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Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Posted by melanie1422 (My Page) on
Sat, May 16, 09 at 14:28

It seems that all of my "stainless steel" flatware has rust spots. I have been through four dishwashers in two houses in the last few years, and every time I wash the flatware, it comes out with more and more pieces with rust spots. I have several different kinds of flatware, and all of it was sold as stainless steel...why is it rusting? It was all sold as dishwasher safe as well - I suppose I could hand wash it?

I think at this point, I am looking at buying new flatware when I put the kitchen back together. How do I keep the new stuff from rusting? Is there something I should be looking for on the packaging? My mom has had the same flatware for thirty years and no rust - but my last set didn't even last a year. I use the same detergent that my mom uses - Cascade powder, usually lemon scented. I use a rinse agent, but I didn't with the older dishwashers...and it rusted either way. Is it my water? The dishwasher? The flatware hates me? Help!

I hope it is okay to put this here...I figured if anyone would know the answer, it was the great minds here! Thanks in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

I had the same problem and found out that it is caused by dishwashing detergent with lemon in it. I guess the citrus acid reacts with the stainless and causes rust spots. By the way, you can get rid of the spots by rubbing the flatware with vinegar.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Unfortunately, it is stainless, not stainfree steel. As you have found, under certain conditions stainless steel will display surface rust spots.

There are many grades/types of SS. Some are more appropriate to certain conditions that others. Some are more expensive than others. You pretty much get what you pay for. The inexpensive SS flatware will be made of the cheapest stuff the manufacturer can find, and it will usually look like it after awhile.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

I just checked, and my Cascade is not even the lemon kind... its just the most basic. I've used almost every kind of Cascade though, and they all seem to rust. And I know my mom always buys the lemon, and like I said - rust free.

So, is there a type of flatware I should be buying? I understand that the Walmart/Target brands are probably not as good as the Macy's brands, but even the more expensive Macy's brands rust at my house. Do you think it might be the water? The pipes?


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Agree that stain - less flatware is not stain-proof. Agree to avoid detergents that contain citrus and don't soak flatware in water for long periods of time. Rinse food off flatware before putting in dishwasher as some foods react with the stainless steel and place knives point side down and in different section from other flatware. Don't mix silver or silver plate with stainless steel - there is a chemical reaction between the two I think. Buy major brands of at least 18/10 stainless. Once the spots start to develop you have an indication that the coating over the base metal has worn through and the problem will only get worse. A mixture of baking soda and water in a paste will get rid of the spots temporarily and a periodic stainlless polish will help temporarily, but will eventually wear off.

Best advice is to buy new stainless from a major brand company. Eventually you will have to replace that also for stainless is not stainless forever.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

melanie: Just for the heck of it, try plain Electrosol tabs with the little pink ball in the center. That's what I started using and it really cured the problem with rust. I also use Jetdry once a month.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

I bought Reed and Barton when we did our kitchen remodel. I thought Reed and Barton was one of the better brands to buy. When I got the rust stains I called them they told me I needed to use Walmart brand dish washing detergent. Go figure. Well I did and it helped some what. Now I do not put my butter knives in the dishwasher. I wash them by hand. I do not seem to have the peoblem with the forks and spoons. Reed and Barton did replace the ones that had rusted.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Are you by chance mixing silver flatware in with stainless flatware? I've heard that doing that can cause rust spots on the stainless.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

I've had Dansk "variation V" for 43 years. When I bought it in the '60's it was $25/per place setting. I just looked on the net to see that it is MSRP's at $67/per place setting now. (!!!!!) About 10 years ago I noticed rust spots on the knives. When company comes I clean up the knives with a little Barkeeper's Friend, otherwise it doesn't bother me enough to hand wash those dudes rather than put them into the DW.

So even if you pay for the "good stuff", eventually you can have problems. No problems with spoons or forks, just knives. BUT...one might assume that they fixed this problem over a period of 40+ years, since they are still selling it. I wonder what the life of a daily used/dishwashered SS utensil is anyway?

Get what you enjoy holding. I fell in love with the 3 pronged fork that this style has.

Mixing silver and stainless in the DW will cause harm to the silver, I believe, not the stainless.

-Babka


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

jb, SS is not a coating (like silverplate) that will wear off & there's no base metal involved; it's a stainless composite through & through. When I've had rust spots, it's usually because the article was made of a cheaper grade of stainless, meaning it had a higher steel content as opposed to chrome or nickel.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Just to add to the mix, I had a very (ultra) cheap stainless set for years and had no rust at all. I have a better set and now the steak knives get rust spots. I quit using the lemon cascade years ago because it was etching my glasses and china. I use regular cascade.
I just give the spots a swipe with a scotchbrite going with the grain of the blade or use BKF on a sponge. I had thought it was my DW and am glad to know it is the flatware instead.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

mdmc:

I bought Reed and Barton when we did our kitchen remodel. I thought Reed and Barton was one of the better brands to buy. When I got the rust stains I called them they told me I needed to use Walmart brand dish washing detergent. Go figure. Well I did and it helped some what. Now I do not put my butter knives in the dishwasher. I wash them by hand. I do not seem to have the peoblem with the forks and spoons. Reed and Barton did replace the ones that had rusted.

