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Evaporust vs CLR: Which Works Best for De-rusting Motorcycle Parts?

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When your motorcycle has been around for a few seasons, you know rust can become an issue over time.

Those brake calipers, exhaust pipes, and other metal parts take a beating from rain, dirt, and road grime. Before long, rust spots start popping up if you don’t stay on top of cleaning and protecting bare metal.

Lately I’ve been working on freshening up an old Kawasaki. With 10 years of winters under its belt, there was plenty of surface rust accumulated.

But I wanted to tackle it without damaging any of the original parts. Some stiff wire brushes and solvents can do more harm than good.

That’s why I decided to put two popular rust remover solutions to the test: Evaporust and CLR.

Evapo-Rust Rust Remover

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CLR Rust Remover

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I’ll go into detail on how Evaporust vs CLR performed on different rusty parts. And share some tips I’ve picked up on preventing future rust, particularly if you’re doing a long-term restoration project.

Evaporust for Rust Removal

Evaporust is a favorite among riders for its safe, easy-to-use formula.

It’s basically a liquid solution made from non-toxic, biodegradable stuff you can pour right down the drain when you’re done. No harsh chemicals or worrying about disposal.

It breaks rust down through some smart chemistry I don’t fully understand. All I know is it works!

The stuff targets rust on a molecular level, breaking it down piece by little piece until it literally disappears. No scrubbing or scraping needed, just submerge your parts and let it go to work.

Being biodegradable also means you don’t have to stress if you get some on your skin. Just a quick wash and you’re good.

Some of the other products out there can be downright dangerous. Not Evaporust, it was practically made for us gearheads!

Evapo-Rust Rust Remover

Evapo-Rust ER012 Super Safe – 128 oz., Non Toxic Rust Remover for Auto Parts

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So Evaporust may sound too good to be true, but believe me when I say it gets results, and fast!

Other products claim they’ll remove rust, but then you’re there all night scrubbing away with no end in sight. Not with Evaporust. This stuff truly does the heavy lifting for you.

Like I said, I’ve seen it restore parts completely overnight. Headers, brake calipers; doesn’t matter. Just dunk them and wake up to rust-free bliss.

One buddy left a shifter linkage soaking during his commute, and by the time he returned the rust was history.

It works on pretty much any metal too. Steel, aluminum, doesn’t discriminate. Perfect for helping your bike’s two-toned look shine.

Even gets into the nooks and crannies where rust likes to hide. No more spending hours chipping away at hard to reach spots.

Honestly, the effectiveness is what sold me to become an Evaporust evangelist. Tried it myself on some surface rust that had me stumped.

Next morning – poof! Gone without a trace. Can’t argue with results that good.


The best part about Evaporust is its safety. And for us motorcycle mechanics, that’s ultra important.

Some rust removers claim to get results, but heck if I’d want that gnarly junk anywhere near my skin. Not Evaporust though – this stuff is about as benign as they come.

Since it’s non-toxic, you don’t have to bust out the heavy duty gloves and goggles like with other products. Got some on your hands? No problemo – just rinse off with water and you’re good as new.

Better yet, if you’re working in the garage instead of outside, no vapors to worry about. None of that eye-watering, throat-burning chemical stink that lingers for days.

And disposal is simpler than taking out the trash. Once your parts are rust-free, just pour the used Evaporust down any old drain. Saves hauling hazardous materials to the dump.


The chemical is a breeze to apply however you need. For total submersion, just drop her in! A parts cleaning bin, a bucket, your (clean) kitchen sink – it’s happy wherever.

If that’s not an option, soak some rags and wrap problem areas. Great for getting into nooks and crannies like around bolts.

It works its magic anywhere from 1 to 12 hours as needed. Severe rust may take a overnight, lighter stuff could be gone in an hour or two. Either way, you’ll wake up to shiny results.

Results on Motorcycle Parts

Some of my favorite success stories include calipers, which constantly collect road grime. Douse them at the start of a project and they’re pristine by the time you mount back up.

Headers too, whether they’ve spotted up beneath a coating or are downright pitted. Evaporust rescues them all. Even revived an old pan so nicely, you’d have thought it was chrome-plated.

Carbs, fenders, you name it. A buddy used it to bring his 35-year-old Honda Gold Wing’s chrome back from the dead. If that don’t say it all, I don’t know what does!

CLR for Rust Removal

CLR is a heavy hitter in the world of rust and grime removal. This stuff means business, using stronger acids to straight up dissolve rust and mineral deposits. It practically eats through corrosion!

While Evaporust works through chemical reactions, CLR is in-your-face abrasive. The name says it all – Calcium Lime Rust. It strips those buggers right off, whether we’re talking rust on pipes or crusty gunk on chrome.

At the same time, CLR is no amateur hour bleach or ammonia. Those harsh chemicals will wreck your day.

CLR manages to get gritty without destroying your health. As long as you wear gloves – and you better with this stuff – it’s safer than it looks.

CLR Rust Remover

CLR PRO Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover

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When it comes to busting rust, CLR packs some serious muscle. Those acids may sting, but they sure can get the job done.

Nothing gets rust off nuts and bolts better than CLR. Just ask anyone who’s rebuilt a rear end – it slices through corrosion so you can actually get them suckers loose! Engines too, taking pistons from pitted to pretty in no time.

You can control how heavy-handed CLR is too. Dilute it for lighter duty, or go in full force if you mean business.

Like an old carb so gummed up it won’t see sunlight again? Undiluted CLR is the hardcore approach it demands.

