How long should I leave the blackener on before washing it off with water? So far my piece just ends up looking rusty not black—what am I doing wrong?

The desired effect should be achieved in less than 30 seconds. Remove the items from the solution as soon as the desired color has been achieved. Wash thoroughly with water and dry. If you are using the products on iron or steel, remember that the Jax Blackeners are NOT rust preventatives and the items must be washed and dried (and possibly waxed or lacquered) in order to avoid rust.