You bring home your beautiful new kitchen appliances and transform your kitchen. Every time you step into the room and turn the light on, you find yourself beaming from ear to ear. The shiny metal is an incredible mixture of class and elegance – and you know you just boosted your home’s value. That is until one day you spot a small area of rust. How did this happen? And how does one prevent rust on stainless steel kitchen appliances in the first place?
It may not be big, but once you spot it, it stands out. And you know it is going to grow if you don’t address it. So, to help you out, we have some ways to prevent rust on your stainless steel kitchen appliances, including that beautiful new stainless steel refrigerator and more!
What Causes Rust on Stainless Steel?
It is a common misconception that stainless steel won’t rust. It may not be as prone to rusting as other types of metal, but it will, nonetheless, rust if given the opportunity. Its protection comes from a layer of chromium found in stainless steel appliances. It acts as a layer of protection against corrosion, keeping moisture and other debris from actually reaching the underlying steel and causing damage.
Unfortunately, this layer of chromium can become damaged and lead to rusting. A couple of the biggest culprits include cleaners and cleaning tools. The use of bleach or other harsh cleansers, for instance, can break down the chromium over time. Even more so if they get trapped in grooves or don’t get wiped away thoroughly. Using abrasive cleaning tools, such as steel brushes or pads, can also cause damage. They can scrub away the protection and easily leave behind scrapes and scratches. And guess what finds its way into the tiny marks caused by cleaning tools? That’s right – harsh cleaners. Corrosion soon follows.
You may think you are caring for your appliances, but all you are really doing is making them susceptible to rust.
Preventing Rust on Stainless Steel Kitchen Appliances
If you’d like to keep your appliances shining like new for years to come, below you will find what you should and should not do.
+Clean your appliances using mild soap and a soft cloth.
+Always dry your appliance after cleaning it – use a soft, dry cloth.
+Routinely wipe down your stainless steel appliances with a stainless steel cleaner or use mineral oil.
+Always wipe away standing water as soon as possible.
You should not…
-Use harsh cleaners or disinfectants that are abrasive or contain bleach, alcohol, ammonia, or chlorides.
-Use harsh cleaning tools, such as steel wool, scrub pads, or scrub brushes.
-Ever wipe down your appliances using your dish rag or sponge, as it could contain oils from food that may be damaging.
Removing Rust from Stainless Steel Kitchen Appliances
Prevention is the best way to reduce the chance of rust. But, if you find out about the above a little too late, all is not lost. There are ways to remove rust from your stainless steel kitchen appliances. Below are a few you can try.
Bar Keepers Friend
This relatively inexpensive product can be found in any cleaning aisle. It is a powder that you can use to make a paste with a little bit of water. Apply it with a soft cloth to the rusted area. Be sure to rub only with the grain, not against it. You want it to form a paste that you can easily wipe on, so don’t make it too thick or too thin. A quick Google search will give you different measurements for creating this, but it is best to just keep adding a little water until you get the right consistency.
Continue rubbing with a soft cloth until the rust is removed. Then, rinse it off with water and a clean, soft cloth. Dry thoroughly.
Much like the Bar Keepers Friend, you can simply use baking soda and water. Again, you are trying to create a paste that you can rub in the direction of the grain, so you want to make sure you have a good consistency. Using a soft cloth, continue rubbing the mixture on the rust spot until it disappears.
Rinse with water and dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Another chemical-free option involves using 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of vinegar. Mix together to create a paste. This time, you want to let it sit on the rust spot, so apply it and leave it alone for about 5 minutes.
Using a soft cloth or a soft brush, begin scrubbing the spot in the direction of the grain.
Once the rust is removed, rinse with water and dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Baking Soda and Liquid Dish Soap
Many have found success with this method of cleaning rust from stainless steel appliances. Like the other options, create a paste with baking soda and liquid dish soap. Rub it into the rust stain. Once the rust disappears, rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.
Salt and Lime
Believe it or not, you can take a shot of tequila and use the salt and lime to clean the rust on your stainless steel appliances. Squeeze a lime over the rusted area and pour on the salt to cover the rusted area. Let it sit for a couple of hours – at least two. Then, using the lime peeling, scrub the area to remove the rust.
Rinse with water and thoroughly dry with a soft cloth.
Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice
Sticking with the chemical-free theme, we’ve got a mixture of cream of tartar and lemon juice. The ratio is 1 tbsp of cream of tartar to a few drops of lemon juice. Using a soft brush and going with the grain, rub the mixture into the rust stain.
Again, rinse with water and thoroughly dry with a soft cloth.
The Best Solution?
As you can tell, there are many solutions for removing rust from stainless steel appliances. To find the best solution for your rust spot, you may have to try a couple.
Once you have successfully removed the rust, be sure to keep an eye on it as it may appear again one day down the road. When it does, you will know exactly what to do. In the meantime – take steps to prevent your stainless steel appliances from rusting in the first place!
For more tips on modern kitchen appliances, visit THOR Kitchen online.