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I moved into this house a couple of months ago and bought some high quality stainless steel utensils with me from my house. I am noticing some black spots that don't go away with scratching or washing or baking soda. All my stainless steel kitchen utensils have this and some plastic containers have black dust which could be wiped with a dry paper towel.

My mum has been using the same set of utensils for years and has never observed anything like this. The only difference is that I wash my utensils with warm to hot water(and fairy dish soap).These spots also seem to increase in number(not in thickness) day by day. Have any of you heard or seen anything like this in stainless steel utensils ? What could this possibly be?

(There is a lining of black mold in the sealant lining the wall near the sink and also some in the shower which was scraped away when I moved in)

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    I don't know what it is, but there is no way it could be mildew infecting a polished stainless steel surface. Mildew would simply wipe away as you passed a finger over it. Looks to me like small pits in the S.S. surface, but I'm no expert on metallurgy. – Lorel C. Mar 29 '18 at 1:01
  • Are you on well water in the new house? Normally you see this with people who salt the water for pasta before it's come to a boil ... but if you have hard water, you may want to consider a water softener to keep this from happening again. – Joe Mar 30 '18 at 18:28
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The specks are corrosion pits. Austenitic stainless (aka- 18-8 , 304 , and several other numbers) are notorious for pitting in salt (halides). The 316 and 317 with molybdenum are more resistant but I doubt any cookware producer would go to the extra expense to use these alloys. However, I expect sitting for a couple days with salted water would be needed for pitting to develop. Out of curiosity, check it with a magnet; If strongly magnetic it is likely 13 Cr (410 SS) which would be likely to pit.

  • Thank you very much for your opinion.Are the utensils still usable?or should I discard? – Sahoo Mar 29 '18 at 11:31
  • U can use these utensils still – Me-si Mar 29 '18 at 11:44
  • Thank you. How do get rid of it? or how do I prevent it from occurring in future. I use them for cooking and yes, I add salt while cooking but not any other time. Though I wash it within an hour or two after cooking. – Sahoo Mar 29 '18 at 13:06
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    You can't reasonably remove them. Just wash and dry after use . It is unusual, I have stainless that I have not taken care of and had no pitting; I even have a 2qt pot with no handle that I have used 20 years in the garden for fertilizer, etc , and it has no significant pitting. – blacksmith37 Mar 30 '18 at 15:18
  • Well, the username pretty much makes this answer canonical. – Captain Giraffe Apr 22 at 2:56

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