Por 15 Metal Prep Alternative (Getting Rid of Rust Easil)

Let’s agree on one thing before we get started. Rust sucks.  And, if you have a surface covered with rust, Por 15 Metal Ready should be the first thing that comes to your mind. 

Unfortunately, the solution’s a bit on the pricier side. And if you’re not working at a garage, the thing can get pretty damn expensive. 

There’s also the question of whether you’ll find it available where you live. That’s right. Not every store sells them. That’s why you need a Por 15 Metal Prep alternative.

And, we’ve had the chance to go through twenty different alternatives to pick the top 5. 

Sometimes you can only find the jars stacked up high at your nearest mechanic. And he won’t sell it to you. So it’s easier to pick an alternative. 

We’ve even added some points as to why you should pick an alternative in the first place. So let’s get started without any more delay! 

1. Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer Spray

At a Glance:

  • Brand: Rust-Oleum
  • Color: Black
  • Type: Oil-based
  • Container type: Spray can
  • Cure Time: 24 hours

The one that topped our list is this Rust Reformer Spray from Rust-Oleum. I think you guys might have seen this one coming.

Rust-Oleum is quite commonly used as an alternative for Por 15 Metal Ready. And we’re going to tell you why this topped the chart.

Let’s start with what makes this one unique. This rust reformer gives you the most options out of anyone else. You can choose the size depending on the quantity you require. So it gives you the option not to overspend or underspend. 

This is just like any other black rust reformer spray. I mean, this is the only spray can on the list, so that’s another thing making it unique.

Since it does come in this shape, you might think it’s easier to apply. Well, precisely. If you have a rust-covered metal surface, I think the spray cans will do a better job.

But then again, Pop 15 Metal Ready mixtures come in large bottles. So, all the companies must have their reasons.

Other than that, the reformer actually works differently. The component that comes out when you’re spraying it on a rusty surface is black.

Which means you might feel like you’re covering the rusty metal surfaces with black spray paint.

But, that’s not quite the case. It’s not just black paint if that’s what you were thinking. There’s an additional layer of protection added with the black stuff.

This black coating allows the surface to receive an even paint coating. They also claim prevention of any future rusting. We only tested it for around three months.

And during those months, we did not notice any more rusts. So maybe they’re telling the truth.

If you’re wondering what the formula is, well, it’s oil-based. The spray system actually makes this simple to apply. You can spray this onto a rusted surface.

Upon testing, we found out that it takes around a whole hour to dry. But they claim that the substance dries in 20-40 minutes.

So when can you start applying paint? Not anytime soon. You have to wait a whole day before you can start painting on it. So I recommend covering all the rusty surfaces with this one first and then starting painting the next day.

Another good thing about this is that you don’t need to sand the surface. So if you’re just an average consumer who wants to get rid of rust without too much work, this could be a viable solution. 

Then again, they do claim that you can use the bottle upside down. But we think that the performance takes a hit. Try to stick to the usual way of spraying if you can. 

We do have a couple of practical tips for you, though. Try removing the upper rust with a brush instead of directly applying the spray onto the rusty surface. 

It’s an affordable choice for those who need it. And that’s why it’s topping our chart. 

2. Evapo-Rust Rust Remover

At a Glance:

  • Brand: Evapo-Rust
  • Type: Water-based
  • Color: Gray
  • Container type: Gallon bottle

Next up, we have this whole gallon of rust remover from Evapo-Rust. This one’s more common for removing rust from knives and cleavers. But it’s also a decent choice if you want to get rid of rust from automotive metal surfaces.

So, what’s so great about this one? Well, it’s the biodegradability of this one. You shouldn’t have any trouble trying to use this one without gloves. We tried this with our bare hands and didn’t feel any irritations. 

On top of that, this one is affordable. I mean, yes, there are cheaper options. But this looks fine to us. It’s just that the big gallon might not be the most convenient thing to carry.

If you compare it to the spray can on the top of the list, there are definitely some drawbacks. It’s also water-based as opposed to the oil-based rust reformer that’s on the top of our list.

I think their biggest selling point would be the presence of biodegradability. Other than that, it’s like any other common rust remover.

We stacked up a lot of rusty metal automotive plates to conduct the tests. I think we had one plate per rust remover. That seemed enough at the time.

They promise that this can remove rust in minutes. Well, don’t be fooled. It actually needs to get soaked in the solution to work magically. 

Our biggest gripe with this one is that it can only prevent rust for a couple of weeks. That is far from impressive. And to make the layer permanent, you need to buy additional products. That’s not a good look.

But once you douse the metal piece in a rust block after using this solution, the layer becomes permanent. We observed this for around three months. And, we can say that the rust-block works since we didn’t notice any re-rusting.

