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How to Get Rust Off of a Stainless-Steel Fridge

Close up of stainless steel fridge door with rust

It does happen whenever someone buys a stainless-steel item; they often think that the item won’t rust. Unfortunately, that idea is not correct. Stainless steel will rust eventually. It may be a slower process, but it will happen.

Keep reading our article to find out how you can handle this issue and take care of your stainless-steel appliances to avoid rust from appearing.

Why Stainless Steel Does Not Rust

Kitchen with stainless steel appliances

That heading is a little misleading as stainless steel does rust, eventually. A better description of stainless steel would be that it is rust resistant. That characteristic is due to the way stainless steel is manufactured.

The process to make stainless steel takes advantage of the chromium inside of steel. Once it is exposed to oxygen, it forms a nice layer of chromium oxide. It is this thin layer that covers the rest of the steel in the appliances and protects them from rust.

When you see rust forming on your stainless-steel appliances, it means that a thin layer of chromium oxide has been damaged and the elements causing rust have made their way to the steel underneath.

There is some good news here though. You can heal that thin layer and make your appliances rust-resistant again.

How to Remove Rust from Stainless Steel Fridge?

Woman smiling while cleaning fridge door with blue cloth

Don’t reach for the steel wool or other abrasive tools that remove rust from non-stainless-steel items. Those tools will damage the thin layer and let the appliances rust even more.

There are two methods to use that are safe for the chromium layer and your refrigerator.

1. Baking Soda

The tools you will need will be water, baking soda, a soft, clean cloth, paper towels, and a soft-bristled brush. The first step in the rust removal stage is to rinse the appliances with water and then wipe with the cloth.

Leaving the area damp, sprinkle a little baking soda over the area and wait for an hour. After the hour is up, return with the soft-bristled brush and scrub. A toothbrush will work as well. Make sure to scrub thoroughly.

After you have finished scrubbing, rinse the area again with clean water and dry with paper towels or another soft cloth.

2. Vinegar

As you know this product has a myriad of uses and rust removal is just one of the duties it performs. To implement this method, you will need white distilled vinegar, water, a spray bottle, a soft cloth, soap, paper towels, and a scouring pad.

Again, you start by rinsing the area by using the spray bottle to dampen the area with water. Use a soft cloth to wipe the area clean. Next, mix a 1 to 1 ratio of vinegar and water together and spray that mixture over the area.

Wait for 5 to 10 minutes and then use the scouring pad to remove the rust. Use light pressure as you do not want to damage the appliance any further. Follow the grain of the stainless steel when you scrub.

After the rust is gone, wash the area with soap, rinse with water and dry with paper towels. And you are done.

What Not to Use in Cleaning the Rust Off Your Refrigerator

Stop sign symbol with silhouette of a hand instead of the word stop

The layer of chromium oxide is very thin, so it is very easy to do more harm than good when cleaning existing rust off. Here are some products you should not use as they are not friendly to stainless steel appliances and other items:

  • Chlorine Products
  • Products with Bromine
  • Products with Fluorine Or Iodine
  • Metal Bristled Brushes
  • Abrasive Cleaning Pads
  • Steel Wool
  • Hard-Bristled Brushes

How to Prevent Rust from Appearing

woman cleaning fridge door with yellow sponge and spray bottle

You do need to keep your appliances nice and clean. Unfortunately, the wrong cleaning methods can damage the appliances and make an opening for rust to enter. Here are two methods to avoid when cleaning your stainless-steel refrigerator:

  1. Avoid Abrasive Cleaners and Cleaning Tools– In order to protect the stainless steel from rust, you need to avoid damaging the metal. These items will damage the stainless steel and create gaps in the protective layer, which rust will exploit.
  2. Avoid Air Drying– Take the time to use a nice soft cloth or paper towels to dry the stainless-steel surfaces. This extra effort will save you money by helping your appliances last a long time.

To keep your stainless-steel appliances in top shape, you just have to be careful. Watch how you handle them, don’t let metal utensils or pots scrape the surfaces, and clean them using the right tools and cleansers.

‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ and that is true for stainless steel refrigerator.

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