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One of the bizarre problems that you may face with a stainless steel kitchen sink is the rusting. It may seem unreal because it’s called stainless because it is not supposed to rust by itself. Let’s see why a stainless steel sink would rust and how to avoid getting a rust in the steel sink.
Steel is an alloy made of a blend of iron and carbon. These carbon atoms fit into the lattice structure of iron giving it slightly different properties. Along with carbon, the stainless steel would also contain chromium and nickel. This blend gives it the susceptibility to rust. It doesn’t rust because it won’t react with oxygen due to the oxide layer that protects the underlying metal. An ordinary iron would form flaky rust allowing oxygen to get to the metal. Therefore even a stainless steel may rust if something removes the protective oxide layer.
Therefore the rust in the stainless steel kitchen sink is likely to come from other source outside the sink. Any other rusting source may include a rusting tin can, iron content in water, or cleaning anything that has rust. These sources may cause small pin-size rust spots on your sink. These rust spots will show if the sink isn’t cleansed properly and is dried soon after. When the sink is dry, you will be able to see the rust spots. This is nothing but surface rust and can be easily removed using kitchen cleaners. These may be very difficult to remove though not impossible. Using heavy abrasives such as steel wool could make the things worse, thus we mustn’t try.
Even the most expensive stainless steel kitchen sink can develop these rust spots. Let’s see how these rust spots can be removed permanently.
*Club Soda- One of the ways is by using club soda. Pour some club soda over the rust spot and let it fizz for some time and clean with a white cloth damped with the club soda. This must remove the rust and transfer it to the cloth, this process can be repeated for enhanced cleaning.
*Lighter Fluid- Another method involves pouring a little lighter fluid on a clean white cloth and rubbing that cloth over the rust spot and the stain must start coming off immediately. This must be performed away from any live fire source.
* Vinegar-Vinegar can work wonders for stain removal. All you need to do is leave vinegar to soak for a long time (preferably overnight) and then using a sponge to wipe away the vinegar. A non-metal scrubber can be used for removing stubborn stains.
*Cleaners- Many non-abrasive cleaners such as Barkeeper’s Friend and Citrisurf77 are available in the supermarket for removing difficult stain and rust spots. These must be left to soak on the sink for about 30 minutes and then cleaned with cloth to remove the rust.
After the cleaning is done using any of the above methods, the sink must be dried using a towel and then polished thoroughly for a good surface finish.