# Does metal oxidize (faster) in dirt?

I had an interesting event occur recently: I stuck a screwdriver in a potted plant, for it is the only way that I am able to unlock a certain door. It was left in there for about a month before I needed it again, and, when I took it out, it had what I thought to be rust. I am doubting my original assumption.

I know for a fact that it is not dirt itself, as I vigorously attempted to clean it with suds (though I'm not entirely sure whether or not that was the best approach...).

# Question

Does iron a) oxidize in dirt and b) if a), does it oxidize faster in dirt?

• Was the dirt wet or moist? – Gimelist Dec 11 '14 at 6:29
• @Michael I'm not entirely sure, though I'd assume moist, for I did water the plant a bit. – Conor O'Brien Dec 11 '14 at 12:01
• Moisture greatly increases the rate of corrosion. See theo's answer. – Gimelist Dec 11 '14 at 12:03