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How to Remove Rust From Cutlery

Updated January 24, 2019

Rust occurs when metal is exposed to oxygen found in the air and in water. Cutlery is prone to developing rust because the conditions in the kitchen are often humid, and the flatware may be left wet or damp for a long period of time. Rust can weaken metal, so to keep your cutlery in the best possible shape, remove any rust spots as soon as you notice them.

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  1. Fill your shallow dish or pan with white vinegar. Do not add water.

  2. Place the rusty cutlery in the vinegar, and let it soak for 30 minutes.

  3. Wipe down each piece of cutlery with a damp cloth to remove any residual rust. Rinse with warm water to remove the vinegar, then dry well with a clean cloth.

  4. Place the affected cutlery in a single layer in a shallow dish or pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt.

  5. Pour lemon juice into the dish, enough to cover the cutlery. Let it sit for 2 hours.

  6. Scrub the cutlery with a mesh scrubber to remove all of the rust. Rinse well with warm water, and dry with a clean cloth.

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Shallow dish or pan
  • Cloths
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Mesh scrubber

About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.

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