Reach Into Your Refrigerator To Easily Clean Rust Off Metal

There are no two ways about it: Homes are prone to patches of rust, especially iron or steel surfaces that frequently get wet. So does this mean you need to replace your faucet every time a few tarnished spots begin to appear? Absolutely not! All you need to do is grab some ketchup from your refrigerator and let this common household ingredient cure on the area for several hours before wiping it clean. Ketchup contains acetic acid, which removes rust via a process called neutralization. When applied to certain surfaces, this acid interacts with — and dissolves — rust. 

If your house has hard water, you probably encounter rust stains due to an abundance of magnesium, calcium, or iron coming into direct contact with susceptible surfaces. While these can be unsightly to look at, they can also cause serious issues to your appliances and plumbing. For example, your fixtures can weaken as rust accumulates, eating away at the exposed metal. If you don't remove it before this happens, you may find yourself shopping for a new faucet. But with nothing more than a common household condiment, you can eliminate rust and clean household metal in no time.

Apply a generous layer of ketchup

Not only does ketchup clean silver, but it does wonders for iron and steel. To treat minor rust blemishes with ketchup, smear a generous amount on the affected area. After you do this, allow it to cure for several hours. The great part about this trick is that it's not limited to faucets or appliances. You can use it on items such as cast iron cookware, for example. Although this hack might not work as well on surfaces with a thick layer of caked-on rust, you might be able to up the ante by adding a little bit of vinegar and some additional ketchup once the current layer dries. For stubborn spots and stains, you can use a wire brush or even aluminum foil to remove rust from metal

Since your iron and steel items have rusted due to oxidation, the acetic acid in ketchup may not be enough to return it to its original luster. A little extra vinegar might not do the trick, either. You can take things a step further and create a paste from baking soda and water, letting it sit on the area for an hour before wiping it clean. This, combined with ketchup, should help keep your appliances looking like new.