Best Charger for Rust Removal by Electrolysis

This is not a tutorial for removing rust from metal by electrolysis (electrolytic rust removal). There are plenty of them on the web and Youtube. Rather, it seems that every how-to for rust removal leaves you wondering what power supply works best for removing rust from metal by electrolysis. I have done a lot of research and have personally tried several of the suggested power sources. Below is a link to the power source I have finally decided on. It is a manual battery charger and is available on Amazon. Scroll down to see samples of the positive testimonials it has received from buyers.

The problem with most battery chargers is that they are “too” smart for rust removal. They realize they are not connected to a battery and refuse to produce power. This problem is solved by using a manual battery charger. A manual charger produces power anytime it is plugged in. This can be a problem if you’re charging a battery (overcharging), but is perfect for electrolysis.

I highly recommend the Schumacher SE-82-6 Dual-Rate 2/6 Amp Manual Battery Charger for rust removal. After you’ve tried it, please leave a comment and let me know how it worked for you.

————— Testimonials ———————

– With everything automatic nowadays, this charger is refreshing change of pace. I had a lot of rusted machinery tools and parts that I wanted to de-rust using electrolysis and needed a manual charger to supply the needed current for this process. This charger is the workhorse for this method.

– Perfect product for my small electrolysis tank. Used it to remove rust from some older tools. Sturdy constuction. Thick metal casing. 3 settings. No on / off switch (unplug to turn off). Low priced. Pretty much fits my needs. I also use it to charge my boat and motorcycle batteries.

– I needed a charger for my electrolysis tank and this works perfectly!! This is manual and will not shut off until you unplug it. Just what I needed! Thanks

– I bought this to use for electrolytic cleaning of old metal. That requires a manual charger instead of the smart chargers that are common now. It worked great for that purpose. I shorted the leads together a couple of times by mistake. The internal breaker kicked off, then back on again once I removed the short, with no damage.

– I used this for electrolysis to remove rust from auto parts of an old VW I was fixing up. Worked great. Definitely have to get a charger that is manual.

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13 thoughts on “Best Charger for Rust Removal by Electrolysis

  1. Last week I used a DieHard battery charger to remove rust from an old block plane and it worked great. A few days ago I tried removing rust from a blade of an old hand ripsaw. I followed the prescribe method of one table spoon of Arm and Hammer washing soap for each gallon of water and applied the positive cable to the sacrificial piece and the negative cable to the hand saw blade, but for some reason the indicator light on the battery charger reads “Check Battery” and does not remove the rust. Is there any reason why this would happen? Could it be the type on metal I’m using as the sacrificial piece?

  2. If you’re sure you have a good connection to both pieces, your setup sounds like it should work. The sacrificial piece must be steel (not stainless steel) or iron (like rebar). I’ve been using an old hardened steel extension from a socket wrench & it works great.
    My “good” charger (ie, my expensive charger) says “Check Battery” if I try to hook it directly to the workpieces. It has to be connected to a non-dead battery first, then a second set of wires connect it to the workpieces.
    The manual battery in the article above was my solution to simplifying the process.

  3. Thanks! I went with your suggestion, I actually appreciate your specific suggestion, as I did not have to try and figure out which was a manual…yada yada…

  4. I use an big OLD charger made in the 50s from an old Texaco station set on 12 volt 200 amp Start mode.
    It won’t shut off till I shut it off or it blows a breaker… if positive touches negative. In the water it makes a spark like under water welding. Lol. It’s happened a few times but no harm… Yet…
    It does a good job but I’m wondering if more power would do better??? I’m really not an idiot, I just have
    a warped sense of humor. I’ve tried other chargers and set ups but this one seems to be the best so far.

  5. FYI you can make washing soda by heating baking soda in the oven at 200 deg F for about an hour and a half. Much cheaper than buying it.

  6. I’m currently building a reverse electrolysis system and I have a question ! I just bought a battery charger that you recommended, and as you have mentioned in your site, I do not intend to submerge the red ( positive ) alligator clip . What I’m wondering is whether there will be a negative ( pardon the Pun ! ) impact on the black ( negative ) alligator clip to which I’m attaching the object to be cleaned ! I’m generally going to be cleaning small objects such as coins, metal buttons, etc. That I’ve found metal detecting ! This means that the negative alligator clip will have to be submerged for the most part ! I don’t want to have to replace this clip and ultimately ruin a good battery charger ! Any advice or suggestions on this issue is greatly appreciated ! Ps. The charger I bought is a Schumacher SE-82-6. Thanks for any input you may have !

  7. I use a small harbor freight charger, similar to the one you pictured. I noticed that it won’t start the electrolysis process unless you kick start it. I accomplish this by hooking up the charger cables to my metals and then with a 9v battery i have to give it a few zaps positive to positie, negative to negative. After this the chargger will pick up on its own.

  8. I started out with a “smart” trickle charger, didn’t work at all. So I checked this blog and found out I had to up the amps a little. Next I checked with all of the local auto parts stores and was told that manual chargers were hard to come by and a thing of the past. Next check was with Platt Electrical in Kalispell MT, they had several of the Schumacher SE-82-6 in stock and were in the $39.00 range.

    So if you see that Prime and Amazon are back ordered 2 months, try Platt.

  9. I ordered my charger, the recommended one, and got it from Amazon within the week so they must have them now.
    I have a question, first time doing this, the charger reads no charge on the meter…I assume since it is not hooked to a battery this will be the case. How do I know it’s working properly? Do I wait 8 hours and check it?

  10. I think it should read “something.” If it works, but the gauge is just bad, I would keep it, but if it doesn’t seem to be removing the rust, I would return it for a new one.

  11. yes, it appears it is not functional. Bad charger, sending it back. I hook it up to a battery and still no indicationit is working. Thanks.

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