Restoring an Older Barbell

Today we’re going to cover a very easy way to restore an older barbell. Of course the best way to restore an older barbell is to keep it in good working order and not need to “restore” it. None the less, things happen and barbells are occasionally bought second hand and thus a simple system might be applicable for many of us.

You’re going to need some tools in order to restore your barbell.

  • Vinegar
  • Wire Brush
  • 3 in 1 Oil
  • Towel
  • Bucket

Restoring an older barbell is actually quite simple assuming “restore” means to knock the rust off. We’re not going to get into the guts of the barbell. Additionally, we’re assuming the barbell is straight so we won’t be attempting to salvage a bent barbell in this post.

Step 1 – Removing Rust

You’ll pour a little vinegar into your bucket. I like to mix a little water in as well (I typically do 2:1 vinegar to water). Now dip your wire brush into the bucket and get to scrubbing the barbell. Work in small sections, wiping the bar down as you go along.

Step 2 – Adding Oil

Now that we’ve brushed the barbell down and wiped it off (you’ll want to make sure the barbell is dry), take your 3 in 1 oil and put some on a towel. Wipe the bar down with the oily towel, making sure to work the oil into the knurling of the bar. I like to use a brush to work the oil into the knurling. Once you have the barbell well oiled, you may also want to take a second and squirt a little into the sleeve of the barbell (this depends on your barbell, review the manufacturer specs regarding maintenance). This oil will keep the sleeves moving nicely. Additionally, you would want to add oil just in case some of the vinegar+water solution made its way into the guts of the barbell.

Step 3 – Wipe Down Excess Oil & Squat!

That’s it, you’re all finished. Hopefully you found this short tutorial helpful. I’ve included a video below for you to see this in action.