But does the WallyWash pass the no sand test? If it doesn't, you may be harming something else in the process.

Here is a link that might be useful: WikiPoo On Dishwashers


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

antiquesilver,
Thanks for the correction. Are the knife blades stainless also or are they some other metal? Many of our rust spots are on the blades and spoon bowls. Also there are rainbow stains on many pieces.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

So I guess I need to be looking for heavier duty flatware?

I'm not washing the silver in the DW - I was always told that the DW would ruin the silver, so I've always handwashed it...but I rarely use it.

I would also like to point out that it's not just my butter knives - it's forks (the worst!), spoons, serving utensils, steak knives, paring knives, big knives, anything small and metal I put in the dishwasher. Even my cheapest cookie sheets rust, but they're terrible anyway, so I never worried about it. My pots and good pans seem to be okay...for now, at least.

Am I right, though, in assuming that once the rust spots start, they're going to keep coming back?

Is there a brand that anyone can recommend as a no-rust brand? I'm surprised that the R&B & Dansk both rust. Any word on say, Oneida or Lenox? Or any other brands?

Thanks everyone!


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

It's the mayonnaise. Just wash the mayonnaise off before loading the dishwasher and see if the problem goes away. I had this problem years ago and discovered that the mayonnaise was the problem. It does seem to be more of a problem on the less expensive flatware. Good luck.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

I have Oneida ss flatware and it's never rusted, not even the spoon that got chewed up in the garbage disposal (and should be thrown away). Some of my metal baking stuff will rust if I allow water to sit in it for an extended period of time, but I have no idea it's metal composition.

I agree w/you that once the rust starts it will just keep coming back.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

If only it were just the mayo...but I don't eat mayo, so there's none in the house or on the silverware.

Someone said peanut butter might hurt them, but I always rinse the PB off after I use the knife...and that wouldn't hurt the forks and spoons.

I looked at the Oneida, but I don't much like any of the patterns. I like one of the Lenox patterns, but good grief its expensive! Is there something more midrange?


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Don't feel bad about not liking Oneida, melanie. I have it and I get rust spots, too. My SIL has lenox and she gets rust spots as well. I don't think there's any brand that is immune, if the conditions are right for rust.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Oh no, writersblock! So no brand is safe? I'll have rust spots, no matter what?

I guess I'll have my pipes checked. Maybe that's it? Until I figure it out, I guess I'll keep buying new silverware at Walmart or Target every so many months...sheesh.


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Okay, I was hoping to read this and get the answer.

I DON'T SEE ONE PEOPLE! (Sorry...:D)

My SS Situation: I have Oneida. My old cheap first set bought 30 years ago never rusted. It's packed away as an 'extra'. Melanie1422 when you mention your mom's set, is it older than yours? I wonder if they are all being made cheaper now?

The new *Better* fancier one I got about 10 years ago rusts on the hollow butter knife handles. But ONLY on the hollow handles. I have been told that part was made using steel with a different percentage of nickel.

Replacements Ltd. lists 'solid' knives in my pattern and eventually I figured on ordering some.

But some of you are saying forks and spoons rust too? I haven't seen that, but a colleague who moved to Philadelphia from Massachusettes once complained to me "What's in the water down here? All my stainless is rusting!" So I thought it might be our water.

I have a well, and the water has some iron in it. We have a filter to catch the majority of the iron particles, but I'm sure very tiny ones still get through.

How many of you have wells? Or high iron content in your water? (reddish dirt in the yard?)


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

melanie: please, before you start replacing anything, try rinsing the flatware in white vinegar. Then run some vinegar through the dishwasher. I had rust on the knife blades and on the bodies of a new set of flatware I bought (18/10). I did the vinegar thing and I no longer have rust on the flatware. It's an inexpensive solution and its worth a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to....


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Biochem, I don't really see a solution either. I think that once its rusted, the rust will keep coming back. My mom's flatware is over 35 yrs old...I think that's the key. Maybe I'll hit garage sales and estate sales, and try to find an older set?

I have heard that the hollow stuff doesn't hold up as well.

I'm on city water, which is terrible. I don't know what the iron content is, but I do know that I live in the "kidney stone capital of the US" - because of all the deposits in the water. I had the water tested, but it was done by the water company and of course, they think its fine.

ALL of my stainless flatware and utensils rust. My whisk is rusted. My stainless knives rusted the FIRST wash - I took them out of the box, and ran them through once. That was all it took. Spots everywhere. The forks are the worst - some tines are almost completely rusted.

I will try to clean them, but as I've said before, I'm afraid that once its rusted once, it will rust again. :(


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Perhaps your water is relatively high in mineral and salt deposits, conditions conducive to rust. I suggest not running the stainless in the dishwasher; less likely to rust if washed by hand b/c it won't be in a humid/wet environment as long (which will promote rusting).


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RE: Somewhat OT: Rusted 'Stainless' Flatware?

Barkeeper's Friend and a plastic scrubby work easily and well on stainless rust stains. Every so often I give all my knives a little rub down with it. Someone mentioned mayonnaise: I don't use it much, but I do use a lot of mustard and am sure some of the stains come from it.


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