How to Remove Rust from Stainless Steel

Since stainless steel is found everywhere on railings and kitchen cabinets, it becomes necessary to learn how to remove rust from stainless steel. Stainless steel items can also suffer deterioration, especially if they are exposed to outdoor conditions. Wondering how to remove rust from stainless steel? In this article, we’ll show you how.

Stainless steel is durable because it is not a homogenous material but a material that contains various metals and compounds. It is an alloy of various materials that make it resistant to oxidation. To no surprise, the stainless steel objects that are inside the house are less prone to experience oxidation. They can be cleaned and maintained with little effort. But how to remove rust from stainless steel? This is what we are going to answer right now.

It is obvious that outdoor steel is exposed to harsher conditions, which eventually produce a rust effect on the steel. This material does not rust but gathers particles that act as if they were rust.

How to remove rust from stainless steel? Move on to learn more.


How to remove rust from stainless steel?
How to remove rust from stainless steel?

Step 1

You can clean the surface with either water or a microfiber cloth. Do not use too much water when doing it.

WD-40 can help eliminate the traces of rust that are superficial. This is not a product to combat hard-to-remove rust. Do you want to learn how to remove rust from stainless steel? If the rust stains are hard, utilize an acid-based product to remove them.

Step 2

Sometimes, the rust will persist and seems impossible to remove. If this ever happens to you, clean the steel with a passivation machine. Wondering how to remove rust from stainless steel? This time, you may need to call a professional with expertise in this type of machine. Pickle the material will work as well.

Step 3

Now, if you are looking to know how to remove rust from stainless steel easier, we recommend cleaning regularly. As said above, you need nothing but water and a piece of cloth to get rid of the rust. For maintenance, WD-40 may suffice. This product does a great job eliminating grease in the same way.

Step 4

Regarding how to remove rust from stainless steel in objects that are exposed to the exteriors, a little soapy water can be enough. Clean the surface regularly with clear water and a cloth to prevent rust from surging. Some products you have in the kitchen can help eliminate rust.

Outdoor stainless steel maintenance

For outdoor stainless steel, it will be necessary to clean it regularly with clear water and dry it with a cloth. If necessary, you can use a little soapy water. In very humid and/or marine environments, cleaning must be frequent, since salt and humidity can accelerate the oxidation process. Finally, to avoid having to remove rust from steel, you can prevent its appearance with WD-40® Multipurpose Product. A single layer is enough to protect any metal from oxidation.

Want to know more about how to remove rust from stainless steel? Keep reading.

Water, sponge, and microfiber cloth

Before having to remove rust from stainless steel, it is best to prevent its appearance through proper hygiene. By cleaning stainless steel, we will ensure that our objects and appliances are impeccable for longer, delaying their deterioration and oxidation. If you want to remove dust, grease, or any type of dirt, do the following.


How to remove rust from stainless steel?

Pass a microfiber cloth

Moisten a soft sponge (never a scouring pad or brush that can scratch the steel) and clean without scrubbing.

To finish, dry very well again with the microfiber cloth, since humidity favors oxidation.

For persistent stains, you can add a few drops of soap to the water, but check that the product does not contain any element that could be abrasive. In this way, you will delay the corrosion or breakage of the material, something essential to avoid rusty stainless steel.

If you want to know more about cleaning this material, take a look at our article on How to clean stained stainless steel, so you will be clearer about how to remove rust from stainless steel.

Baking soda

Baking soda is an excellent ally if you are trying to remove a small rust stain on the steel, perhaps from a blow received. In this case, prepare an anti-rust paste following this technique:

  • Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with water.
  • Apply on the rusty area.
  • Let it act for a couple of minutes.
  • Remove with a clean, damp cloth, applying light pressure, but without rubbing excessively.
  • Rinse to remove any traces of baking soda.
  • Dry the steel very well with a cloth.


How to remove rust from stainless steel?


If you are looking for an effective remedy against rust that will help you restore the shine of stainless steel, vinegar is one of the simplest solutions within your reach. Ideally, use white vinegar, which is generally used in cleaning the home, but also wine or apple vinegar can give you good results. You can use it in two ways:

  • Lemon or lime

Lime or lemon can also be effective as a stainless steel rust remover, especially if the stains are fresh and not too stubborn. To use them, cut one of these citrus fruits in half and pass one of the halves through the rusty area. Wait a few minutes, pass a damp sponge and dry the piece to leave it impeccable.

  • Oxalic acid

In addition to the above home remedies, there are also specific industrial products to remove rust from stainless steel. They are safe, their effectiveness is guaranteed and you can use them effortlessly.

The most recommended industrial products are those that contain oxalic acid and the easiest to use are those that come in cream form. It is enough to apply them on the oxidized surface, let them act for a few minutes, and remove them with a clean and dry cloth.


How to remove rust from stainless steel?
Oxalic acid



With WD-40® you can prevent the appearance of rust on stainless steel. As we have seen, removing stains from stainless steel may require a professional. If you don’t want to have to go to this point, it may be a good idea to have a bottle of WD-40® All-Purpose Product on hand. In addition to helping to prevent the oxidation of any metal, it will be a great ally in your home maintenance tasks or your DIY projects. Anyway, you can find tons of tutorials about how to remove rust from stainless steel on the internet.


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