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How to Repair a Rusty Dishwasher Rack

While your trusty old dishwasher may last for many years, the dish rack inside it may not. Most dishwasher racks are made of vinyl-coated metal. The vinyl coating can crack or chip, which leads to portions of the metal being exposed to water and acidic dish washing detergent, and that leads to rust. Rust on your dishwasher rack is unsightly and can cause rust stains on your dishes and the interior of your dishwasher. Luckily, there are inexpensive products available to repair the rusty nicks and cracks easily and quickly.

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  1. Pull the rack out from the dishwasher as far as possible. You may completely remove the rack from the dishwasher if you prefer, and place it on a table or workbench. Place newspapers or a dust sheet on the underneath the rack to catch drips.

  2. Sand visible rust from the metal tines. Wipe away any sanding dust with a damp cloth. Let it dry.

  3. Apply rust neutraliser with a small paintbrush to the rust spots you sanded. Just in case you did not remove 100% of the rust, the neutraliser will ensure that any residual rust does not spread, as the tannic or phosphoric acid in it stops the corrosive process. Let the neutraliser dry completely per the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Paint over any chips, cracks, sanded spots and rust neutraliser with the vinyl dishwasher rack repair paint. Most of these paints include a small brush attached to the lid, similar to a nail polish bottle. If you find the brush hand is too short, or the brush is difficult to use, try using a small artist's paint brush for longer reach and precision in painting. Let the vinyl paint dry completely per the manufacturer's instructions.

  5. Slip vinyl caps over any tines that have missing tips, or on any tines where you would like an extra layer of protection.

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspapers or dust sheet
  • Sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Rust neutraliser
  • Small paintbrush
  • Vinyl dishwasher rack repair paint, such as Uber Goop or ReRack
  • Tine cap kit

About the Author

Sandra Rousseau has been writing since 1990, covering such topics as home decorating, fashion, health, beauty, gardening and cooking. Her articles appear her hometown newspaper, the "Aledo Community News," and on various websites. Rousseau holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and advertising from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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