Rust caused by dust?

I bought a small block chevy which the heads, block and oil pan were all painted the same color. Also came with a chrome water pump, alternator and miscellaneous. chrome brackets. Now these details were not a sell point for me in the purchase, but I was bummed to notice about six months in my shop all the chrome was pitted and rusted and the paint peeling. I got to looking around the shop to notice thin rust every where, metal shelving ,small nuts and screws on power equipment,(leaf blower,chain saws,drills) hand tools.Some of the stuff looked rusted but was able to wipe rust colored film off with dry shop towel Really stressing me out,I bought my Echo back pack leaf blower about the same time I purchased the engine and all the little Alan screws and small nuts are rusting and there is a fiberst dust that seems to want to meld into the plastic rather than wipe off.
I live in Western Washington, where we do get some rain but I have a eight car shop and dust and rust was discovered from April threw November and I am continually sweeping and wiping and dusting and just can’t seem to keep this funky dust at bay. I have become a little obsessed with it,(at times thinking someone is messing with me and my stuff) My hands become very dry to the point of cracking and sometimes my eyes ,throat and nose get irritated when really going for the deep clean!

I think the problem is high humidity in the air, not dust. Check the humidity readings and maybe improve air circulation and eliminate any standing water or leaks.

I agree with @ bing and large amounts of dust coating surfaces I imagine, could hold moisture that is already on the surface, in. More importantly, what is this dust doing in your lungs. I would worry more about lung disease. You need to find a way to mitigate the dust or wear a mask when working there.

Another possibility- do you have any open solvents in the shop? My cleaning station has mineral spirits that are not very volatile or corrosive but I know people who use more volatile liquids and they can have an effect on metals in the shop.

I also have a story to relate. A couple of years ago, I was rushing around after closing up my pool in the fall. I stuck two half used pucks of chlorine on a bucket top over in the corner of my 2 1/2 car garage and forgot about them. Never smelled them when I came and went. In the spring, I found them again because most of the metal within a 10ft radius was rusted. A set of battery clamps on one of my chargers was so rusted, they were unsalvagable. I had to replace them. The charger was about 3ft from the pucks.

You gotten three great suggestions here, each of which should be considered, but I would add that it might also be a good move to get that dust analyzed and find out what’s in it. The irritation you’re experiencing when “going for the deep clean” may be a warning sign that there’s something bad in that dust. I’ve never had dust cause what you’re describing.

must be the nuke power plant next door, eh ?

Youall think that’s a joke ?
Well I agree with TSM to get the dust analyzed. Especially if this is a new problem.
What is up-wind of this shop ?
What is new or recently different inside the shop ?

Are there any large railroad yards/depots upwind of where you are? If so what you see might be rail dust.

Rail dust is produce as the truck wheels on trains roll over the rails and wears the rails and wheels away. This then forms an iron oxide which can become airborne and settle on surfaces.

Also check if this company is in the area.,_Inc. If there’s track grinding taking place in the area, and if the train hasn’t maintained it’s dust collection system, it can add to the airborne iron oxide in the area.


Next door the guy has a huge stack of old rail road ties. Where dose one get dust tested?