How to Clean Rust Spots on Cutlery

Updated November 21, 2016

With improper use, cleaning and storage, stainless steel cutlery will develop pitting, which can lead to rust spots. Even the most expensive knives are prone to pitting, but with good general care, stainless steel knives will remain rust free for life. The key to preventing rust is preventing pits in the blade. Promptly clean knives after use and keep them away from other knives.

Apply a small amount of metal polish to a clean, soft cloth.

Gently rub the rusted area with the metal polish, rubbing in the direction of the grinding grooves until the rust is removed.

Wipe the blade clean with a damp cloth and dry well.

Rinse knives promptly after use to remove caustic food particles. Avoid prolonged contact with water; soaking knives causes pits in the metal.

Wash knives by hand and dry them well.

Store knives on a knife magnet instead of tossing them together in a drawer. Knives that come in contact with each other will cause pits.

Promptly remove knives from the dishwasher if you'd rather not hand wash them. Keep knives out of the silverware basket; place them on the upper rack away from other knives.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, soft cloths
  • Metal polish
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About the Author

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. She writes about green living, careers and the home garden. Her writing has appeared on various websites. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies.