HOW TO PREVENT RUST SPOTS ON YOUR STAINLESS STEEL REFRIGERATOR DOOR
There’s no denying the popularity of stainless steel appliances in a modern kitchen. Kitchen appliances get a lot of use and stainless steel combines a sleek appearance with durability.
However, the fact that your stainless steel refrigerator is durable doesn’t mean it’s not subject to issues with appearance, cleanliness, and maintenance. Here’s what you need to know about preventing one type of damage: rust.
WHAT CAUSES STAINLESS STEEL TO RUST?
There’s a misconception that stainless steel appliances are invulnerable to rust—that’s not true. They are usually more resistant to rust than other types of metal, but improper treatment and other issues may cause rust spots to form.
One reason rust can form on your stainless steel is abrasion with a material that contains iron. Stainless steel contains chromium, a metal that oxidizes, which then seals the surface and prevents rusting. However, abrasive cleaning with steel wool or scraping the surface with a metal tool may deposit tiny iron particles that eventually rust and stain the surface. In addition, abrasive cleaning can eventually deplete the surface chromium, leaving the stainless steel susceptible to rust. The repeating cycle of abrasive cleaning with subsequent rusting can lead to a frustrating chronic rust problem.
An additional cause of rusting includes the use of harsh cleaning products, particularly those containing bleach. Bleach may cause corrosion and create crevices in on stainless steel appliances, and rust may form in those crevices.
It’s also possible for rust spots to appear on stainless steel because of a manufacturing defect. While rare, it is possible for an impurity to become embedded in the stainless steel itself during the manufacturing process. Depending on what the embedded substance is, there’s a possibility that it could corrode over time and rust spots could result.
HOW TO REMOVE RUST FROM STAINLESS STEEL
There are some things you can do to remove rust stains once they appear on your stainless steel refrigerator or appliances. Here are the two that are likely to be the most effective.
Use a cleaning product that’s designed to clean and remove rust from stainless steel. Stainless steel cleaners and brighteners can sometimes get the job done.
Create a paste of baking soda and water and rub in the direction of the grain to remove rust.
There are significant differences in recommendations about cleaning rust from manufacturer to manufacturer. We strongly recommend that you check to see what the manufacturer of your stainless steel appliances says about removing rust spots. Not doing so may cause additional damage, so proceed with caution.
HOW TO PREVENT RUST ON STAINLESS STEEL
Ultimately, your best option when you buy stainless steel appliances for your home kitchen is to care for it properly so that rust spots don’t form in the first place.
Here are some pointers to help prevent rust spots:
Keep your stainless steel clean and dry. Wipe up food debris or splashes as soon as possible.
Avoid using any cleaning products or abrasives that contain alcohol, ammonia, bleach, or chlorides, all of which may cause abrasions that damage the surface of stainless steel.
Do not scrub your stainless steel with a steel pad or steel brush. Instead, use a clean washcloth with warm, soapy water.
Be careful when using other cleaning products near your stainless steel. Even the fumes from these products may cause damage to your appliances. For example, many grout cleaning products contain muriatic acid, which can corrode stainless steel.
Don’t wipe your stainless steel surfaces with a used dishrag. Food oils on the surface may corrode and damage your stainless steel appliances.
Your best option for preventing rust on your stainless steel refrigerator and appliances is to use the best stainless steel cleaner and sealer you can find. Ideally, you should choose a product that:
Contains no abrasive or toxic chemicals
Is safe to use around children and pets
Removes smudges and fingerprints from stainless steel
Seals your stainless steel surfaces to prevent fingerprints and smudges
With a little maintenance, you can retain the glossy, clean look of stainless steel without the worries of rust development.