How to Clean Rust Off a Kitchen Faucet

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Never use steel wool on a rusty faucet.
Never use steel wool on a rusty faucet. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Typically, a kitchen faucet acquires rust stains after iron-containing water flows out of the faucet and, over time, leaves behind iron deposits. Rust also occurrs from placing wet items such as cast-iron cookware or utensils on the faucet base plate. Some kitchen faucet designs also incorporate decorative iron pieces that with exposure to moisture gradually break down and spread rust to other surfaces. Whatever your faucet situation, cleaning rust away requires the use of a mild acidic agent, oil or commercial rust removal product.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Commercial rust removal product (optional)
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Non-abrasive plastic scrubbing pad (optional)
  • Fine-grade brass wool

Apply distilled white vinegar, vegetable oil or a commercial rust removal product to the rusted areas of your faucet.

Wait 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re using a rust remover, wait as long as directed by the manufacturer.

Rub or wipe away the rust. If you used vinegar or oil, dampen a cloth with additional vinegar or oil and rub the rust spots to transfer the rust from the faucet to the cloth. If you used a commercial product, wipe away the rust as directed.

Scrub away tough rust stains and deposits with a non-abrasive plastic scrubbing pad or fine-grade brass wool dipped in the cleaning agent that you used.

Rinse the faucet with damp cloths or, if applicable, your kitchen sink pull-out sprayer.

Dry all surfaces with cloths until no moisture remains.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your faucet has decorative iron pieces, prevent future rusting by using a sealer on the pieces.
  • If your tap water has a high iron content, contact a professional water cleaning technician to test the water and provide you with solutions to reduce the iron.
  • Metal wool pads often leave behind small metal particles. Never use steel wool as it rusts and can create new rust spots on your faucet if you don't manage to rinse away all of the particles.

References

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