It’s likely that knives are your biggest challenge when it comes to corrosion. Knives are more prone to rust because they include less nickel and more carbon, which is what makes the blade harder and more durable.
Be very careful when cleaning knives! Bar Keepers Friend liquid Soft Cleanser is an excellent product to use to clean rust and spots from knives and flatware. The oxalic acid breaks down and removes rust stains.
When properly used, Bar Keepers Friend is safe to use on food preparation and serving surfaces. In fact, Bar Keepers Friend carries an NSF registration and can be found in many commercial kitchens. Make sure any surface that will come in contact with food is properly rinsed to remove any residue and abrasive prior to use.
Follow the directions below to remove rust and spots from your Kitchen Knives and Flatware and get them back to sparkling:
- Working over the sink, wet utensils where rust is present.
- Sprinkle or squirt Bar Keepers Friend cleanser onto a wet dishcloth or non-abrasive sponge.
- Scrub rust stains to remove them. Do not leave BKF on utensils for longer than one minute.
- Rinse and repeat the application as necessary to remove rust.
- Once rust is gone, rinse utensils in warm water to fully remove BKF cleanser.
- Dry flatware immediately with a soft cloth or dish towel. Do not let flatware air dry.
Lots of Useful Information here!
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an iron alloy that is mixed with chromium, carbon, nickel, silicon, molybdenum, and aluminum. Chromium is the element that is added that makes the alloy rust-resistant when it is exposed to water. Problems arise when residual moisture or other materials block the layer of chrome oxide from regenerating.
The addition of nickel improves the durability of stainless steel. It also increases stainless steel’s corrosion resistance at high temperatures (think dishwashers).
How Does the Stainless Steel Grade Affect My Kitchen Knives and Flatware?
We know what you’re thinking: “Thanks for the lesson in metal sciences, but what does that have to do with my rusty kitchen knives or flatware?”
That is a fair question. The answer is that the exact blend of these elements is what determines the quality of the stainless steel and its susceptibility to rust. Understanding the grades of stainless steel will help you to choose the best product for your home or business.
What Causes Stainless Steel to Rust?
Knowing what causes steel to rust is half the battle in keeping corrosion in check. We have listed some things that cause rust on flatware.
- Leaving dried food on the surface of forks, spoons and knives
- Letting water sit on the surface of knives and flatware (dishwasher dry cycle or air drying)
- Contact with other types of metal or steel
- Collisions with something hard
- Poor quality knives or flatware
- Using cleaning products containing chloride (bleach)
- Using dishwashing detergents that contain citrus or bleach
- Water or acid from wooden handles attached to the flatware leeching onto the stainless steel
- Using steel wool, wire brushes, or other abrasive cleaning products on the stainless steel surface
- Prolonged exposure to acidic foods (tomatoes or vinegar)
- Prolonged exposure to hard water