Dish Racks made out of stainless steel are resistant to corrosion and the formation of rust. This is because these handy metal kitchen accessories, like all items made of stainless steel, possess a very thin, virtually invisible chromium oxide coating, which prevents rusting. 

However, if this thin layer is damaged, rust can appear on stainless steel surfaces. This is why the wire of stainless steel dish racks are often seen covered by the characteristic brownish-yellow or reddish stains of rust.

Thankfully, the appearance of rust on a stainless steel dish rack can be remedied through proper cleaning.

How Do You Clean Rust From A Stainless Steel Dish Rack?

To clean rust from a stainless steel dish rack you can use all-natural products such as baking soda, vinegar, and lemon, a soft bristle brush, and some clean water.

Depending on the size of the rust stain and the extent of the spread, you may need to use additional over-the-counter cleaning products. However, in the vast majority of cases, you will be able to remove rust from stainless if you follow the instructions below.

A clean stainless steel dish rack

Cleaning A Rusty Dish Rack With Baking Soda

Using baking soda to clean rust from your stainless steel dish rack is very easily done, especially because most households have a box or two of baking soda lying around in their pantries.

To do this, simply take two cups of fresh, clean water and mix in 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda.

Now, with the help of a clean cloth, rub the baking soda/water mixture into the rusted spots of your metal rack. Do this for a few minutes to begin to remove the rust flecks from the stainless steel surface

Afterward, rinse your dish rack thoroughly and dry completely with a clean, dry cloth or some paper towel.

Removing The Rust Using Vinegar

Common distilled white vinegar is another easy-to-acquire household product that can help you efficiently and effectively clean rust from your stainless steel dish rack.

The fastest way to clean the rust flecks and stains from your dish rack is to completely submerge it in pure vinegar. However, this is only feasible if your dish rack is small enough to fit in your sink, or if you have a bucket or basin large enough to accommodate it.

Otherwise, take pure white vinegar and bottle it into a plastic spray bottle. Then spray the rusted sections of your stainless steel dish rack directly with the white vinegar. The highly acidic substance will break the molecular bonds of the rust particles, allowing you to remove them.

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In either case, you must give the vinegar enough time to work its magic. Depending on the extent of your rust problem, this may take a few minutes to several hours.

You may also have to repeat the process several times until the rust particles are completely removed.

Use a regular kitchen sponge to rub the rust away.

Once the rust is gone, and your dish rack is completely clean, use fresh water to rinse out the vinegar, and let the dish rack dry completely.

Cleaning Rust With Lemon And Baking Soda

If you have a particularly bad case of rust affecting your stainless steel dish rack, combining the abrasive power of baking soda and the acidic nature of lemon juice is going to be your best bet to resolve the matter quickly.

To do so make a paste out of equal parts fresh lemon juice and baking soda. Bottled lemon juice works as well.

Cover all areas of your dish rack that have developed rust with the paste. Don’t be shy, and feel free to apply the paste thoroughly. 

Let the baking soda/lemon juice paste sit for 30 minutes to an hour before taking a sponge or soft bristle brush and working the paste into the surface of the dish rack.

Finally, use a wet sponge to remove the paste and then rinse with fresh, clean water. Afterward, dry the dish rack with a clean cloth or paper towels.

Using A Commercial Rust Remover

CLR Complete Cleaning Kit, Calcium Lime and Rust Removal

Using natural products is great when possible and you should try one or more of the above first to see if the results are sufficient. Unfortunately, sometimes you need the help of stronger chemicals, especially when dealing with something as stubborn as rust.

When it comes to rust CLR has been the go-to brand for years. You may already have a bottle lying around. If not, you can Pick up this kit from Amazon to get started.

Just soak, scrub, and rinse thoroughly when done. In fact, I would recommend a good soap bath after all the rust has been cleaned, just to make sure all the solution has been removed from the crevices of your rack.

CLR can be used all around the home to remove tough calcium, lime, and rust stains.

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How To Prevent Rust From Forming On Your Stainless Steel Dish Rack

The development of rust on stainless steel surfaces is not an extremely common occurrence, but it does happen more often than most people expect. Rust appears on stainless steel because the protective layer found on the surface of all stainless steel, a chromium oxide coated layer, is damaged.

This protective layer can be damaged through exposure to highly abrasive chemicals, too-high humidity, elevated salinity levels, as well as physical abrasions such as deep scratches.

Therefore, to prevent rust from developing on your stainless steel dish rack you must protect it from abrasive chemicals such as those found in certain commercial cleaners, too much humidity or contact with salt, and unnecessary scratches.

Last update on 2024-04-03 at 05:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API