This stuff is so potent some even swear by soaking tools in it to prevent rust from forming again. Not a permanent fix on its own, but it’ll buy you time between treatments, that’s for sure.


Now CLR may be tough, but it aims to be tough safely – relatively speaking, anyway. You still gotta respect what it’s capable of.

These acids are stronger than Evaporust’s trickery, yet gentler than some chemical concoctions out there. CLR formulated them to do the job while keeping user protection in mind.

Big thing is those gloves – acids can do a real number on skin so don’t skip them. Other precautions help too, like ventilation if working indoors. But it ain’t the toxic nightmare some products try to pass off.

Here’s the kicker – it smells kind of nice! Like citrus air freshener, as weird as that sounds. Beats the acrid fumes a lot of degreasers discharge, let me tell you.


Application is simple, just submerge parts fully into the liquid.

Mix one part (ex: 1 cup) of the liquid to eight parts (ex: 8 cups) water.

Never mix it with other household cleaners or bleach. Always use gloves for the cleaning work and if the liquid spills somewhere, wipe it as quickly as possible.

Where CLR may require some extra elbow grease is with deep, caked-on rust.

That stuff means serious soaking time, maybe even multiple cycles of soak, scrub, repeat. It just keeps cutting layers away until it hits smooth metal.

Results on Motorcycle Parts

There’s a reason mechanics swear by CLR for tough rebuilds. Like motorcycle brake lines – seen it dissolve rust instantaneously. And carburetors that seemed trapped in time come resurrected, good as new!

Even stripped rust from inside an engine so the guy could service it without removing the whole thing.

Now that’s convenience. And don’t get me started on what it did to salvage rusty tools – brought them back to life!

So while CLR may demand some muscle behind it at times, the results are unbeatable. It literally melts corrosion away whether we’re talking small parts or major components.

Evaporust vs CLR: Comparison

evaporust vs clr

It’s time to compare Evaporust vs CLR to see which rust buster suits you best. Here’s a quick rundown:

Evaporust is ideal for light-to-medium rust, delicate parts, and set-it-and-forget-it ease. It works through chemistry rather than abrasives, so parts come out smooth as a baby’s bottom. Drawback is it may not cut it for caked on rust.

CLR handles any level of corrosion thanks to its tough-as-nails acid formula. It’ll strip parts down to bare metal no problem.

But it demands more from you too, like scrubbing power and protective gear. Misuse could also theoretically damage components.

When it comes to applications, Evaporust aces motorcycles thanks to its non-toxic formula. Great for multiday soaks like leaving calipers to erase surface rust. CLR’s fumes aren’t ideal for confined spaces like a bike garage.

However, CLR dominates projects that demands its drill sergeant abilities. Like restoring crusty forks, rebuilding sludged carbs or rescuing rusty tools.

It cares not for rust severity – it removes, period. Come hell or high water!

Best Applications for Each

Evaporust is top shelf for routine maintenance jobs. Things like soaking calipers while you wrench on other parts, refreshing fenders between washes, that sort of thing. Fantastic for keeping smaller parts rust-free long term too.

It’s also prime if you’ve got a partially-disassembled bike and need a safe, effective soak. Like leaving pieces to erase surface rust before reassembly. Perfect for enclosed spaces or when you have to ride the next day.

CLR kicks ass for heavier lifting – serious restoration work, salvaging projects, or then really gnarly corrosion.

We’re talking restoring rusted frames, resurfacing 50-year-old forks, rebuilding sludge-filled engines. Stuff that would overwhelm lesser products.

It also rules for surface prep before painting. Removes every last rusty residue so your fresh coat will bond and last.

And it’s your only choice for industrial-level crust like rusted tools. Nothing but CLR will do!

Ease of Use

In terms of ease, Evaporust takes the cake. Just submerge parts and forget about it – it’s that simple. CLR requires more TLC like scrubbing and multiple applications for stubborn spots.

But CLR isn’t a ton of extra work either. With gloves and proper ventilation, it’s straightforward to slather on and let it work. Just more elbow grease than Evaporust sometimes.

Cost Comparison

As for your wallet, Evaporust gives you bang for your buck. The gallon jug seems a bit expensive initially but it lasts for-ev-er.

One bottle will strip rust off hundreds of parts over the years. You can reuse the used liquid until its color turns into blackish. So, one jug gives the usability of multiple jugs.

CLR is more affordable up front. But because it’s faster-acting, you may use more per project as well. Comes out similar long-run cost for heavy users.

So in a nutshell – Evaporust wins for sheer laziness. CLR for value on bigger jobs. Both are affordable solutions in the long haul. Overall ease just depends on your rust severity and work tolerance!

Evapo-Rust Rust Remover

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CLR Rust Remover

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Recommendations for Different Rust Severities

Light surface rust: This is Evaporust territory all day long. Soak calipers, brackets, freshly washed parts – it’ll erase that stuff no sweat.

Moderate rust: Now you’ve got options – either product will tackle it with success. Flip a coin based on your specific needs. Both are about equal here.

Heavy corrosion: This is where CLR pulls ahead. Its strong acids are what heavy rust demands. Don’t expect magic from Evaporust. CLR is the only muscled choice.

Severe pitting: CLR is your clear winner. Really etched-in rust needs its purging power. Evaporust may help long term, but CLR removes down to the base metal.

Embedded rust: If rust has fully infiltrated, again CLR all the way. It will force its way inside and dissolve where others can’t reach. Evaporust may slow further decay at best here.

In any case, you can’t lose using these – just match the product’s strengths to the job’s demands.

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