Metal window frames are often easy care but occasionally rust takes a hold. Rust can occur on other types of frames as well. Dealt with quickly, rust is not a problem at all.
Step 1 - Examine the Rust Spots
If rust appears on your window frames you need to check carefully to see how serious the problem is. Some rust spots can look alarming but if they are caught in time, will simply scrub away with a dry cloth or by using any of these rust removers. Superficial rust is created when water remains in contact with metal for a length of time but then dries off. The oxidation process has started but is not established in the metal surface.
Step 2 - More Severe Rust Spots
If the rust spots will not respond to a dry cloth you need to resort to something more effective. Damp emery cloth will remove rust that has become established and clean down to fresh metal. The new fresh metal will be pitted where the rust has destroyed the surface.
Step 3 - Aluminum Frames
Aluminum frames can suffer a surface attack very similar to rust in iron and steel. This attack is also caused by extended contact with water.
Step 4 - A Very Simple Cure
Caught early, most of the rust spots on aluminum frames can be removed by the application of a balled up piece of aluminum foil. Simply scrub the rust spot with the foil and it will vanish. This method will work very well even on established rust areas.
Step 5 - Wire Wool
If the aluminum foil does not work use a pad of wire wool to scrub the rust spot away. Keep the wire wool from scratching any surface that might be adjacent to the rust spot. Because the wire wool is stronger than the aluminum you need to be careful to clean up afterwards. It is possible for stray fibers of the wire wool to be driven into the surface of the aluminum and create a second rust possibility.
Step 6 - Established Rust
Rust that has been eating at a metal window frame for some time will have become established. The effect of the rust on the metal will be to break down the surface so that it breaks off in flakes. This rust needs to be cleared as much as possible with a wire brush. Once the bulk of the rust is removed a commercial rust remover is required. Rust remover can be applied to metal frames with a paint brush. Most removers need to be applied and then brushed off when they dry
Step 7 - Prevention
Although it is relatively easy to remove most minor rust damage it is far more important to prevent the rust starting in the first place. Ignored, rust can cause significant damage to metal window frames. Since the rust is caused by contact with water, simply preventing that contact will prevent the rust.
Justin Stewart is a contributing writer to DoItYourself.com. He loves researching new home improvement techniques, and has written about a huge range of topics, from electrical wiring, to plumbing, to carpentry.
Dawn Hammon has thrived in freelance writing and editor roles for nearly a decade. She has lived, worked, and attended school in Oregon for many years. Dawn currently spends her days convincing her children she is still smarter than them while creating new experiences with her husband of 24 years.&nbsp;
Her multiple interests have led her to frequently undergo home improvement projects. She enjoys sharing the hard-earned knowledge that comes with it with the audience of DoItYourself.com. Dawn and her sister make up a power-tool loving duo that teaches classes to local women with the goal of empowering them to tackle their fears and become comfortable with power tools.
Tapping into her enthusiasm for saving money and devotion to sustainable practices, Dawn has recently launched a passion project aimed at connecting eco-friendly products and socially-responsible companies with consumers interested in making conscientious purchases, better informing themselves about products on the market, and taking a stand in favor of helping to save the planet.
When she is not providing stellar online content for local, national, and international businesses or trolling the internet for organic cotton clothing, you might find her backpacking nearby hills and valleys, traveling to remote parts of the globe, or expanding her vocabulary in a competitive game of Scrabble.
Dawn holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, which these days she mostly uses to provide therapy for her kids and spouse. Most recently, I worked for a small local professional organizing and estate sale company for four years where I learned a ton about organizing and/or disposing of just about anything.
She was raised in a tool-oriented, hands-on, DIY family. Her dad worked in the floor covering business and owned local floor covering businesses, so of course selling floor covering was one of her first jobs. Her brother was a contractor for about 30 years and site supervisor for Habitat for Humanity. I worked with him often, building decks, painting houses, framing in buildings, etc. With her sister, she holds power tool classes to empower women who are scared or have never used them.
Not quite homesteaders, she did grow up with a farm, tractors, motorcycles, expansive gardens, hay fields, barns, and lots of repairs to do. Plus she and her family preserved foods, raised cattle and pigs, chopped and hauled firewood, and performed regular maintenance on two households, outbuildings, fencing, etc.
As an adult, she has owned two houses. The first one she personally ripped out a galley kitchen and opened it up to the living area, plus updated every door, floor covering, and piece of trim in the place. In her current home, she's tackled everything from installing real hardwood flooring to revamping the landscape.