Do Stainless Steel Bowls Rust? [Why + How To Remove The Rust?]

Image of a chef working with a stainless-steel bowl

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Stainless steel doesn’t warp or stain very easily. But do stainless steel bowls rust?

Yes, stainless steel bowls can rust sometimes. While stainless steel has a very high resistance to rust, it’s not 100% rustproof. Many factors can cause stainless steel to display spots and stains, such as exposure to harsh cleaners, abrasives, and other materials that speed up its corrosion cycle.

If you want to find out more about the materials that cause stainless steel to rust and how to prevent this from happening to extend the life of your stainless steel bowls, then keep reading.

When Do Stainless Steel Bowls Rust?

Although the name “stainless steel” gives the impression that the material never rusts, stainless steel is actually prone to rusting because it’s only rust-resistant and not rustproof.

Since stainless steel is essentially made of iron.

So rust will start to show when oxygen and moisture find their way to the iron content inside and react with it.

This rust will be the result of the formation of Fe2O3, also known as “ferric oxide,” which has a brick red color and can mostly be found around scratches and ridges.

However, the likeliness of stainless steel bowls to rust is extremely low if they’re made of high-quality stainless steel and are properly maintained and cleaned.

Why Does Stainless Steel Rust?

Stainless steel is composed of iron as well as various metals, including manganese and nickel.

However, the chromium content inside the iron is the main reason why it’s resistant to corrosion.

The 10.5% chromium in stainless steel reacts with atmospheric oxygen to make a thin yet extremely hard layer that prevents the moisture and air from seeping deeper into the material and reacting with the iron inside.

Despite its durability, stainless steel’s thin protective layer of chromium oxide can get chipped away or removed if you use harsh, abrasive cleaners.

These cleaners include:

  • Scouring with metal bristle brushes and steel wool,
  • Abrasive cleaners,
  • Bleach,
  • Glass cleaners that contain ammonia,
  • Washing with hard water,
  • Leaving the stainless steel bowls in the sink with metal utensils and food remains inside for a long time.

Instead, you can simply use filtered water with mild dishwashing soap and/or vinegar to clean your stainless steel bowls.

Recommended Further Reading:

Are Rusty Stainless Steel Bowls Dangerous?

While iron itself is considered a food-safe element, iron oxide (rust) isn’t and is considered toxic.

If the bowl you eat from has rust, small particles can find their way into your food.

Ingesting a small amount by accident shouldn’t be a problem unless you display adverse symptoms that require medical attention.

You should avoid eating from a rusty steel bowl as soon as you discover it.

How To Remove Rust From A Stainless Steel Bowl?

Stainless steel bowl with rust removed

If you find signs of rust on your stainless steel bowls, this doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of them.

In fact, you can easily remove the rust using a simple method to use the bowl again, especially if the rust is confined to a small area of the bowl.

The simplest way to remove the rust from a stainless steel bowl is by soaking the bowl overnight in some white vinegar, then rinsing and drying it thoroughly.

Alternatively, you can also clean it by mixing equal parts of baking soda and water (1/2 a cup of baking soda to 1/2 a cup of water) to form a thick cleaning paste.

Once it’s ready, spread the paste over the rusty part of the bowl and let it sit for at least a couple of hours.

After that, get a cleaning brush to scrub the rusty area. You can also use an old toothbrush.

Make sure that you brush the bowl slowly and in one direction, preferably with the grain of the stainless steel to prevent scratches.

When you are finished scrubbing, rinse the bowl with filtered water to remove the paste.

Then dry it thoroughly with a clean towel before using it.

Interesting Further Reading:

3 Stainless Steel Bowls That Don’t Rust

Stainless steel bowls come in a wide range of types and sizes.

For example, small stainless steel bowls are excellent for serving pet food, while large sized stainless steel bowls are great for mixing and combining, whether you’re tossing salads or preparing large batches of dough and cake batter.

To help you with the process of picking the best stainless steel bowls that don’t rust, we’ve scoured the market looking for the best options that it has to offer.

These excellent options include:

1. FineDine Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

FineDine bowls are some of the most efficient mixing bowls in the market and come at an incredibly reasonable price.

The set is composed of 6 bowls of various sizes (3/4, 1.5, 3, 4, 5, and 8 quarts) with a space-saving design.

The bowls are made of pure food-grade stainless steel with a polished mirror finish for aesthetics and ease of cleaning.

Check out the FineDine Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls on Amazon.

2. Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

This option from Cuisinart includes three bowls of sizes 1.5, 3, and 5 quarts.

These are the most functional bowl sizes on the market and can be used for a huge range of purposes.

The set is dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer safe. It also comes with a suitable-sized plastic lid for each bowl.

The mixing bowls are made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and are available in a white stainless steel variety.

Check out the Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls on Amazon.

3. Belwares Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

This set from Belwares is among the most practical on the market, and it also happens to use premium quality stainless steel that resists corrosion and rusting.

The set is available in both 3 and 5 pieces.

What makes this set special is that it comes with silicone bases, handles, and lids with various graters for convenience.

All the pieces are dishwasher safe and made from the same quality stainless steel to ensure the longevity of the product.

Check out the Belwares Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls on Amazon.

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