Rust Removal From Arcade Games

I know the problems restorers face. You have a nice piece of equipment, be it jukebox, arcade, or video, but it is covered in rust. What do you do? Sand it off? Sand blast it? Those only dig into the metal and destroy it plus they take away the aged charm of the piece.

There is a better way to remove rust from arcade parts.

I purchased a Shoot The Bear dog mechanism on eBay and it was very rusty. I wanted it for a restored game so to go in one of my games it had to be perfect.

Now the question is how do you easily remove rust from a complicated part without removing metal. It turns out there is a simple electro chemical process that will do the trick.

All you need is a plastic container, a 2 amp battery charger, and a box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda with Sodium Carbonate.

Take a tank of water, put 1 tea spoon of washing powder for every pint of water in your tank, put in the part, connect Negative lead of the battery charger to part, and the Positive lead to a steel rod in the tank. You can use any steel scrap, even steel conduit.

This wWill bubble out hydrogen so you need ventalation. In 48 hours it will completely get rid of rust on large parts, less time for smaller parts.



A little electro chemical rust removal is easy and fast plus it does not destroy the metal.

Here is my setup with everything connected.

Here is the steel pipe at the start and you can see the hydrogen bubbling off the dog part.

Closeup of hydrogen bubbling off dog runner.

After a few hours my steel pipe turned to rust.

The rust even caked up at the bottom of the pan.

This is the final steel pipe. Apparently the method is also a good way to induce rust if you want a rust effect.


Before Cleaning




After Cleaning






The cleaning also cleaned my dog. He was in bad shape anyway and I will replace him with one of my new plastic dogs.

You may think the after still is not perfect but most of what you see is black gunk left after the process. Some mild scrubbing removed most of it and all of the rust was gone. Some of the springs were still rusted but they could not be salvaged anyway.

This technique saved an hour or more of cleaning with sandpaper or a dremmel plus it did not damage my part and when completed my part will still look old.