Another common problem with these substances is the odor. Well, we were pleasantly surprised with this one. There wasn’t any odor, to begin with. Since it didn’t contain any VOCs, solvents, or acids, I think this can be a wise odorless choice.

There’s also a common complaint about these solutions messing up surrounding components made of plastic or PVC. Well, after careful observation, we didn’t notice the other materials getting damaged. So that’s a win.

It’s also versatile, apparently. We were fooling around with the leftover solution after removing the rust from the metal plates. Someone here thought it’d be hilarious if we tested this out on cookware. And, to our surprise, this thing works.

So that’s probably another use-case for this rust remover from Evapo-Rust. They promise that it will provide its derusting capabilities to about 300 lbs. of steel. We didn’t have that much steel to test this on. But the use of this is indeed efficient. 

All in all, it just came short of reaching the top spot on this list. Maybe we would’ve put it on top if it came in a spray can.

3. Henkel Naval Jelly Rust Dissolver

At a Glance:

  • Brand: Henkel
  • Color: Brown
  • Container Type: Plastic bottle

Coming in at third place is this one from Henkel. We didn’t really picture a rust dissolver when we heard the name “Naval Jelly.” You might relate to it.

But there’s something unique about this that caught our eyes. You guessed it right! It’s the price. I know it’s a small amount, comparatively. But you’re getting a working solution for this cheap. I think that enough is a good reason to pick this one up. 

Also, the bottle’s cute. We needed a subtle change after seeing the huge gallon a few minutes back. Yes, that was a dig at the quantity of this one. I know you pay half the price, but I think they could’ve squeezed in a bit more, right?

Unlike the other two upfront, this one requires you to remove the loose rust scales. You can either use a wire brush or sandpaper. 

But you did have to use a brush with the first spray can one, too. So we can let this one slide. They tell us that we can be liberal with the application. So we were. 

There’s a certain cleaning process before you can apply this solution. You have to wipe off any dirt or dust from the metal surface before applying this.

Yes, even after removing the loose rust scales, you have to clean them properly. I know, it seems like a lot of work.

Upon observation, it takes just under an hour to work. I think it’s better to leave it for an hour and go grab your lunch in the meantime. 

After the waiting period is over, you can rinse the solution off. Then you have to perform some wiping actions too. Yes, more work! 

This isn’t as efficient as you might want it to be. But look at the bright side. It’s cheap. 

We don’t think you’d complain about it after you see the price tag. But make sure you use gloves with this one. It isn’t biodegradable, and they don’t claim it to be either. So time to put gloves back on to protect your skin.

There’s also a tiny warning about this one. You shouldn’t apply this solution onto plated surfaces more than 5 times. We tried it out, and the results weren’t pretty. So, don’t try that.

It does its job by fulfilling the basic tasks like dissolving rust. You can use this for components other than car parts too. We tried to de-rust an old bicycle with this. It seemed to work. But it requires too much work as we said.

With that said, you know you can’t get a more affordable option. So it’s best to stick with one if you’re extremely tight with the budget. Just be safe and don’t leave it for too long on chrome-plated stuff. You don’t want to see the ugly results.

4. JENOLITE Rust Converter

At a Glance:

  • Brand: JENOLITE
  • Container type: Plastic jar
  • Quantity: 1 gallon or 8 oz. 

Here’s another affordable choice here in fourth place. It’s a tiny bottle. And we didn’t include anything bigger to keep the price low. This one could be an interesting choice for you. 

Here’s what makes this an interesting choice. It has the capability to resist bacterial growth and carbon dioxide. So you can probably expect somewhat permanent de-rusted results. 

Okay, let me get this straight. This one might not give a “number one in the world” type of vibe. But hear us out. This one has potential.

Other than the cheaper price tag, there are a couple more things that might entice you. In terms of usage, this one is pretty simple to use. Apparently, it converts any rusty surface to a clean one.

And you can apply paint directly onto that surface. They also claim that you wouldn’t need a primer for it to work. We gave it a try. It seems their claims were true. We didn’t need a primer to make this work.

But their claim of this setting in fifteen minutes made us skeptical. And we found out that it actually takes double the time. Maybe it could be the weather around here. But the claims didn’t hold true here.

There are a few layers of protection involved too. This thing can prevent water vapor, carbon dioxide, bacterial growth, and oxygen. Well, that’s what they say, at least.

We only got to observe the results for a couple of months. And we didn’t see any discrepancies either. So we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

We were towards the end of our metal planks when we were testing this one. This solution worked well when it comes to the rust-removal aspect. We didn’t notice anything fishy with this one.

You might be one of those guys who don’t need a lot of this substance. I mean, if you just want to remove rust from a particular part of your own car, this is a good choice.

