for a Stripped Screw

If the screw head is damaged or stripped, pliers can provide the extra grip you need. Locking pliers or extractor pliers with grooves that match the screw head will help you turn it without slipping.

Make It Groovy

Can’t get enough torque to turn the screw? Use a Dremel carving tool or rotating saw to carve another groove in the center of the screw head. After doing so, you should be able to remove it with a flathead screwdriver.

Extract It

If nothing else works, it’s time for a more aggressive approach. First, choose the appropriate extractor tool for the screw size and insert it into the drill. Then, carefully drill into the head of the screw, rotate the extractor, reverse the drill, and pull out the rusty screw.


Safety first! Wear eye protection when working with tools and be sure you’re using the right size and type of screwdriver or drill bit.

Highly rated kitchen & bathroom remodeling, home repairs, painting and more in Bethesda, MDEasy Rusty Screw Removal

Dealing with rusty screws can be a DIY nightmare, for sure. So, if you crave dipping in the pool or spending a relaxing afternoon by the Potomac with your family, consider calling JW Home Improvement. Our handyman pros will take care of the rusty screws, AC cleaning, and all your home maintenance chores while you soak up the sun at Georgetown Waterfront Park or splash in your favorite watering hole. Now, go ahead and enjoy the summer in Washington, DC!

JW Home Improvement is licensed in DC, MD, and VA, so you can trust our professionals to have the requisite skills and professional tools to perform all kinds of work, such as removing rusty screws, furniture assembly, garbage disposal repair, and even house painting. To get started, call us at (703) 899-3129, and our team of experts will handle everything for you. You can also contact us online for a free estimate.

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