so I was curious if there any any ways to clean/prevent rust on pickups. I know it is inevitable but I feel like its coming about too quickly, and being an avid sweater I would like to know any ways to remove existing rust and protect them.

Reason I ask is because I bought my newest guitar in november and now the treble pickups are starting to be covered.
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Too much humidity causes the rust. So... try to prevent your guitar from being in a lot of humidity. If it's very humid where you live your kinda screwed
If your pickups are Gibson-style humbuckers with metal covers and you are afraid that your sweaty hands will cause them to rust (it can happen), you can coat the metal pickup covers with a thin coat of clear lacquer. Steal a bottle of your girlfriend's clear nail polish. It works.

You can paint the exposed polepieces of a Strat or Telecaster-type pickup with the lacquer if those are what is starting to rust.
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I just wipe down my pickups really good after I'm through playing. I have the, (As stated above) Gibson style pickup covers, so I just wipe them down with a clean piece of cloth I carry around in my case with the guitar. Just keep your guitar well cleaned, and you shouldn't have a problem. But if you do live in a humid place, do as stated in the above post.
Some people use a q-tip to apply a very thin coat of machine or gun oil to the screw heads and pickup poles.
Some amateurs coat the vulnerable surface with colorless nail-paint
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i find it depends on the quality of the pickup. the gold buckers on my epiphone discoloured and oxidised fairly quickly (especially round the edges), however ive had my prs for over 18 months and the neck pickup still looks brand new after a quick wipe - bearing in mind it's my main gigging guitar and gets covered in all sorts.
I have yet to have any pick-ups of mine rust. Main thing is to keep water (humidity) away from it. I keep my instruments in their cases also. They have a cleaning oil you can use also that will help prevent/ward off rust used on a regular basis.
I don't have covers for my pickups. I have a Seymour Duncan SH-2n Jazz pickup in the neck position on which half of one of the screw-type pole pcs is a bit rusted and 2 of the other pole pcs are also. I'm trying to find to best way to clean them but in doing a search, including this thread, I'm getting a lot of conflicting views (e.g., use/don't use steel wool to clean them; use/don't use nail polish to seal them; scrubbing side of a kitchen sponge; use very thin coat of machine or gun oil; nothing can be done, leave it). Anybody know of something definite?

Personally, I don't really care as long as it doesn't mess with the sound. I just want to make sure it won't end up damaging the pickup.
hmm.. try cleaning the pickups after playing. After i practice i always put my Gibson in the hardshell, it might be a pain opening and closing the case but its worth the security
Thanks, SilverRock113, but I have done that every time after I played. And being it's the neck p/u I don't sweat directly on it, and I don't play in extreme moist conditions (and I haven't seen anyone's else's guitar around here like that), so I thought it might be something to do with the p/u. Evidently, leaving it alone seems to be the way to go. Might be a good idea to add this to the one of the sticky's ... Thanks for all the info. Great forum!