Sometime, the cooking utensils can be damaged by minerals in the food and cause some rust. Would it be wise to use vinegar to remove rust for cooking utensils or are there are better methods?

2 Answers 2


Vinegar wouldn't be harmful. The resulting reaction would create a ferrous salt which would be easily washed away. However, it was probably the vinegar and other acids in your food that cause the rust in the first place. Steel items stored in a acidic environment rust faster than those in plain water. Washing and storing dry is the best way to prevent rust.

  • From my understanding, vinegar, which is a acid can also erode metals. So, I am worry that if everyday I clean my cooking utensils with vinegar, will the utensils become smaller and smaller due to erode by vinegar? Dec 1, 2011 at 9:09
  • Also, from my understanding, coke is much lesser acidic than vinegar but the reason why I don't wish to clean the cooking utensils with coke is because coke contain sugar and sugar attract ants. Also, coke is more expensive than vinegar too. Dec 1, 2011 at 9:12
  • @AndersonKaru yeah, it'll erode them, in the same sense that sharpening erodes a knife. The effect won't be noticeable in your lifetime. Of course most people also do not clean their cooking equipment with acid every day, they use soap and water and only resort to harsher solutions when the item gets rusty or tarnished.
    – Aaronut
    Dec 1, 2011 at 23:24
  • @Aaronut, thanks for informing me that it will not be noticeable in my lifetime. Dec 2, 2011 at 0:56

If you want to clean rust from steel utensils, I recommend Barkeeper's Friend. I find it works well on stainless steel … not so well on carbon steel.

And always rinse with water and dry by hand to ensure no rust in the future.

  • Barkeep's Friend seems like a better idea than vinegar; it's not corrosive, produces a nice shine, and will help remove deep rust more than vinegar.
    – BobMcGee
    Dec 2, 2011 at 3:35

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