What is the best way to remove rust stains from stainless steal kitchen knives?


I have a fairly expensive set of kitchen knives that are getting rust spots on them. They are not dishwasher safe, so I hand wash them. I always hand dry, but even if they sit in the sink until the end of the day when I wash them, they accumulate rust. What is the best way to remove the spots.

And please do not say that only cheap or inexpensive knives rust because this is not true and is a smart a** answer.

I had the same issue, so I tried some of those "stainless-steel wipes." The brand shouldn’t matter, there’s a plethora of them in the cleaning aisle at the store.

Those did take out the oxidation (rust spots) on my knives, but it will be something you’ll have to clean every 6 mos. or as you see the rust develop.

Good luck!

31 Responses to “What is the best way to remove rust stains from stainless steal kitchen knives?”

  1. nellbelle7 — April 7, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    I had the same issue, so I tried some of those "stainless-steel wipes." The brand shouldn’t matter, there’s a plethora of them in the cleaning aisle at the store.

    Those did take out the oxidation (rust spots) on my knives, but it will be something you’ll have to clean every 6 mos. or as you see the rust develop.

    Good luck!
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  2. LeighAnn D — April 7, 2010 @ 10:54 am

    Dip the knives in CLR.
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  3. pinchhazard — April 7, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    Steel wool is cheap and effective against rust
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  4. wanda — April 7, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    i would suggest using a s.o.s. pad very gently…
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  5. holey moley — April 7, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

    I have top of the line carbon steel knives and always use a home-made paste made with BonAmi; cheap and environmentally safe. You can apply it with your finger, then rub. Presto! no more rust.
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  6. christina m — April 7, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

    insert knife into an onion an let sit for a few days
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  7. gary i — April 7, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    stainless steal doesn’t rust or I don’t have any that does are you sure you didn’t get ripped off on by that product.
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  8. pinkywinky03 — April 7, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    i heard putting it in a bowl of lemon juice really helps. but you have to leave it in their for a while for it to work.
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  9. StillGrowing — April 7, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    I found that scrubbing LIGHTLY with steel wool usually does the trick for my knives. I don’t own any carbon steel knives because I know that I wouldn’t be carefull enough with them but even my expensive stainless knives occationally have rust spots. I also am careful to was them right away when I cut something like pickles or other sharp foods.
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  10. navagator73 — April 7, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

    There is one good and very cheap product you can use for removing rust and it happens to be a can of Coca Cola. I didn’t believe it until I tried it myself. Just place the knives on a cooking pan or in a tall glass and pour the coke over them and leave them over night the rust stains will be gone. I added the web address of a video demonstartion and article on usefull tips.

    Note: There are diffrent types of stainless steel the 300 series 400 series the 420 is the most commonly used and there some over 420 those tend to develope rust stain over time but with carefull maintenance they wont, the 400 series are good but the best would be the 300 (most expensive) The knives only have stainless inscribed but they don’t say what series they are. One good way to determine what series they are is using a strong magnet kind of like the ones in your speaker or in your earphones or a magnet you put on your fridge. A MAGNET WILL NOT STICK ON 300 SERIES STAINLESS AND WILL NEVER RUST, if you feel slight magnetizem but not strong enough to stick it’s 400 to 420 series. If it sticks its probably 430 and it would probably rust if not taken well care of. If it has a very strong magnetizm then it’s NOT STAINLESS. I work in a manufacturing company and we use diffrent types of steels so I know about these things. Hope this helps you out.
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  11. rev c — April 7, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    First, there is no 100% "stainless" steel. All "stainless" alloys (iron plus nickel and chrome) will rust given time and the right conditions.

    Clean them up like I clean up my carbon steel shop tools — 0000 grade steel wool and oil, here, mineral oil because it’s nontoxic and won’t taint food with a machine shop taste. Then, clean them after every use with soap and water, wipe dry, and put them back in their block/rack/holder/whatever. Leaving them wet is what got them. Probably, you left them
    in a metal sink, which started to electrolyze them, pulling the chrome from the surface of the steel, upsetting the alloy.

    I still use the Sabbatier black carbon chef’s knife my dad bought 40 years ago. It gets cleaned and placed back in
    its holder after every use, by force of habit. It’s developed a nice dark blue-gray patina, but not a speck of rust.
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  12. babydfolife75 — April 7, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    I would use CLR that I ordered off of tv.
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  13. jimmybond — April 7, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    i use vim soap to remove the stains daily.
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  14. bala — April 7, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    wash the knives with the soap & steel wire,dries it and put vegetable oil on it and pack it where there is no oxygen.
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  15. childhoodcancercure — April 7, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    Steel wool, sos pads and clr should all work but I still think new knives would be in my future. Simplicity is the true spice of life.
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  16. *KaE*KaE* — April 7, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    I’ve heard if you cut through a lemon with each knife it will make the rust spots disappear.
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  17. rockyb — April 7, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    Stainless steel should not rust.
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  18. Wise Guy! — April 7, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

    Soak them in a can of Coke.

    Watch it work immediately.

    Makes you wonder why we drink them!

    Navagator73 had it right. Whenever I encounter rust I pour coke on it or let it soak, it eats it up without hurting the item. I have even poured it on carpet and tile floors where rust was.
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  19. musiclover197 — April 7, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    coca cola
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  20. nutsfornouveau — April 7, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

    If you will invest in an inexpensive jar of Naval Jelly, it will take care of any of your rust removing chores. You can find it at any of the large home improvement stores. It is what the Navy
    used to remove rust from ships. Just make sure you use gloves and only a little bit to test.
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  21. angela — April 7, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    try some vinegar.
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  22. Kendrick — April 7, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    Lemon Juice and steel wool pad.
    Let it soak in Lemon Juice and salt, and only use steel wool pad lightly.

    And disregard the thumbs down… this is how you get rid of it(among other ways)
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  23. Rita D — April 7, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

    I am with ya… I have an expensive set of knives that do the same thing. I use a green scrub on my knives to get off the rust and then dry them with a towel.
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  24. VANESSA W — April 7, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

    I agree with one of the other answers steel wool should help also clr
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  25. ╚╦Drew╦╝ — April 7, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    Lemon juice and salt (combined) usually work great at removing rust.
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  26. just forgiven — April 7, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    I was told when I bought my cutco set that real stainless steel shouldn’t rust. I have heard that juice from a lemon (not bottled) works wonders. good luck!
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  27. April M — April 7, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

    Bar Keepers Friend

    It’s found with the comet stuff will remove rust and clean stainless steel.

    Tried it on my sink and worked pretty well…good luck
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  28. Charles G — April 7, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    There is a German metal polish called Flitz. It is very fine grained and should do the job quite well. :)
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  29. abooda — April 7, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

    Why do you have to put up with any

    rust stains problem with your

    expensive STAINLESS products.

    I will just get rid of them and

    stop the bad experience for good.

    If you are real smart axx:

    Give yourself a break, make your life easier,

    consider the money was not well spend.

    Learn from this and move on

    for another reasonable product.
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  30. EDWARD H K — April 7, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

    Good 18/10 stainless doesn’t rust! Are you sure they are stainless? SOS should remove any "spots".
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  31. richard d — April 7, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

    any rust cleaner but after you clean them and dry them you must keep them oil up to keep the rust away
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