It’s quick and simple. Well, we didn’t notice that applying directly doesn’t give amazing results. We had to take assistance from a wire brush first. Once we got rid of the hanging rust scales, then the product worked its magic. 

This also needs a while to dry. Although they claim that it takes 3 hours to cure, this might take longer depending on the place you live. So don’t expect immediate results.

You might want to go grab a cup of coffee after soaking the rusted metal piece with the solution. 

5. SEM 69504 Rust Mort

At a Glance:

  • Brand: SEM
  • Quantity: 1 Quart

Finally, we have this one from SEM. I know this doesn’t sound as cool as the others on the list. But it still beat the others that we tested to reach the top five. So how did this one get into the list?

Do you know what makes this unique? It’s fairly aggressive. You won’t need to apply it to the rusted surface continuously. We were able to get amazing results in just three coats. Brushing it on like paint is the best way to approach this. 

This weird-looking bottle might grab a bit of attention from you guys. They come packing with the marketing, saying this will “kill” rust. Well, that’s what all the converters and removers do. And this one is no different.

It’s basic and simple to use. You can rely on it since there aren’t any complexities. With that said, this isn’t the best at what it does.

We took this out of the box and got to work. By this time, we only had a couple of metal plans left. We used a metal brush to remove the scaly rust particles.

Then we ended up applying three coats of this product. I think the thinner layers we used worked well. You might want to try that. 

You might end up overusing it, thinking the paint-like substance isn’t working. But I think just three coats are enough. Also, you get a very long shelf life with this one. 

Apparently, this one adds strength to the metal surface you’re adding it to. Well, we’re not too sure about this claim. But after three months of observation, we didn’t see any crumbling. Now that’s good news. 

How Metal Ready Alternatives Work

Let’s talk about how these solutions work in the first place. When these solutions come in contact with rust in the metal, they loosen it up, these chemical substances are specifically designed to work with rust.

They react with the rust on metal surfaces and break down the rust. If you have acid-free ones, they are better at pulling away from the rust from the metal surface. 

The more important part is how they work for the future. You can’t go around removing rust every now and then. So pick out something that provides future rust prevention. This would save you some bucks further down the road. 

Why Should You Choose an Alternative?

Now we’ll talk about why you should pick up an alternative. Well, let’s be honest. Por 15 Metal Prep is the best in the game. It makes the rusted metal surface completely free from rust.

That solution just works so well on automotive metal parts. So mechanics also don’t think twice. But we, as average consumers, have to think about it. It’s not easy for us to manage a gallon of the good stuff anytime we want.

That’s why we need alternatives. Here’s a little breakdown.

Alternatives Won’t Burn a Hole in Your Pocket

Well, I might be exaggerating. But I know for a fact that people love the cheaper options. If you’re presented with two options, and you see both of them function similarly, you will choose the cheaper option, no doubt.

That’s what happens most of the time when you’re trying to pick an alternative. And, don’t get me wrong. Some of the alternatives are capable of giving the originals a run for their money.

Fighting with Availability

You have to keep the Por 15 out of your head for now. Assume that it’s out of your reach. Well, that’s exactly how it is in most places. Some people can’t even find it in their local garages.

And some scalpers buy all the stock and then sell them for a ton of money. This makes the stuff harder to get, even for garage owners. 

At times, shipping to your country becomes a whole lot expensive too. So you better think about these when you’re trying to get your hands on a gallon of Por 15 Metal Ready. 

Trust me. I know that the Por 15 might do a better job. But we’re in no way saying that the alternatives are bad. All of them have their unique points. And you can pick any one of these according to your requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Should I pick any cheap alternative?

Answer: I recommend that you complete well-rounded research. That’s because any odd alternative for Por 15 will not cut it. If you want the best performance for cheaper, there are compromises. But there’s a limit to that compromise. 

Question: My chrome finish is getting scuffed. Should I continue using the alternative?

Answer: Stop applying that right away. You will have a tough time trying to get that shine back. So stop what you’re doing and take your car to the mechanic right away. 

Question: How will my acid-free rust remover work?

Answer: While the removers with acid break the rust down, the acid-free ones work differently. Unlike the former type, these solutions pull away the rust from the metal surfaces with chemical reactions. 


Well, that’s about it. There were a lot of ins and outs today. And we think we were able to give you detailed reviews of each alternative here. We tried to incorporate our application processes and the experiences we had into it.

This guide might or might not help you pick the best Por 15 Metal Prep Alternative. But there’s a lot of value in it too. We added a couple of points regarding why you should be opting for an alternative.

I know that the Por 15 will perform better in almost any case. But the fact that you can’t get it for cheap is a bummer. Lighten up. An alternative can do the job just fine. So keep your fingers safe and good luck!

Rob Dahm

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