How to Prevent Rusty Tools

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Vapor control inhibitor products reduce rust on tools and fasteners

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Reduce the tool rust problem by storing tools with vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) products-capsules, liners and bags.

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Prevent rust on tools

Anti-corrosion nonslip mesh liner, VCI capsule and VCI zipper bag

Maybe you’ve got some nice tools. But if you’re like many of us, you have to store them in the garage or shed where heat and humidity can take their toll. You can prevent them from rusting if you store them with vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) products. VCI products (capsules, mesh liners and zipper bags) are infused with rust-inhibiting compounds that vaporize and attach to tools’ metal surfaces. The vapor molecules form an anticorrosive coating on tools to prevent rust.

Some home centers carry VCI products. If yours doesn’t, check out Zerust at It’s one of a few manufacturers that sell directly to consumers without a huge minimum order.

Rust-Preventing Products

Line your toolbox or chest drawers with anti-corrosion nonslip mesh liner. The anticorrosion feature lasts five years, but the nonslip feature lasts much longer. This 12 x 72-in. roll costs about $9.

Add a VCI Capsule to your toolbox or your power tool’s carrying case to keep the tool in pristine condition. The VC2-1 (about $6) capsule lasts one year, and the VC2-2 (about $8) lasts two years.

Slide critical measuring tools like micrometers and calipers inside a VCI zipper bag for five-year protection. This 9 x 12-in. bag costs about $1. Other sizes are available.