How to Remove Rust from Baking Pans

Rust damage can be a real headache for bakers. This is especially true if you live in a country where the moisture level is high. Rust can pose a potential health risk and change the flavor of your food. A rusty cake? No, thank you!

The good news is, it’s not difficult to remove rust from your baking pans. In fact, there are several different products you can use to get these stubborn stains off your pan. Vinegar, potato, baking soda, to name a few.

I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker who started a baking business from home. I have a drawer full of baking pans and I use them nearly every day. In this article, I’m going to teach you a few hassle-free tricks to remove rust from baking pans. 

Ready? Time to say bye to rusty pans!

Baking Pans Materials

Before we get into how to remove rust from baking pans, it’s important to know that baking pans can be made of many different materials. 

Some methods are better suited for certain types of material but not others so it’s important that you check what your baking pan is made of before choosing what to use on it. 

Aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron and teflon are some of the common materials used to make baking pans. Rusting on baking pans happens because the materials used to make them generally contain iron or steel. 

When these metals react with oxygen and water, hydrated iron(III) oxide, also known as rust, is formed.

How to Remove Rust from Baking Pans

Here is a list of tested methods for removing rust from baking pans. 

Method 1: Vinegar + Lemon Juice

Acidic products are very effective in getting rid of rust on all metals. Vinegar and lemon juice are both acidic enough to dissolve the rust formed on the surface of baking pans. 

For this method, you can use either vinegar or lemon juice (or mix one part each) to soak the rusted areas on your baking pan. Leave it on for a few minutes and you’ll see the rust dissolve. For more stubborn rust, try using white vinegar.  

Rinse your baking pan thoroughly after the rust has fully dissolved as you don’t want the acid to continue dissolving the metal. 

If your pan is made of a more delicate material or with a nonstick coating such as teflon, dilute your acidic solution with equal part water so that the acid doesn’t damage your pan. You can also oil your pan after removing the rust to condition it for future use. 

Method 2: Potato + Dish Soap Scrub

Potato?! Odd one isn’t it. But it does work. Potatoes contain oxalic acid which dissolves rust. You might have a natural rust remover lying around your pantry already! It’s convenient, and so natural that it would work on any material. 

To remove rust with a potato, you need to cut the potato in half. Horizontally or vertically, it doesn’t matter. You want to dip your potato on the cut end into some dip soap, and simply scrub away. 

Have some patience with it, and if your rust is stubborn, add some salt for some added friction. 

Method 3: Baking Soda

Surely you’ve used baking soda as a cleaning product before. Really, what can’t it do! 

Contrary to vinegar which is super acidic, baking soda is a base strong enough to dissolve the rust and it is also abrasive. That said, compared to vinegar, baking soda is a lot less strong so it takes longer for it to take effect. 

Mix equal amounts of baking soda and water to form a paste. Leave the paste on the rusted area for an hour or so and then clean thoroughly to remove any residue afterward.

Method 4: Commercial Rust Removers

If DIY isn’t your thing, you can always resort to a store-bought option. There are many products on the market formulated specifically for this purpose. 

Store-bought rust removers are easy to use and should save you some trouble. Instructions are slightly different depending on the product. I’ve found that Bar Keepers Friend Cookware Cleanser & Polish works well for me, and a little goes a long way. 

FAQs

Here I’ll answer a few commonly asked questions related to the topic!

Is it OK to use rusted baking pans?

Rust can pose potential health risks if ingested and can affect the flavor of your food. It’s not recommended that you bake in rusted baking pans. 

What is the best homemade rust remover?

If by best you mean the strongest, then the answer’s probably white vinegar. It’s the most acidic and therefore is the most effective in removing rust. 

Does toothpaste remove rust?

It’s possible to remove a slight amount of rust with toothpaste, but it requires heavy scrubbing. For more stubborn rust, you will need a more concentrated and thicker solution. Mix one part of toothpaste with one part baking soda to form a thick paste and apply it to the rusted area. Let the rust dissolve and remove any residue with water. 

Final Thoughts

Voila! That’s how you can remove rust from a baking pan. Of course, these are not the only ways. They are just ways that have worked for me. 

If you have any other tips regarding removing rust, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to learn more.

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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