Author Options:

removing rust from metal kitchen utensils? Answered


Seriously? That's a new one for me to stick upstairs. I'd hate to waste yummy molasses, but it's good to know.

Yeah. I'm assuming that the utensils are old and fairly rusty, as I don't know how well it would work on a nice shiny knife or fork.

I was skeptical when I heard of this many years ago, so I tried it. Mix the molasses with water at about 10 or 15 parts water to one part molasses. Then just soak the rusted part in the solution for as long as it takes for the rust to become a grey sludge. I used an old horse shoe and a rabbit trap that I had found out in the bush. It took about a week from memory.
Then I just rinsed/scrubbed the sludge off and was left with clean (albeit pitted) steel. The molasses only removes the rust and leaves the metal untouched. This is especially good for old stuff when you need to maintain as much solid material as possible. A spray with WD40 and they still look like they did the day I cleaned them (over 10 years ago).

I have heard that this method also removes oxide from aluminium, but I honestly can't remember if I have tried it or not. The best thing is that it's safe to have around the workshop, and the smell won't dissolve your lungs like some rust removal mediums.
I've never bothered to google this, so feel free to research it.

I can't wait to try this. My first set of knives rusted badly. I'll try on my aluminum baking pans too, and let you know if it works.

Oh yeah, I got the stuff that I used from an ag supplier, apparently used for horse food. I have no idea if it is the same as the stuff in the supermarket.

My grandma use to shine pennys with ketchup. I assume it was the vinigar, but they always came out looking polished. Wonder how it would work on rust?

No I am not.


I prefer scotch pads, those green scratchy pads. they do a wonderful job of keeping steel and copper utensils bright and shiny. They wear out pretty quickly but while they're new, a bit of liquid soap or scouring powder and a scotch pad can't be beat in my opinion.

.  +1.
.  rickharris' suggestion of oiling (vegetable oil, not motor oil heehee) will help a lot. All you need is a very thin film - put a little oil on a clean rag and wipe the utensils with it.

Agreed. Especially for older utensils. I have a few of what must be turn of the century (or at least pre stainless) knives and other utensils that I wipe with a thin coat of mineral oil before putting them in the drawer, then just give a quick washoff before using.

Exactly, I prefer mineral oil over vegetable oil because mineral oil won't go rancid. I also use it to treat my butcher block. For utensils that don't get used often, like my ancient cleaver, I rub it down with a piece of canning paraffin, warm it gently to melt the paraffin and then wipe off the excess.

Right. I should have said "why". I was originally taught by a friend's mom to use olive oil...Blech...don't use the utensil for a month or two and the drawer smells like...well I'm gonna guess you know what I'm not going to say.

Oh nice. I wish I had an old Cleaver. They're the best. I have a pal who lives out in the country. She has what must have been a turn of the century butcher's cleaver. 9" blade and the thing weighs like a large ball peen hammer...Makes ribs a piece of cake.

Interesting re: paraffin. Hadn't thought of that, although it's an old method for perserving metal for long term storage.

Yeah, mine is a 9" Briddell cleaver. Its about 3/16" thick along the back and heavy as all get out. This one belonged to my Grandma, who gave to my Mom and I got it from her. Many a chicken met an untimely demise under the edge of that cleaver. lol

If there really rusty use this process, if it's just minor surface rust use a wire brush.

Wire brush - Pot cleaner and elbow grease. Make sure you oil them when you put them away.