Will a rusty tool or bolt lying with other tools or bolts induce them to rust as well


I have a toolbox with a bunch of tools in it. In addition, I have a large plastic box where I keep all my bolts and nails in a disarray.

Some of the bolts are a little rusty, and some of my tools (e.g. screwing bits) are rusty, and now I am concerned as to wether storing them all together (some of them touching each other), might induce the unrusted tools to rust as well.

Of course a thorough (i.e. scientific) explanation would be even more appreciated.


Best Answer

Rust is not mould, rust is oxidization of the metal and cause by the oxygen in the air.

Most tools, nuts and bolts have a rust proofing in the form of a light coating of oxidization (often of a metal that's not iron) that will isolate the material underneath from further rust. A scratch in that coating will then let the rust spread again.

For long term storage you can oil the tools.