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How to Remove Rust From Cabinet Door Hinges

Updated February 21, 2017

Unprotected cabinet hinges in kitchens and bathrooms can rust over time. Steam from hot baths or pots on the stove, water sprayed from a shower or sink and other kinds of moisture take their toll on these small metal fixtures, making cabinet doors hard to open and close. Fortunately, it is possible to remove the rust from cabinet hinges with relative ease.

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  1. Remove the hinges from the cabinets. Most hinges are connected with several screws. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from each hinge, being careful not to damage the wood. Depending on the type of hinges, you may need to open the cabinet door in order to access the screws.

  2. Pour roughly 1 tbsp of lemon juice into a small bowl. Add just enough table salt to the lemon juice to create a paste.

  3. Dab a clean, dry cloth into the salt-lemon paste and rub it on the rusted areas of the hinges. The mildly acidic nature of the lemon juice will react with the rust and help remove it. The salt will act as an abrasive, which is also necessary to scour away the rust.

  4. Continue rubbing the paste on the hinge until the rust has been removed. Repeat as many times as necessary to complete the job. Mix more paste if necessary.

  5. Polish the hinges with 0000-grade steel wool to remove any remaining rust. This will also help restore the natural finish of the hinges.

  6. Dampen a clean cloth with some rubbing alcohol, and wipe the entire surface of the cabinet hinges. The rubbing alcohol will clean the hinges, removing any remnants of rust and fine debris.

  7. Apply a thin layer of mineral oil to the hinges. Again, use a clean cloth to apply the oil. This will help guard the hinges from future rust. After you've finished, reattach the hinges to the cabinets and cabinet doors.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Small bowl
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • 0000-grade steel wool
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Mineral oil

About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.

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