How to Remove Rust from Metal Kitchen Items

rust on baking sheetIf you like spending time in the kitchen, you’ve probably seen some of your favorite cooking gear get spotted with rust. Those little orange blemishes can be extremely frustrating, as quality cookware is expensive. Additionally, it just feels good to slice, dice, bake and broil with sleek looking utensils.

Good news: There are plenty of DIY fixes to rusted pots, pans, knives and more. Learn how to remove rust from metal, so you can get back to working your way through your favorite cookbook without worrying about how soon you’ll need a new skillet.

How to Remove Rust from Knives

A home cook’s best knife is irreplaceable, so any rust spots that show up have to go ASAP.

You’ll need:

  1. Fill the glass with vinegar.
  2. Place the knife in the glass, making sure all rust spots are submerged. If you’re cleaning rust from a large knife with a heavy handle, you may want to steady the glass somehow so that it doesn’t tip over.
  3. Let the knife soak for about five minutes.
  4. Remove the knife and scrub rusted areas lightly with the scouring side of your sponge.
  5. Rinse your knife under cold water.
  6. Dry completely with the microfiber cloth.

How to Remove Rust from Metal Baking Pans

A dusting of oxidation won’t do your famous gluten-free carrot muffins any flavor favors, so you need to make sure your baking pans are free of rust.

You’ll need:

  • A raw potato
  • Dishwashing liquid or baking soda
  • A dry microfiber cloth

  1. Cut the potato in half.
  2. Dip the cut end of the potato in dishwashing liquid or baking soda.
  3. Use this end of the spud to scrub the rusty part of your pan. When the end of the potato starts to feel like it’s slipping and sliding too much, cut it off, reapply your soap or baking soda and keep rubbing.
  4. Repeat this until there’s no rust left on your pan.
  5. Rinse your baking pan under running water.
  6. Dry your pan with the microfiber cloth.

How to Remove Rust from Cast Iron

Finding rust on your cast-iron skillet might send you straight into panic mode. Fortunately, those nasty orange patches can be removed.

You’ll need:

  • A potato
  • Kosher salt
  • A kitchen towel
  • Newspaper, baking parchment or something similar
  1. To help with cleanup, lay newspaper or parchment paper on the area where you’ll work.
  2. Cut the potato in half, crosswise.
  3. Generously coat the bottom of the pan with the Kosher salt.
  4. Hold the potato with the cut side facing the surface of the skillet and scrub rusted areas. The idea here is that the salt acts as your cleaning product while the potato is your cleaning tool. You’ll need some elbow grease for this method to work, so make sure you apply pressure as you scrub.
  5. If the end of the potato starts to get slick, cut it off and keep scrubbing. Likewise, if your salt starts to get dirty, rinse the pan out and add fresh granules.
  6. When you’ve removed all the rust from your skillet, rinse it with water and dab it dry with your kitchen towel.
  7. Re-season your skillet so you’ll be ready to go the next time you need to make a batch of jalapeño cornbread.

Now that you know how to remove rust from pans and metal utensils, you may be wondering if there are ways to clean other kitchen items with all-natural products. There are! Check out these instructions for cleaning cutting boards and coffee makers with some surprising household ingredients.

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