How to Remove Dark Spots on Stainless Steel

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Black spots on stainless steel indicates you might be using something wrong on them.
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Stainless steel can add a beautiful touch to your kitchen through appliances as well as cutlery and cookware. Cutlery made from stainless steel is very popular, however, it can be frustrating to pull a spoon out of your drawer and notice that it has a small, round, dark circle on it.


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No matter how hard you rub with your fingers the spot remains, leading you to throw the spoon away. These dark or even black spots could be telling you something about your home cleaning routine that may be causing your stainless steel to rust.

Black Spots on Stainless Steel

Having these black spots on the stainless steel you wish to use can be frustrating if it happens more than once. The spots could be appearing because you are using an abrasive cleaning method that removes the protective chemical layer on your stainless steel items. If the protective layer is gone, this puts the stainless steel at risk when it comes into contact with everything from your cleaning supplies to the food you eat.


The best way to try and get rid of these stains is to try and wash them away with a mild detergent. However, it is highly possible that you will not be able to fully remove the black spots. If the black is removed, then it may be something other than rust.

Alternative Reasons Behind Black Spots

It is often suggested to wash new stainless steel cookware and utensils gently before the first use. If you wish to use the item immediately, you may wash it quickly in soapy water. But when you go to dry it off, you may notice streaks of black residue coming up. This residue is not the same as the imprinted black stains on stainless steel, it is residue from the company buffing the steel to make it shiny and desirable.


The black residue coming off your new items may be slightly concerning, especially when it happens a few more times even though you have thoroughly cleaned the item. The Cookware Advisor recommends dropping a bit of oil in the pan to help remove the micro-abrasives that have been left there by the company. Let the oil sit for a bit and then simply wipe it out. If that doesn't work, then you can scrub down your cookware with either a mixture of lemon juice and salt or baking soda and warm water. Make sure to wash your stainless steel items after trying one of these methods to make them food ready.


Preventing Black Spots on Metal

If you wish to prevent black spots from appearing on metal cutlery and cookware in your home, there are a few ways you can do this. You should wash all of your items immediately after use, especially the flatware. Kitchenistic says that by letting food linger on utensils, you are allowing the food to work away at the protective layer of the steel.


You should also dry the items immediately and not let them sit for long periods in water or with water on them. This also applies to putting your stainless steel flatware in the dishwasher because the flatware will rub against one another, breaking apart the protective barrier that helps keep the black spots and rust away. You also must make sure to never wash a stainless steel item with an abrasive metal cleaner or harsh soap. These could scratch the surface leaving irreparable damage.