【How to】 Get Rust Off Silverware

Removing Rust From Metals

The key to success in removing rust is prompt action. So, the moment you spot rust on your metal items, consider to remove it as soon as possible with the following products.

White Vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent rust remover, especially for items like metal jewelry, coins, and silverware. Small metal items can be dipped into vinegar, and then rinsed off with water. But, be sure to dry the items properly with a soft cloth. For cleaning large items, vinegar can be directly poured onto the item, or can be applied with a piece of cloth. Let it sit for a while so that it can dissolve the rust. Then wipe it off from the metal surface, rinse the cleaned item, and dry it with a cloth.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another excellent rust cleaner. Mix water and baking soda to make a thick paste, and spread the paste over the rusted area. Allow the paste to settle for a while, and then check if the rust has loosen. If it has, then scrub the surface to remove the rust.

Hydrogen peroxide

To remove rust with hydrogen peroxide, pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on the surface of the rusted item, and let it sit for a few minutes. Now, scrub the rusted area with steel wool or brush. Hydrogen peroxide can also be mixed with borax for cleaning rust off metal.

Salt and Lime Juice

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges can also be used for removing rust. They contain citric acid, which can be quite effective in removing rust from metals, and rust stains from clothes. For removing rust from a metal surface, sprinkle some salt on the rusted area, and then apply the lime juice. Let it sit for about 2 to 3 hours, and then rub off the surface with the rind.

Potato and Dish Soap

Cut a potato in half, and dip the cut end in dish soap. Now, place it on the rusted area, and leave it for a while. Then rub the metal surface with the potato. To reapply, just cut the top layer of the used potato, dip it in the dish soap, and repeat the entire process.


Many people recommend the use of commercial soft drinks like coke for removing rust from metals. Some colas and soft drinks contain citric acid that can eat away or erode rust. So, you can soak a piece of cloth in coke or cola, and rub the rusted area of the metal item with it.

Abrasive Tools

You can also scrape off rust from the metal surface with the help of sandpaper, wire brush, or steel wool. An electric sander can also be used to remove rust from large metal items. However, sandpaper can scratch the surface of a metal item, which should be kept in mind before using any kind of abrasive tool for rust removal.

Commercial Rust Removers

Commercial rust removers usually come in spray bottles, and they contain strong chemicals like phosphoric or oxalic acid that can dissolve rust. Phosphoric acid can convert rust (iron oxide) to a water-soluble phosphate compound that can be scrubbed off easily. But this acid is highly toxic, and this is the reason why commercial rust removers need to be handled carefully. So, be sure to wear gloves, safety goggles, and mask while using such products.

Rust Prevention

» When it comes to rust, it is always better to prevent its formation. To prevent your metal items from getting rusted, store them in a cool and dry place. Be sure to dry them properly, if they happen to come in contact with moisture or water.

» It is equally important to provide a protective covering to the metal surface for preventing the formation of rust. So, you can consider to paint metal items. But before doing so, be sure to apply an anti-corrosive primer. You can use a spray-on primer if the metal surface is smooth. For a rough surface, it is better to use a filler primer.

» After applying a suitable primer, coat the metal surface with a paint, and then seal it off with a clear top coat. The paint and the primer can provide a protective covering, and help keep the metal away from moisture.

Rust removal can be a bit difficult at times, especially if you allow the rust to stay longer on the metal surface. So, the most important point is to clean the rusted item at the earliest. The sooner you try, the easier will be the entire process.


What is Corrosion?

Corrosion happens when an element that loses its electrons (like quite a few metals) combines with an element that tends to absorb extra electrons (mostly oxygen) and then comes into direction contact with an electrolyte solution (mostly water). The role of the water in the process of corrosion is to accelerate the ongoing flow of electron from the metal and to the oxygen.

This process is technically called a redox reaction and is actually two different chemical processes that happen simultaneously: reduction and oxidation.

Is rust on cutlery dangerous?

Rust is not a food safe material so it should not be ingested. If you see rust on the surface of a utensil such as a cast-iron skillet or knife, remove all the rust before using it.

What knives do not rust?

Stainless steels such as 440C, ATS34, S30V, VG10 are not actually rust proof as given time, any commercially available stainless steel will rust. To be completely rust free, the knife blade and fittings need to be made from non-ferrous materials. A popular replacement for steel are knives with ceramic blades.

Types of Steels and How they Rust

Steel is divided into two general categories: stainless and carbon. Carbon steel is made up of mostly iron with a small percentage of carbon and a few other metals. Stainless steel is made up of iron, chromium (about 15%), carbon, and a few other metals. The chromium surrounds the iron and protects it from being oxidized by oxygen. However, chromium reduces the durability of the blade–it’ll need to be sharpened more often than carbon steel.

Stainless steel is more resistant to rust than carbon steel but it does not mean that it is rust-proof. It can withstand moisture more than carbon steel but, with severe misuse, it can still rust. Only titanium and ceramic knives are 100% rust proof since they do not contain iron.

Why does my razor get rusty?

Rust forms on razor blades when water sits on the metal, causing it to oxidize. Once a razor blade rusts, it quickly becomes dull, which can result in nicks and cuts during shaving. Keep your razor blade from rusting by taking simple measures after each use.

6. Use a Chemical Solution Like Metal Glo to Get Rid of Rust

In addition to the above DIY methods, you can remove rust from metal with a chemical solution like Metal Glo. It’s formulated for safe use on knives, silverware, cookware, and even jewelry. When cleaning your knives, make sure to rub Metal Glo along the grain pattern to avoid scratching the metal.

How to Prevent Rust Before It Ever Starts

Now that your metal objects are rust-free, how do you keep them sparkling? Water is the main culprit when it comes to rust, so it's key to keep objects clean and dry. Knives should be washed and dried as soon as possible after use. (Don't let them sit in the sink and avoid putting them in the dishwasher.) Store metal objects, including tools, in a dry area with low humidity.

You can also apply a protective coating to prevent rust from forming on metal surfaces. Use a soft cloth to apply a small amount of mineral oil to the knife—including the joints—two to three times per year. Tools can be treated with paste wax or WD-40.


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