Is Your Stainless Steel Rusting? Here’s How to Remove It Fast

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Is Your Stainless Steel Rusting? Here’s How to Remove It Fast

By Hauslane ∙ 6 mins read

Whether you have stainless steel silverware or appliances, you probably love their sleek, modern look. Plus, one of the main benefits of stainless steel is its ability to stay stainless. They don’t require cleaning with harsh chemicals or cleaning solutions on a regular basis. You only need a mild soap solution and warm water to whisk away grime, dust, fingerprints, and debris.

However, it isn’t uncommon for stainless steel appliances and items to rust. We’ll look into why this happens and how you get remove pesky rust buildup to keep your kitchen looking lovely.

Why Does Stainless Steel Rust?

Stainless steel metal will rust over time if it comes into contact with corrosive chemicals without proper cleaning. Heavy-duty chemicals can lead to rust, as can air, moisture, electrical current, filth, and germs. The problem with rust is that it can weaken the exterior of kitchen appliances. It may affect the food you prepare near rusted surfaces. Rust can also develop when stainless steel is subjected to high temperatures, such as between 750 and 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit. This corrosion is usually caused by the heating and cooling of stainless steel as it welds. 

Ways to Remove Rust from Your Range Hood

If you’re dealing with rust on your range hood, there are some foolproof ways to remove it fast. Below, you’ll find our top methods for getting your stainless steel range hood looking new again. (Pro tip: take the opportunity to change or clean your range hood’s filters while you’re at it!)


1. Use Baking Soda

One of the most well-known natural kitchen cleaners is baking soda. The combination of deep cleaning power and mild abrasiveness makes it perfect for washing laundry, cleaning appliances, and scrubbing your bathtub. Baking soda conquers corrosion in a chemical-free way, cleans rust from stainless steel, and does not leave any scratches.

To clean your range hood’s crevices, try the following steps:

Create a paste with one tablespoon of baking soda and two cups of water

Use a soft, clean cloth to rub the paste onto the stainless steel surface in the direction of minimal rust

Finally, rinse and gently wipe with a wet paper towel

To clean larger surfaces of the range hood, follow these steps:

Rinse the area you are cleaning thoroughly to remove debris

Then, sprinkle some baking soda and coat the entire rusted area

Let the baking soda sit for 30 minutes to an hour

Scrub it away with a soft bristle brush or old toothbrush

Finish things off by rinsing with water and drying with a soft cloth


2. Oxalic Acid Cleaner

Oxalic is a naturally occurring organic compound found in many plants. It is also used in metal cleaners to remove rust and other difficult stains. This strong cleaning agent requires some extra steps before use. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection, plus ventilate the area you’ll be cleaning in. Prolonged exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs.

Here’s how to clean with oxalic acid:

Apply the cleaner in the direction of the grain with a soft, damp sponge

Use some elbow grease to polish the surface

Wipe down the range hood with clean water

Reapply the cleaner if needed

Dry the range hood with a clean cloth


3. Try Vinegar

To remove rust from stainless steel interiors and exteriors, opt for vinegar. Vinegar is great for cutting straight through grease and leaving appliances sparkling clean. It contains acetic acid, which eats away rust and dirt by acting as a mild corrosive cleaner. You can also use vinegar to remove rust stains from a tub or other stainless steel areas.

All it takes is the following:

Fill a large spray bottle with white vinegar

Douse the stainless steel range hood with vinegar

Allow the vinegar to sit for 5 minutes

Use an old toothbrush or soft bristle brush to scrub the stains

Reapply and scrub vinegar if needed

Clean the surface with water

Dry off the range hood with a fresh cloth


4. Commercial-Grade Stainless Steel Cleaners

Not getting the results you need? Try a commercial-grade stainless steel cleaner. These products have active ingredients that will cut through practically any stain on stainless steel. (Need ideas? Here are our top 5 stainless steel cleaners for range hoods.)

As with oxalic acid, you should start by putting on protective eyewear and gloves. Then, wet a sponge with the cleaner. Polish in the direction of the grain to remove rust. You may have to perform this step a couple of times to remove the rust completely. Finish off with a wet cloth and then dry the range hood thoroughly.

What to Avoid when Removing Rust

Using the wrong cleaning products can damage your range hood and make stains worse. Or they may leave behind noticeable scratches. To avoid these problems, never use steel wool or brushes. These products can easily scratch the steel and expose it to more rust. Likewise, never use cleaners with bromine, iodine, fluorine, or any other type of chloride. These ingredients are too abrasive and can leave faint discolorations on your appliance, which will eventually rust and corrosion.

Finally, when it comes to avoiding rust, a little regular cleaning and maintenance go a long way. Take time to wipe down and scrub your range hood each week. This will save time and keep your appliance looking as good as new.

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