Best Reasons Not To Use Rusted Cookware

by Robin Hood | Last Updated:  May 31, 2021
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We all know that rust is a type of metal corrosion that develops on metals when they are exposed to water and oxygen. Rusty cookware can be caused by many different factors, including improper storage or being left in the dishwasher.

In this blog post, we will discuss what causes rusty cookware, how to avoid it, and how to deal with it if you have an older set of pots and pans at home!

“If you’ve had your cookware for a long time, it might be starting to show some signs of wear and tear. One of the most common issues that people experience with older cookware is rust development.”

Rust can develop on roasting pans, cast iron skillets, loaf pans–many other implements people use regularly for cooking or baking.

It’s important to consider the potential health risks associated with using rust. Rust can cause a variety of infections and diseases such as ringworm, tetanus, and impetigo.

If possible we recommend investing in new pieces so as not to expose yourself to unnecessary risk!

Health Concerns Related to Rust

When most people think about health issues related to rust, the first thing that comes to mind is tetanus. This is a nervous system infection caused by bacteria that often collects on rusty items, like nails or scrap metal, that have been left outside and exposed to the elements.

Unless it’s been left outside, it’s unlikely your rusty cookware will have the bacteria that causes tetanus. However, this doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent safe to use cookware with rust development.

If you are particularly sensitive to rust, ingesting even small quantities can cause health complications.

Dealing With Rust on Your Cookware

In addition to posing a potential health risk, rust on your cookware can negatively affect the flavor of your food. Using rusted cookware is not a good idea, especially if it’s a pot or pan that you use very frequently. With all of this in mind, it’s best to play it safe when you’re dealing with rust.

The good news is that you don’t have to completely abandon your rusted cookware. With safe and effective rust removal products, you may be able to salvage your cookware. Using a strong rust removal solution and an abrasive brush, you can get rid of rust on your pots and pans and get them back into safe and usable shape.

It’s also smart to take care to prevent rust from developing in the first place. To do this, wash and dry your cookware after every use and avoid storing them anywhere with elevated levels of moisture.

Use water and soap to wash your pots and pans, and make sure you season your cast iron cookware properly to keep it in safe and usable condition.

As soon as you notice rust developing on your cookware, you should scour it to get rid of the corrosion and prevent any further rust development.

How to Remove Rust from Your Cast Iron Pan

  • Wash your pan with soap and water.
  • Scrape the pan with coarse and then fine steel wool.
  • Dry your pan with a towel and place it on your burner to dry it completely.
  • Lightly coat the inside with Avocado oil.
  • Oven re-season your pan face down at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 hours.
  • Consider placing aluminum foil on the rack below the pan to catch any excess oil.
  • Remove the pan and let it cool.
  • Lightly coat your pan with Canola oil to prevent further rusting.

Removing Rust with Vinegar

You may find your pan rusting over time and need to remove the stain.
Here is a simple and inexpensive way is to remove rust from a metal pan.

  • Spray the pan with water or dampen it with a wet cloth.
  • Wipe the surface clean of any debris.
  • Use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar diluted in an equal amount of boiling water.
  • Spray this solution on the pan.
  • This will help to loosen up dirt from the inside of the pan.
  • Let this solution soak for a few minutes before proceeding.
  • Lightly scrub along the grain lines using a scouring pad.
  • Rinse off remaining residue thoroughly and dry completely.
  • Apply a thin layer of Canola oil to prevent further rusting.
  • Store your pan in a dry location.

Removing Rust with Baking Soda

  • Rinse your rusty pan with water.
  • Totally cover your pan with baking soda.
  • Allow the baking soda to rest on the pan for about an hour or more.
  • Scrub your pan with a scouring pad to remove the rust.
  • Wash and dry the pan with a towel and place it on the stove to thoroughly dry it.
  • Apply a thin layer of Canola oil to help prevent further rusting.

Once you have removed rust from your cast iron or carbon steel cookware I would recommend that you apply a light coating of neutral cooking oil like Canola oil.

I like to use neutral oils for this purpose because they do not go rancid as fast as vegetable oils such as olive oil. The Canola oil will help prevent water from attacking your cookware and causing it to rust.

If you live somewhere in the world like the Philippines you will want to make sure that you not only apply Canola oil but to check it often for any early signs of rust caused by the elevated humidity. Amazon has a nice selection of Canola oil.

Rust Removal With Magica

If you’re dealing with rust on your kitchenware, it’s important to find a product that you can use for effective cookware rust removal. At Carbon Steel Cookware, we’re committed to providing our customers with effective rust removal solutions.

One of the best products to remove rust is made by Magica. This product can safely and effectively remove rust from virtually any surface, including cast iron and carbon steel cookware so you can feel confident that they will work to remove rust on your cookware.