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How to Clean Rusty Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are not that expensive to replace. Still, if you want to prolong the life of the ones you have it is possible to clean the rust off of them.


You have two basic choices for cleaning off rusted jumper cables. One of them is the soda method and the other is the abrasive method. Both of these options require a slightly different collection of supplies to execute.

Supplies Needed:

Before you attempt any home project it helps to first gather your supplies. What you need depends upon which method of jumper cable rust cleaning you choose.

For the soda method you need these supplies: Coca Cola (There is something about the formula of this soft drink that makes it a great rust or corrosion cleaning aid.) You also need a bowl or glass as well as some soft cloths.

For the abrasive method you need these supplies: Steel wool pad, find grade sandpaper, soft cloths, and water.

Once you have gathered the appropriate supplies for the method of your choosing, follow the corresponding instructions. One section describes the soda cleaning procedure and the other describes the abrasive cleaning procedure.

The steps for executing the soda (Coca Cola) rust cleaning method is shown below:

  1. Fill a cup or bowl with Coca Cola.
  2. Put the rusted portin of the jumper cables into the soda.
  3. Soak the cable ends in the soda for several hours.
  4. Remove the rusted portion of the cables and wipe with a soft cloth.
  5. If necessary, repeat the above steps. You can do this for as many times as possible without damaging your jumper cable ends.

If you would rather use the abrasive method, please follow these steps (alternative to the soda cleaning method):

  1. Wipe away the loose rust particles with a cloth.
  2. Use the steel wool pad or sandpaper to scrub off the rust from the metal jumper cable surfaces.
  3.  Wipe the already-scrubbed jumper cable ends with a cloth moistened with clean water.
  4. Make sure you dry the jumper cables immediately after using the wet cloth. This will help restore the original shine of the metal.

More Advice

You can restore the metal of your jumper cables. However, sometimes the process is more time consuming that it is worth. After all, a new set can be found for even less than $20.

In any case, the key to sucess in restoring any kind of metal is to make sure you wipe it dry complely. Otherwise, any water or moisture left on the surface could cause the rust to return, which of course would defeat the purpose. So, always wipe any metal surface dry. This cannot be stressed enough.

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