Rust In The Dishwasher: Three Places Where It's Common

Rust can be a problem any time you're using a machine that puts metal in close proximity to moisture. For example, it can develop in your dishwasher and cause both dishwasher components and cookware to wear out prematurely.

Rust in the dishwasher is typically found in any of three areas. The following are three of the most common reasons why rust develops in the dishwasher, as well as some ways to combat the problem:

Rust development caused by cookware material

Stainless steel cookware is common in many homes. Other metals commonly used to construct cookware include copper, aluminum, and cast iron. All of these metals could potentially develop rust spots. You can immediately remove metal cookware from the dishwasher after washing and towel dry it to minimize rust development on metal cookware. The longer you leave your metal cookware sitting in a wet environment, the more likely it is to develop rust spots over time. 

Surface rust on metal cookware can be gotten rid of after it has already developed if the cookware is soaked in lemon juice. Lemon juice and some other acidic liquids are effective at breaking down surface rust so that it can easily be wiped away.

Rust development caused by utensil placement

You need to take care to properly place your utensils to prevent moisture problems from leading to rust. Rust is more likely to develop on utensils if utensils are placed too closely together. This makes it difficult for them to dry out. Moisture that is kept on the surface of cookware will make rust development likely. This in turn will cause unsightly rust spots that make utensils look dirty and worn out. 

If you want to minimize the occurrence of rust on your utensils, you should take care to leave some space between them so that water droplets don't remain trapped between them. Another thing you can do in addition to spacing out utensils is leave the handles facing downward. This will make it more likely that water will drain off the utensils quickly rather than pooling on the metal and taking longer to dry. 

Rust that develops on worn out dishwasher prongs

Dishwashers usually include prongs that are used to hold dishes in place. These tongs initially come coated with vinyl to leave them resistant to rust. However, this vinyl will naturally wear away over time and expose the metal beneath.

Once the vinyl wears off of your dishwasher tongs, rust will easily develop on the exposed metal. Once this rust develops, it will become easy for it to spread to your dishes. 

To remedy the situation, you can have your dishwasher tongs replaced after the vinyl wears off so that you don't increase the chances of rust developing on your cookware. 

If you continue to have problems, it may be good to contact an appliance repair company, such as D & T Appliance Service.