Whether it’s a cast iron pan, knife, or your stovetop grates, rust is often an inevitable occurrence in the kitchen. Rusting is the result of iron oxidizing, which is caused by prolonged contact with water. So basically anything that contains iron can become rusty!

Keeping the rust at bay is crucial to avoid further corrosion of your items. And it’s really not difficult to remove rust. There are actually many household items that can do the trick without you having to resort to a chemical remover.

Try these household ingredients to remove rust.

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is probably the most common household item used to remove rust. It works particularly well for smaller items that you can fit into a bowl and soak with vinegar. Leave your rusty utensils soaked in the vinegar for a day. When you return, the rustiness should be all gone, and your items should be shiny and good as new! White vinegar is often the go-to as it is inexpensive and works perfectly!

2. Lemon

What if the rust won’t budge and can’t be removed without some dedicated scrubbing? Take some salt and rub it over the rusty area, then squeeze a healthy dose of lemon juice over it and let it set for a couple hours. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and crumple it up into a bowl to use as a scrubber! Skip the steel wool for now. You don’t’ want to damage your pans.

3. Potato

Yeah, I bet you didn’t see this one coming. It turns out the oxalic acid in potatoes are also a wonder in removing rusty items. Simply cut your potato in half—or lengthwise if you need a bigger surface area to work with—and pour some baking soda over the rusted area before you start scrubbing away. As the potato surface becomes more tinted with rust, cut off a thin slice then repeat the process until the rust is all gone.

4. Baking Soda

You probably guessed this one. Take some baking soda and mix it with a little bit of water to form a viscous paste. Cover it all over the rust-affected areas before gently scrubbing it off. This may take a couple more attempts if it’s a heavy-duty task.

5. Molasses

Molasses contains a high content of minerals, which act as chelating agents, bonding ions and molecules to metal ions. This process allows the rust to be removed naturally. Mix ten parts water and one part blackstrap molasses. Place the rusty item in the mixture and allow it to soak until the rust has been dissolved. Remove from the mixture, rinse, and wipe clean!

If none of these work. Well, you may have waited too long to provide the much-needed TLC for your possessions. Which of these methods have you tried? And do you have any rust-removal ways that we need to know about?

Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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