I Had “Permanent” Rust Spots on My Fridge, But This Fan-Favorite $3 Cleaner Scrubbed Them Away

published May 11, 2021
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Try as I might to prevent it, I am no stranger to the wear and tear that happens to a home through normal daily use. With five children and four pets, it’s inevitable that things get spilled on, scratched, broken, and dented.

Luckily, I’ve learned how to handle the issues we frequently face. For instance, we buy Folex in bulk — a magic cleaner that erases nearly all our people and animal stains on rugs and upholstery. And I make sure to use durable, washable paint in our most high-use areas.

But some signs of wear and tear are unexpected, disappointing, and mysterious. That’s how I felt when our stainless steel fridge started springing tiny rust marks. So much for stainless steel! Rust, I assumed, was something that happened to the metal itself and there was no way to fix it.

I was wrong. Rust is a substance that forms on top of the stainless steel, and with the right method, it can be cleaned off. Although many regular cleaners won’t remove rust marks from stainless steel, I discovered that a bit of the ever-useful cult favorite Bar Keeper’s Friend will. (To prevent rust from forming in the first place, avoid harsh cleaners like bleach, which damage the protective chromium oxide layer and allow rust to form on stainless steel.)

I recommend the soft cleanser for cleaning rust off your fridge, since it’s not easy to make a paste on the vertical surface of the fridge front. Dab a bit on a paper towel or sponge and buff out the rust marks. Make sure to clean off residue with a clean wet rag. Then enjoy your perfectly restored, rust-free fridge surface, good as new.