Rust-Be-Gone: What To Do When Your Stainless Steel Isn’t So Stainless Anymore - HappyCleans

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Posted on June 30th, 2017

Stainless steel appliances, sinks, and fixtures are all the rage—and it’s not hard to see why. Stainless steel provides a bright, contemporary touch to any home, and it’s incredibly easy to keep this gleaming material clean. Alas, as many homeowners know all too well, it doesn’t stay “stainless” forever. While stainless steel is resistant to rust, it isn’t 100% immune to it. Over time, small rust spots tend to develop in vulnerable areas, marring the appearance of the steel.

The above situation is more than just an aesthetic problem, too. When you start to see signs of rust on your stainless steel appliances and fixtures, it’s indicative of damage to the layer of chromium oxide that’s there to protect them. If this superficial damage isn’t taken care of, it can eventually lead to deeper issues. As such, if you can see rust starting to form on your appliances, you should act as soon as possible.

Which Cleaning Products Do You Need?

Fortunately, there are some easy at-home cleaning solutions you can use to tackle light surface rust. But first, a word of caution: The last thing you should do in this situation is to use strong chemical cleaners. In fact, it’s often cleaners that contain harsh agents (like iodine, bromine, chlorine, ammonia, or alcohol) that cause damage to chromium oxide in the first place! (As such, instead of using “all-purpose” chemical cleaners for routine steel cleaning, you should switch to mild soap and water.) The safest and most effective rust removers can actually be made with harmless ingredients you probably already have at home:

Baking Soda And Water: Mix equal amounts of baking soda and water in a container, then get a soft cloth or non-abrasive scrubbing pad and scrub the rust spots gently but firmly. The baking soda will act as a gentle abrasive that gradually removes the rust without harming the metal below. When the rust is gone, rinse away the baking soda residue with water.

Vinegar: Pour a bit of vinegar directly on a cloth or soft scrubbing pad, then work it into the rust spots. Let the vinegar sit for about ten minutes before rinsing it away with cold water. Repeated as needed until the rust is gone.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice: For more stubborn rust stains, try mixing equal amounts of baking soda and lemon juice. Apply the mixture to the rust stains and let it sit for about twenty minutes, then scrub and finally rinse the rust away.


Hiring a Professional Local Cleaning Company Helps

If the above strategies don’t work, don’t reach for the nearest abrasive scrubbing pad or piece of steel wool. These will leave permanent scratches on your stainless steel appliances and actually make the return of rust more likely. If the rust on your appliances is extensive enough that you can’t remove it with at-home cleaning methods, it’s probable that your appliances need professional cleaning or light repairs. Rather than risking the integrity of your costly stainless steel fixtures and appliances, pick up the phone and call a professional based in Oklahoma City.

This post was put together with the help of a cleaning company