How can I reuse or recycle … rusty screws, nails and assorted bits?

Nuts and screwsCompletely out of character, I went on a bit of a tidying rampage at the weekend. Well, I sorted out some boxes in the spare room and the storage chest in the living room – that’s a rampage for me.

Amongst the random bits of paper (recycled/composted) and unnecessary household objects like two phones even though we don’t have a landline (charity shopped/Freecycled), I found various nuts, bolts and screws in various states of rusting. I added these to the ice cream tubs of random nuts, bolts, screws, washers, hinges etc that we have in the cellar and it made me wonder if we’d ever get around to using them.

We dip into the boxes whenever we need a fixing but we just don’t need enough of them to make any headway through the tubs and we tend to pick the least rusty ones when we do need something – so what can we do with the rusty rest?

(Photo by fugue, who seems to have a similar collection)

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39 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … rusty screws, nails and assorted bits?”

  1. tomster says:

    you could put them in side too cans to make a really loud rattle

  2. Andrea says:

    Artists like things like this! Donate to a school art class, or simply freecycle – you might be surprised at the response!

  3. Rúna Björg says:

    Keep them, you might need them!

  4. If they’re ferrous, plant them under a hydrangea bush to turn the flowers blue.*

    *May not work. :D

  5. njtomboy says:

    How about a secret safe for dad! or anyone for that matter…

  6. mildred lane says:

    For those that you cant use-can put a few in flower pots for the iron and they will hold heat to the plants when the sun goes down and it cools off.
    use a nut as a fishing pole sinker.
    mount them in a concrete block as a conversation piece.
    Use a lot of them as a weight for a boat.

  7. Crazy says:


  8. louisa says:

    One of our readers Jennifer Houck used some of her random bits to decorate a photo frame for her nephew – I really like the industrial feel to it :)

    decorated photo frame

  9. Anonymous says:

    i can take them off of you i will pay the postage as i run a buisness and need loads if nuts & bolts please get back to me A.S.A.P

    • margaret says:

      I have tons of old nails. Do you want them too?

    • cynthia says:

      I have a box (approx 12″ x 12″) of 8D nails. Do you want them?


    • Anonymous says:

      Are you still in the market for nuts and bolts? I have several buckets full of very large bolts, nuts and nails. They are old, and most are quite rusted. I can’t imagine what it might cost to ship, but if you’re interested, please send a msg to my facebook page. On facebook, search Carla Crites – then the “messege” button. Thanks!

    • Georgia says:

      Do you still want some rusted nails?

    • sharita says:

      Hi i would like to know what kind of business do you have regarding nuts and bolts? I am thinking of trying to start a company soon…i would love feed back or any help….THANKS

  10. Anonymous says:




  11. Anonymous says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    hi george

  13. Karmae says:

    I’ve heard that a rusty nail and a wee bit of sugar in the water well of
    your Christmas tree helps keep it fresher longer.

  14. jazz hero1 says:

    i am going a school project and i need info. on how to recycle nails. let me know if you have any ideas!

  15. Irena Edholm says:

    Hello Amanda ,

    I would be interested in buying your “treasure” . The post is old , however , I am trying and hope you still have them . Let me know .

  16. sarahpollard says:

    Where are you Irena, I have boxes of old nails screws and all sorts that have accumulated and I cant bear to just bung in the metal recycling, expensive to post though as they are heavy

  17. Georgia says:

    Hello do you still want rusted nails? And will you pay the shipping?

  18. Sarah says:

    Does anyone have any old nails, washers, nuts please i need alot for a sculpture/art, will pay shipping of course

    Thanks in advance, Sarah x

    • Galina says:

      Hi, Sarah,

      I think I may have such things you mention – screws, nails, picture hangers etc. But for the moment I just started to sort out my garage and tool box. I certainly will communicate with you but a little bit later, may be next week. Is it ok? Please, inform me about your e-mail address and I will contact with you as soon as I will do my work.

      Best regards,

      Galina Hammond

    • bea says:

      i have some old nails, etc. if you live in the boston area, they are yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Still need old nails?

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. Valeria says:

    Glue non sharp bits of metal them onto a foam ball and paint in steel color, then decorate boy’s or man’s room.

  21. Peter Rogers says:

    Hi I’m desperate for any rusty (rustier the better) old nuts, screws, small bolts, nails..bent or otherwise and small thin bits of rusty metal for a craft project.. I’ll certainly pay for postage +

  22. anonymous says:

    someone said if you bury rusty nails under a rose bush it helps. Roses need the iron.


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