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How to Remove Rust from Silverware

November 23, 2021

Do you know how to remove rust from silverware? If not, we can help. Open up your silverware drawer, and take a close look. Is your silverware speckled with rust stains? Like most folks, when we say silverware, we don’t mean actual silver but stainless steel utensils. Is that what’s in your silverware drawer too?

Stainless steel is composed of a mixture of metals, including steel, chromium, and nickel, which means it isn’t always rust-proof. Moisture and acid from food can cause rust, as can leaving silverware to air-dry in the dishwasher or in a countertop drying rack.

The good news is that removing rust stains is one of Bar Keepers Friends’ specialties! Plus, our products are NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) approved, which means our products comply with strict quality and safety standards. That’s why restaurants and food and beverage manufacturers around the world depend on Bar Keepers Friend.

How to Remove Rust from Silverware

You could use several BKF products, but I prefer the original Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser. Our unique formula with oxalic acid breaks down and removes rust stains.

  • While holding the rusted silverware over the sink, wet it from the faucet  
  • Sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend cleanser onto a soft wet cloth or non-abrasive sponge 
  • Scrub the silverware to remove the rust
  • Do not leave BKF on utensils for longer than one minute
  • Thoroughly rinse the silverware
  • For heavily rusted silverware, you may need to repeat 
  • When all the rust has been removed, wash the silverware in warm soapy water
  • Immediately dry and polish the silverware with a soft cloth

Take some time to care for your stainless flatware, and you will not only keep it looking good, but you will also extend its lifetime. Jennifer L. shared her own experience using BKF to remove rust from silverware on Instagram and said, “Super easy trick… you know how your knives come out of the dishwasher with spots??? Shake a little Bar Keeper’s Friend on a sponge and wipe – it will come right off!” Visit her Instagram account, Jeneral Thoughts, to see the results for yourself.

Pro Tip: How to Limit Rust on Your Stainless Steel Flatware

As proud as we are of our products, and as much as we love our fans using BKF, sometimes it’s best not to need our products. One of those times is with your silverware. Here are 6 ways to avoid or limit rust on your knives, forks, and spoons. 

  1. Don’t allow them to air dry. When you take them out of the dishwasher, dry them off. 
  2. Always rinse off food. Don’t allow it to dry on your silverware. 
  3. Never use steel wool or metal brushes to clean your flatware. 
  4. Avoid cleaning products that contain abrasives or bleach.
  5. Do not leave your silverware exposed to acidic foods. For example, don’t leave a spoon in a bowl of stewed tomatoes. 
  6. Be aware that hard water can lead to rust, and do your best to wipe it dry immediately.  

With holidays quickly approaching, it’s a good time to inspect your silverware. You don’t want Uncle Bob holding up his knife at Christmas dinner, pointing to rust spots, and asking if you’re trying to poison him, do you? The best part is that with BKF making your silverware bright and shiny is quick and easy, even if they have a little rust.  


About the Author Randy Clark - Headshot Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Leadership.com. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek and on weekends (after COVID-19) he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management.    

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