Rust can make your refrigerator door look unsightly. However, the actual refrigerator may be working well and not need to be replaced. You can remove rust and restore it to its original condition with several cleaning methods.
Baking Soda to Remove Rust
Baking soda is a great choice for removing many stains, and removing rust spots on stainless steel is one of its cleaning abilities. Create a baking soda paste by dampening the surface of the refrigerator door and adding a thin layer of baking soda to the rusted area. Allow the baking soda mixture to set for 30 minutes to an hour to do its magic. Scrub thoroughly with a toothbrush or soft bristle brush until the rust is fully removed. Rinse with water and dry with a paper towel.
You can also make a baking soda paste as an alternative or if you are coving a smaller area. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 2 cups of water. Apply the paste and allow it to sit for the same amount of time as listed above.
Another variation of baking soda is mixing baking soda and lemon juice. Livemore recommends combining equal parts lemon juice and baking soda. Mix the lemon juice and baking soda together to form a paste. Apply the paste to the rusted area and allow it to set for 15 to 30 minutes. Scrub the rust thoroughly with a soft damp sponge. Clean off the paste with water and wipe dry with a paper towel or soft towel.
Try Oxalic Acid Rust Remover
You can purchase cleansers that contain oxalic acid. The product Bar Keeper's Friend Soft Cleanser, a liquid cleanser that does not have grit, comes recommended by professionals. Two other great brands are Kleen King Stainless Steel and Copper Cleaner and Revere Ware Copper and Stainless Steel Cleaner/Polish. All of these products can be bought at a home improvement store.
Use a damp soft sponge to rub the cleanser in the same direction as the grain of the metal. Rub the stain until it is completely gone. Wash the cleanser off with water and dry with a towel. Avoid using any caustic cleaners that contain chlorides since these are too abrasive and may damage the protective layer.
Vinegar is another excellent natural rust remover. Livemore recommends putting a liberal amount of vinegar onto a soft sponge or soft rag. Keep rubbing until the stain has lifted. Repeat if needed.
Cleaning vinegar is especially useful for stainless steel. What makes cleaning vinegar special is that it has 6 percent acidity compared to regular vinegar's 5 percent acidity, according to The Seasoned Homemaker. This 1 percent translates to it being about 15 to 20 percent more powerful than regular vinegar. Pour a few tablespoons directly onto a microfiber cloth and rub with the grain. When finished wipe off the stainless steel with a clean microfiber cloth. Give it a try next time you use it clean your home.
Stainless steel is sensitive to abrasion. Stay away from abrasive cleansers and steel wool. Rust on stainless steel appliances may look daunting but can be removed easily.
Meg Scanlon earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing can be found on Hunker, Cuteness, Funny or Die, BarkPost, Taste of Home, LoveTV and ALittleBitFunny.com.