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How to Clean Rusty Fishing Lures

August 19, 2020

There’s no denying that fishing lures can sometimes cost a pretty penny – especially if you’re purchasing several. Even though fishing lures can cost anywhere from $5 to $25, did you know that many old lures are highly sought after? Old lures can be valued from $20 to $20,000! Who knew?! It’s unlikely that you have a lure valued at $20K, but it’s still a really cool fact!

Anyway, why spend another $5 to 25 dollars (a piece) on new lures when it’s so easy to clean and refresh the ones you have? $5, $10, $20, doesn’t seem like a lot of money – but those costs do add up the more lures you get. So, why not save some money? Allow us to show you how to clean rusty fishing lures!

How to Clean Rusty Fishing Lures

Start with your tackle box

When it comes to learning how to clean rusty fishing lures, it actually begins with your tackle box. Because putting a clean lure in a grimy tackle box is a dirty thing to do.

  1. Remove all the old junk you haven’t used since 2007
  2. Rinse the box with warm water
  3. Use BKF MORE Spray + Foam. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe it clean.
  4. For persistent stains such as fish blood, use BKF powder. Make a paste, smooth it on the stain, and let it sit 2-3 minutes. Next, use a toothbrush to scrub. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Cleaning your Lures   

  1. Remove hooks and split rings
  2. Rinse with warm water
  3. Gently remove dirt. Hardened dirt particles can become abrasive when scrubbed.
  4. Apply Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser, and let it sit 1 to 2 minutes
  5. Use a toothbrush to scrub the lure
  6. Rinse

For stains that remain follow number 5 from cleaning your tackle box. 

Removing rust from lures

Bar Keepers Friend original powder cleanser is the go-to choice for rust removal.

  1. Wet the surface
  2. Sprinkle with BKF powder
  3. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes
  4. Wipe the area with a soft sponge
  5. For more substantial rust do the same but make a paste of the BKF powder and water

Pro Tip: Bar Keepers Friend is non-toxic, but to avoid skin irritation, put on rubber gloves before wiping the area.

Cleaning blades and spinners

Fishing lure blades are primarily manufactured from brass, steel, and aluminum, although other materials may be used. For all metal blades and most other materials, BKF powder cleanser is the best product to use. Simply make a past, slather it on the blade or spinner, and then wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Repeat as needed. For tougher stains, let the paste sit for a few minutes before wiping it off. This gives the oxalic acid, a key ingredient in BKF, time to do its magic.

Cleaning hooks

The truth is if a hook is nasty, corroded, and covered with fish blood and guts, it might be easier to replace it. However, try this first. Take a small metal container, such as a metal lid to a jar. Sprinkle BKF powder, add water, throw in your old hooks, and let it sit. You may be surprised how much dirt and debris will vanish.

So, how good is BKF on fishing lures?

We like to say, don’t take our word for it. There is almost a cult of BKF fanatics that make our job easy. There are BKF advocates and evangelists that swear by our product for cleaning everything from the kitchen sink to fishing lures. Here are a couple of unsolicited testimonials about using BKF on fishing lures.

“Use Bar Keepers Friend. Mix it up in a paste, rub it on the heads and let it sit for 10 minutes and then wipe and rinse. Use a lid like from a pickle jar. You don’t need much. Real cheap and comes in a container. Works REALLY good.” — The Hull Truth Boating Forum 

“I snagged a Sexy Shad Red Eyed Shad in the Historic James River last week, and I need suggestions concerning cleaning the lure. It is covered with a black scum that is hard to remove with soap and water. Any suggestions on what I can use to clean up the lure?

“Just did it to an old topwater bait I found. Crest toothpaste. If that doesn’t get it ALL out, then Bar Keepers Friend did the rest. Looks great!” — Bass forum

Are You Hooked on BKF?

Like I said earlier, Bar Keeper’s Friend has thousands of fans. So, are you one of them? We’d love to hear from you if you are. How do you use BKF? What problems do our products solve for you? Let us know because we’d like to lure you in.

Join us on Facebook at Bar Keepers Friend Community where customers share how they use BKF products, and we even have giveaways!

About the Author

Randy Clark - Headshot

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek and on weekends (after COVID-19) he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management.



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